The class will meet two hours (twice a week) on film viewing days, one hour on lecture days (twice a week). Office hours are Fridays.
TEXTS: Naguib Mahfouz, "the Theif and the Dogs," "Miramar," "Midaq Alley"
FILMS: The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, High and Low (Akira Kurosawa), The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges), The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer)
THEME OF CLASS: TRANSFORMATIONS
The most wonderful things happen when we are transformed. We fall in and sometimes out of love. We fall into careers. We fall into heroic exploits, missions we never imagined. We slip into happy dreams or discontent. And then slip out again. During this quarter we will view films in which an anonymous writer becomes a hero; a clever woman pays back the man who dumped her by shifting name and social class; a wealthy manufacturer is stripped of his fortune; and a crippled fellow begins to resemble the devil himself. We shall explore the transformation of a modern nation. Egypt and its current unrest will become our topic as we turn to short fiction by Egypt's fabulous writer, Naguib Mahfouz. Finally we will learn that only transformation gives full meaning to our life in time. For when the transformation passes, affable time returns to greet us. Class assignments: two take-home essays (midquarter and final). The instructor and his assistant will offer individual help for both essays.