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World Literature: Vol. 2–Dr. Heady_Longwood University

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Who was Petrarch?
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Inventor of the sonnet sequence
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What time period is Petrarch from?
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1304-74, early Renaissance
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What is the Petrarchan Sonnet?
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14 lines: Two four line stanzas (abba rhyme scheme) followed by two three line stanzas (cdc rhyme scheme) with a turn in subject/tone after line 8
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What do Petrarch’s sonnets involve?
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an idealized, unrequited love for a blond woman (Laura) and ruminations on his own poetic value (due to these “grieving rimes of mine” Laura “lives again in immortality”)
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What is the change in Petrarch from Dante?
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Petrarch believes that purgatory is glorious unlike dante who sees it as unfortunate
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Who wrote Essays
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Michel de Montaigne
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Why is Michel de Montaigne important?
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Inventor of the essay (from the French, “to try”) as a literary form
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Where does the word essay come from?
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From the French, it means “to try”
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What does Michel de Montaigne exemplify?
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The Renaissance spirit
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How does Michel de Montaigne exemplify Renaissance spirit?
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in his reliance on classical authors and also in his radical skepticism and relativism, uncertain of everything
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What does Michel de Montaigne evaluate in his essay…because of his uncertainties?
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He evaluates everything from the perspective of the individual, is skeptical of all generalizations, and even questions whether individuals have consistent and coherent identities
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“We are all patchwork, and so shapeless and diverse in composition that each bit, each moment, plays its own game.” is a quote from what work?
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Essays
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What time period is Michel de Montaigne from?
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1533-1592, France
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Who is Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz?
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A Nun, thinker, and poet of mixed Native American and Spanish ancestry
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What time period is Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz from?
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1648-1695, Mexico
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Who wrote
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Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz
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What do the life and works of Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz embody?
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the intercultural crossings that were an important part of Renaissance innovation
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What is Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz often seen as? Why?
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A forerunner of feminism, as she critiques the binaries by which men judged women (prude/sexually loose)
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Who satirically tells men, “Wish women to be what you make them,/ or make them what you wish they were?”
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Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz
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Who is Voltaire?
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French author from the 1700s
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What does Voltaire’s work embody?
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the key traits of the Enlightenment or Age of Reason, as the period is often described
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What are the four main points of the Enlightenment? Examples of each?
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1. Reason (and especially the material sciences) is a reliable guide to the truth and the world (think of the palace of science in El Dorado); emotion and tradition just mislead (Candide follows his heart to misery). 2. Traditional religion is seen as false, intolerant, corrupt, and oppressive (think of the Protestant who beats Candide, the Inquisitor who is also CunĂ©gonde’s lover/captor and almost executes Candide and Panglosss, etc.) 3. The purpose of literature is social improvement; the entire novel is a pointed contrast between the utopia of El Dorado (where God is only worshipped as revealed by reason, science is exulted, lawyers are absent, and gold is scorned) and Europe (which is torn by religious wars, oppression and hypocrisy and nations fighting and colonizing for gain). 4. Satire is a dominant literary form, as it directs readers towards an ideal by holding up failures to meet those ideas to ridicule (the optimistic philosophy of Leibnitz is esp. satirized, as Pangloss defends wars, earthquakes, and syphilis as necessary in “the best of all possible worlds”).
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Who wrote Candide?
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Voltaire
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When was the Romantic Movement and where was it most prevalent?
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Dominates early 1800s European literature
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What does the Romantic Movement reverse?
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The Age of Reason (the Enlightenment)
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How is the Romantic Movement different from the Age of Reason? Example?
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It prefers emotion and imagination to reason as ways of understanding and experiencing the world (think of the Indian poet Ghalib’s praise of the “fire,” “prison,” and “madness” of love).
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Give 3 examples of the Romantic Movement and how they are used.
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1. Literature is self-expression, not just social improvement; the perspective is often one of marginalization and isolation (like the German poet Heinrich Heine’s “pine [ . . .] standing lonely/ In the North on a bare plateau”). 2. Truth is found in Nature and rural areas, which are seen as free from an artificial and constricting urban culture (think of the Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi’s poems, in which the poet glimpses eternity and the sublime from the top of “this lonely hill,” and the rustic (and dead) Sylvia represents what’s best in humanity). 3. Achievements of European culture are questioned, there is openness to influence from world literature (such as the 17th century Japanese poet Basho’s nature haikus and a seasonal world)
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What is a haiku?
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consists of 17 syllables (5/7/5), structured by a cutting word point (at which the poem turns)
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Who wrote “The Death of Ivan Ilyich?”
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Leo Tolstoy
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Who is Leo Tolstoy?
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Russian realist novelist
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In what time period did Leo Tolstoy write?
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The second half of the 1800s
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What 4 things are Realist novels known for? Give examples from “The Death of Ivan Ilyich.”
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1. Their emphasis on well rounded, everyday characters, neither overly good nor overly evil (Ivan Illych is just a typical guy bent on success) 2. Their sense that characters develop and change only gradually, over time (it takes Ivan the whole story to reappraise his life) 3. Their emphasis on sympathy (on identification with others; it’s when Ivan can sympathize with his wife and son for the first time that he truly becomes a different person) 4. Their stress on social reform (the rich characters live in illusion; Gerasim, the peasant, in sympathy/truth).
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Who wrote “Notes from the Underground?”
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Fyodor Dostoevsky
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Who was Fyodor Dostoevsky?
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A Russian novelist who wrote in the second half of the 1800s
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Why does “Notes from the Underground” prefigure Modernism?(4). Which of these contrast Romanticism and Realism?(2).
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1.It involves a deliberately urban, deliberately ugly setting (vs. Romanticism), 2. Employs as a main character an anti-heroic, abnormal “hollow man” who never actually does anything (vs. Realism), 3. Emphasizes stylistic experimentation (such as the lying unreliable narrator, the fictitious editor, and the inconclusive ending), 4. Abandons omniscient narration, and antagonizes average readers (who are repeatedly mocked by the narrator, who himself insists they will hate the novel)
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Why must a Modernist novel exhibit these 4 traits?
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To truly grapple with the complexities of modernity
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Who wrote “Punishment?”
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Rabindranath Tagore
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Who is Rabindranath Tagore?
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Noble Prize-winning Indian author of the late 1800s/early 1900
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Was Rabindranath Tagore a friend of Ghandi?
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Yes.
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What did Rabindranath Tagore depict in his writing?
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the complexities of a colonial Indian culture in transition, torn between traditional values and the Western ideas introduced by the British
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What is “Punishment” a critique of?
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critiques both traditional Indian treatment of women and English exploitation of male Indian workers; it attacks European justice/rule in India
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How is “Punishment” written?
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written in a European literary form (the short story).
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Who wrote “Diary of a Madman?”
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Lu Xun
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Who is Lu Xun?
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Chinese modernist author of the early 1900s
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Who was Lu Xun influenced by?
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Dostoevsky and Marxism
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What kind of works did Lu Xun create?
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dark, experimental works with alienated main characters
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Why did Lu Xun write in a dark way?
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as a means of critiquing capitalist society
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What is an example of Lu Xun’s style of critiquing capitalist society?
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the Madman’s obsession with cannibalism unconsciously reflects the idea that in a competitive economy, the rich metaphorically “eat” the poor
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Who wrote “The Metamorphosis?”
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Franz Kafka
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Who was Franz Kafka?
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Jewish modernist author from the Czech republic in the early 1900s
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What do Franz Kafka’s darkly comic experimental works depict?
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the modern world (especially government and business) as both absurd and dehumanizing (a process literalized in our story, The Metamorphosis )
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What is a short reflection of the absurdness and dehumanization in “The Metamorphosis?”
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The travelling salesman Gregor Samsa’s alienation is reflected in his unexplained transformation into a cockroach (which happens for no reason); his inability to develop and change is reflected in his inability to use his new state to any advantage, just hiding under his bed apologetically until he dies.
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Who wrote “In a Bamboo Grove?”
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Akutagawa Ryunosuke
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Who is Akutagawa Ryunosuke?
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Japanese fiction writer from the early twentieth century
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What does his work foreshadow and how? What does this mean?
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postmodernism by suggesting that the relativity of individual perspectives makes any objective truth unknowable; we can experience a story and the world but we cannot really understand them in any comprehensive way (we simply can’t tell who committed the murder).
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Who wrote “The Garden of Forking Paths?”
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Jorge Borges
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Who is Jorge Borges?
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Argentinean author who wrote in the middle and late 1900s
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How does his work pioneer postmodernism?(3). Use examples from “The Garden of Forking Paths.”
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1. Openly reflects on itself as a text (a story about labyrinths that is about a story that is a labyrinth) 2. Questions individual identity (Stephen Albert, Yu Tsun, and Richard Madden are in many ways the same person). 3. Treats literary meaning as ultimately artificial or impossible (only an infinite novel could reflect the universe in a meaningful way)
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Who wrote “Requiem?”
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Anna Akmatova
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Who is Anna Akmatova?
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Mid-twentieth century Russian poet
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What does Anna Akmatova’s work capture?
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elegiac work captures the personal horror of the experience of Stalin’s Soviet detention camps
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What does the quote “the final horror dims/The blue luster of beloved eyes” represent?
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The speaker, who has stood by, from “Requiem” now longs for/welcomes death
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What poem did LĂ©opold Senghor write?
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“Black Woman”
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Who is LĂ©opold Senghor?
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Senegalese poet and activist in the second half of the twentieth century
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Why is “Black Woman” significant?
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Because Senghor sought to reverse the legacy of colonialism, which both situated “blackness” as the negative opposite of “whiteness” and which denigrated African land/customs
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Who wrote “Chike’s School Days?”
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Chinua Achebe
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Who is Chinua Achebe?
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Contemporary (recently deceased) Nigerian novelist
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How is Chinua Achebe often referred?
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as the father of African postcolonial fiction
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What does Chinua Achebe’s work depict? Example.
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the experience of colonization from the perspective of the colonized (rather than the colonizer) Think of Chike’s schooling, which neither connects with his African experience nor really conveys the reality of Europe
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What does Chinua Achebe’s “Chike’s School Days” literally reflect?
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postcolonial tensions by blending an African narrative perspective and respect for African beliefs (like appeasing the spirits of the ancestors) with many of the literary techniques of the modern Western novel (such as a detached narrator and ironic ending).
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Who wrote “Death Constant Beyond Love?”
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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Who is Gabriel Garcia Marquez?
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Contemporary (recently deceased) Columbian author. Winner of the Noble Prize
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How does his work employ magical realism? And how does he use this technique? Give Examples.
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By blending the realist techniques of Western literature with events impossible in Western belief (like the senator who makes paper birds come alive). He uses this technique (as in our story) to ruminate on death and to satirize political corruption.
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Who wrote “Zaabalawi?”
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Naguib Mahfouz
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Who was Naguib Mahfouz?
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Contemporary (died 2006) Egyptian novelist. First Arabic novelist to win the Nobel Prize
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What did his work concern? And how is it depicted in “Zaabalawi?”
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the complicated and illusive quest for meaning in the contemporary, post-colonial Islamic world (reflected in our story by the narrator’s struggle to find Zaabalawi).
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Who wrote “And of Clay We Are Created?”
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Isabel Allende
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What was Isabel Allende?
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A female Contemporary Chilean author who is still living today.
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Who influenced Isabel Allende?
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Marquez
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What does Isabel Allende focus on?
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The difficulties women face (and the strength they show) in coping with a male-dominated environment.
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Who is an example of the strength women show among male-dominated environments that Isabel Allende depicts?
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The narrator of “And of Clay We Are Created”
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How has Marquez influenced Isabel Allende in her writing and where is it depicted in “And of Clay We Are Created?”
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Isabel Allende uses extreme characters/subject matter (like the girl stuck in the mud pit) to attack the inequities and tragedies of Latin American life
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What order do these works come in? (20)
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1.Petrarch 2.Michel de Montaigne 3.Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz 4.Voltaire 5.Heinrich Heine 6.Giacomo Leopardi 7.Basho 8.Leo Tolstoy 9.Fyodor Dostoevsky 10.Rabindranath Tagore 11.Lu Xun 12.Franz Kafka 13.Akutagawa Ryunosuke 14.Jorge Borges 15.Anna Akmatova 16.Léopold Senghor 17.Achebe 18.Gabriel Garcia Marquez 19.Naguib Mahfouz 20.Isabel Allende
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Who are the Renaissance writers?(3)
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1.Petrarch 2.Michel de Montaigne 3.Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz
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Who is the Age of Reason writers?
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Voltaire
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Who are the Romantic writers? (3)
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1.Heinrich Heine 2.Giacomo Leopardi 3.Basho
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Who is the Realist writer?
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Leo Tolstoy
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Who are the Modernism writers?(2)
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1.Fyodor Dostoevsky 2.Lu Xun
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Who is the colonial writer?
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Rabindranath Tagore
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Who is the modernist writer?
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Franz Kafka
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Who are the postmodernism writers?(3).
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1.Akutagawa Ryunosuke 2.Jorge Borges 3.Anna Akmatova
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Who are the postcolonial writers? (2)
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1.LĂ©opold Senghor 2..Achebe
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Who are the Contemporary writers? (3)
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1.Gabriel Garcia Marquez 2.Naguib Mahfouz 3.Isabel Allende