Course Number

GERM 343

Syllabus Date

Fall 1999

Department course is offered by


Course description

This course was taught by Robert Tobin at Whitman College. Professor Tobin worked at Whitman for 18 years as associate dean of the faculty and chair of the humanities, and was named Cushing Eells Professor of the Humanities.

"Love and death, sexuality and sickness, desire and disease...these are constantly recurring themes in the German tradition. In this course, we can analyze why and how the "Liebestod" theme has such a powerful hold in German literature. We will begin with the locus classicus of the love-death, which is the Tristan myth, pursuing it from its medieval origins, through its apex in Wagner's opera, to Thomas Mann's spoof of it. We will then look at a cluster of classical German texts that feature tragic intertwinings of love and death."


Germany, German literature, literature, Leibestod



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