Professor Wai Chee Dimock begins her discussion of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls with an overview of the Spanish Civil War, the historical event at the heart of the novel. She introduces the notion of an “involuntary foreigner” to discuss the fate of Hemingway’s American protagonist Robert Jordan, as well as the Spanish guerillas who are turned into “aliens” within their own country due to their print and technological illiteracies. Professor Dimock concludes by connecting one’s status as an involuntary foreigner to the shape of the future, arguing that these characters have a tenuous claim to a Spain dominated by the Fascists, and to a modernity increasingly dominated by technology.
This course examines major works by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, exploring their interconnections on three analytic scales: the macro history of the United States and the world; the formal and stylistic innovations of modernism; and the small details of sensory input and psychic life.
Warning: Some of the lectures in this course contain graphic content and/or adult language that some users may find disturbing.