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Postwar High: 1964 in World Literature

The year 1964 marked, perhaps, the height of postwar economic prosperity in the West. It also saw a remarkable turnover of literary generations worldwide. In the United States, the generation led by Saul Bellow emerged to supplant high modernism. Writers from Africa, Latin America, and Soviet-occupied Europe used their writing to speak out against political oppression. As the ’60s counterculture spread, authors sought to reconcile stylistic innovation with the need to be heard and understood in an increasingly complex world. The novels of 1964 track both this historical turnover and shift in consciousness. Readings include Saul Bellow, Herzog; Iris Murdoch, The Italian Girl; Hubert Selby Jr., Last Exit to Brooklyn; Anthony Powell, The Valley of Bones; Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion; Chinua Achebe, Arrow of God; Louis Auchincloss, The Rector of Justin; Clarice Lispector, The Passion According to G.H.; and Bohumil Hrabal, Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of how political and social changes impacted postwar world literature
  • Increased familiarity with important writers in world literature during the 1960s

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in-between
  • Professionals who use critical and creative thinking
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.


    • Section

    • Semester

      Spring 2018
    • Date

      Feb 26 - May 7
    • Day

    • Time

      • In-Person
    • Format

      • In-Person
    • Sessions

    • Faculty

      Birns, Nicholas
    • Location

      Midtown Center
    Tuition $460