East/West Frametale Narratives

Syllabus

This course examines, through readings and films, the structure, meaning, and function of ancient, medieval, and early modern frametale narratives.

What do One Thousand and One Nights, Panchatantra, and works by Boccaccio, Marguerite de Navarre, María de Zayas and Cervantes have to do with the narrative forms of films, such as the romance Love Actually, Stephen King’s psychological thriller Secret Window, or Christopher Guest’s mockumentary Best in Show? Frametale narratives, the art of inserting stories within stories, in oral and written forms, originated in East and South Asia centuries ago; tales familiar to Europe, often called novellas, can trace their development from oral tales to transmitted Sanskrit and Pahlavi tales, as well as Arabic and Hebrew stories; both Muslim Spain and Christian Spain served as the nexus between the East and Europe in the journey of translation and the creation of new works. This course examines, through readings and films, the structure, meaning, and function of ancient, medieval, and early modern frametale narratives.

Last Updated 6 months ago