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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages & Cultures - Scandinavian Stud

Undergraduate Course: Ibsen and Brandes (ELCS10035)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines key works of two major figures of the Scandinavian late 19th century. It will begin with a study of the early Ibsen, tracing his development away from National Romanticism. It then moves on to the critic Georg Brandes, discussing his seminal views on modern literature as expressed ca. 1870 and comparing these with his 'aristocratic radicalism' of the 1890s. The key ideas of Brandes' critique of Ibsen and its development from the early 1880s to the late 1890s will also be examined. The tenets of Realism and Naturalism are studied as exemplified (and diverged from) by the plays of Ibsen. The last part of the course will concentrate on some of the later plays by Ibsen, examining their departures from Naturalism towards Symbolism.
Course description From a selection of central texts the course aims to develop an understanding of the various literary programmes in the second half of the 19th century and how the critic Brandes and the dramatist Ibsen positioned themselves according to Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism and Symbolism. There will be discussions of why Scandinavian Realist and Naturalist drama came to occupy a dominant position during this period. Ibsen¿s works will be analysed from a technical angle, from a psychological mapping of the main characters and from the perspective of the ¿meaning¿ of the plays.
The course will be built around a series of lectures and students will be expected to prepare presentations and to actively take part in classroom discussions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of Henrik Ibsen and Georg Brandes literary and critical production and the significance of the interrelation between the two cultural figures.
  2. Critically appraise individual plays and developments in Ibsen's work utilising a range of sources, approaches and methods of interpretation, and critically appraise Brandes' Ibsen scholarship and its development.
  3. Produce clear, complex reports, articles and essays, which develop arguments both critically and systematically with the use of relevant emphases, subsidiary points, and examples.
  4. Demonstrate finely honed communication, presentation and interaction skills across a wide range of media and circumstances, both formal and informal, for lay and specialised audiences.
  5. Consistently exercise autonomy and initiative, taking significant responsibility for the work of others and for a range of resources to bring about new thinking.
Reading List
Primary Texts:

Henrik Ibsen
Kongsemnerne (1857)
Paa Vidderne (1859)
Terje Vigen (1862)
Et Dukkehjem (1879)
Gengangere (1881)
Fruen fra havet (1888)
Vildanden (1884)
Hedda Gabler (1890)
Bygmester Solness (1892)

Georg Brandes
Indledningsforelæsning (1871)
Henrik Ibsen. Andet Indtryk (1882)
Det store Menneske, Kulturens Kilde (1890)
Henrik Ibsen. Tredje Indtryk (1898)

Secondary reading:

J Northam - Ibsen. A Critical Study
R Ferguson - Ibsen
E Beyer - Ibsen: The Man and his Work
M Meyer - Henrik Ibsen
Bull, Koht and Seip - Ibsens dramaer
R Fjelde (ed) - Twentieth Century Views on Ibsen
J MacFarlane - Ibsen: A Critical Anthology
G Ahlström - Det moderna genombrottet
P T Andersen - Dekadanse i nordisk litteratur 1880-1900
E Bredsdorff - Den store nordiske krig om seksualmoralen
E Nolin - Georg Brandes
S Møller Kristensen - G Brandes: A Survey in Scandinavica
P Dahlerup - Det moderne gennembruds kvinder
A Sæther, J Dines Johansen & A Kittang (eds) Ibsen og Brandes. Studier i et forhold (Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 2006)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserMr Arne Kruse
Tel: (0131 6)50 4025
Course secretaryMiss Gillian Paterson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3646
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