Moses, Aristotle and Jesus in Dogville
(Mózes, Arisztotelész és Jézus Dogville-ben) in spring 2015
, Tue 16:00–17:30
lecture, 30 h/term; strong prereq: BBN-ANG-211 213 215
description & set texts
This seminar aims to bring students (and the teacher himself) closer to drama and narrative theory (especially Aristotle), as well as Old and New Testament theology, using Lars von Trier’s Dogville as a ‘pre-text’ or ‘illustration.’ Other films by the same director and others in related fields will also be touched upon. Topics—by way of a preliminary term schedule—are intended to include: (1) watching the film; (2) Dogville as play and narrative (expanding the genre boundaries)—“dictum ac factum”; (3) Dogville as film: self-reference and Fight Club; (4) irony in Dogville and layers of the narrative; (5) peripeteia, anagnorisis, and catharsis in Dogville—the use of (dramatic and narrative) plot, character, diction, thought, spectacle, song/music; Verfremdung; (6) justice & the theology of the Father (Old Testament); (7) mercy & the theology of the Son/Daughter (New Testament); (parallels from Scandinavian literature: Ibsen and Andersen Nexö); (8) the difference of theologies in Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark and Dogville; (9) filmic elements in Breaking the Waves, Idioterne, Dancer in the Dark, and Dogville; (10) summary: Dogville as (common)place and text—in context.
Set texts: Aristotle, Poetics; Thornton Wilder, Our Town; relevant passages from the Bible; relevant passages from Ibsen and Andersen Nexö; Lars von Trier, Dogville, Breaking the Waves, Idioterne, Dancer in the Dark; David Fincher, Fight Club; Brecht, A Beggar’s Opera; theories of narrative by Iser & others; theories of drama by Sidney, Brecht & others.
requirements & assessment
Regular attendance; end-term paper; end-term test. Familiarity with the Bible is an advantage but not a prerequisite. Showings of the films on the “reading” list will be arranged. Assessment: Grade will be based on the end-term paper and the end-term test; active participation in discussions will be considered a plus.