- Acquaint participants to the historical context of the texts
- Acquaint participants to the themes, proceedings and textuality of the texts in a contrasted manner
- Establish relations with our current reality
- Foster critical thinking
The novel sets out to produce a narrative about the bombing of Dresden in World War II, where Kurt Vonnegut, the author, was a soldier. In four raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city. An estimated 22,700 to 25,000 people were killed. The strategic need of such a destruction is still doubted. How to relate such a senseless horror? It took Vonnegut 24 years to write and publish his novel. The result of many trials is Slaughterhouse 5, or, The Children's Crusade, a realistic, anti-epic, sympathetic with the victims, full of humor and sci-fi, anti-war novel. This seminar will be devoted to analyze and comment how all the above-mentioned characteristics help produce a particular anti-war message. It is a message that does not depend on massive destruction for its validity. On the contrary, it holds good, we think, for all wars, Malvinas war included.
Since this will be an on-line course, participants will be provided with material for analysis and discussion of the short stories by e-mail. The seminar will be delivered through a video-conference platform. As usual, the coordinator will play the role of facilitator in order to elicit from participants their own criticism of the novels. The analysis of the texts will be, therefore, carried out not only through dialogue with the participants, but by the implementation of group-work, whose conclusions will be debated later with the whole group. Group-work will be carried out on-line in break-out groups monitored by the teacher
Lundquist, James (1977) “The ‘New Reality’ of Slaughterhouse-Five”. In H. Bloom (ed.), Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Frederic Ungar Pub. Co.
Parrella, Sofía (2022) “’’Cómo amar a la gente que no tiene utilidad?’: tres representaciones
del sueño americano en la obra de Kurt Vonnegut”. In. Burello, Marcelo G. y Goldzycher, Alejandro (eds) El sueño americano y sus pesadillas. Incursiones críticas en un gran mito estadounidense. Buenos Aires: Miño y Dávila.
Davis Simmons (ed.) (2011) New Critical Essays on Kurt Vonnegut. Nueva York: Palgrave