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GERMAN 75N: Famous Last Words

What would you say if you knew it would be the last thing you would ever say? Who would you want to hear your words? Would you want to inspire somebody? Terrify them? Shout your defiance or your love in their direction?nThis is a course about last words the final utterances left as legacies for the world in the face of revolution, war, betrayal, heartbreak, or that simplest of endings, death. We will look at a wide variety of last words, including last words codified as genres¿quotations, suicide notes, epitaphs, dying declarations, Japanese death poems, confessions, and the like as literary devices (last sentences, envois, punch lines, epilogues), and as forms of social or cultural practice (the making of heroes, idols, and martyrs in religious, political, and popular culture). We will look at fictional last words, real last words, last words spoken by heroes, gods, and ordinary people. And we will end the course, each of us, by writing out our own last words imagining what we each would write, if we had to sum up what mattered most to us, and if we wanted some small selection of signs to stand in, as it has for many of the authors we will read, for our life and the legacy of it.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Pao, L. (PI)
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