Universität Wien FIND

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to courses and exams may be necessary at short notice (e.g. cancellation of on-site teaching and conversion to online exams). Register for courses/exams via u:space, find out about the current status on u:find and on the moodle learning platform.

Further information about on-site teaching can be found at https://studieren.univie.ac.at/en/info.

010106 SE Despair is Our Utmost Opponent. Im Remembrance of the Israeli Writer Aharon Appelfeld (19323-2018) (2019S)

Zum Gedenken an den israelischen Schriftsteller Aharon Appelfeld (1932-2018)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 1 - Katholische Theologie
Continuous assessment of course work



Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Aharon Appelfeld and his work is unique. On the one hand, it is about the world of European Jewry and its culture devastated by the Nazi regime; this world has a specific face and a specific language: it is the face of his mother killed by the Nazis in front of the then nine-year-old boy, and it is the language of his mother, the German language as it was spoken in the Habsburg monarchy. The refugee, who had survived the Shoah, came in 1946 to Israel stripped of everything. But he did not surrender to despair. So, on the other hand, there is Appelfeld’s unique attempt to save his mother’s language by the means of transforming it to Hebrew, and that has made Aharon Appelfeld be an outstanding artist of the Hebrew language. Hebrew language includes more than one meaning; it is the language of contemporary Israel, it has become the language of Appelfeld’s literary art, and it is the traditional religious language of Judaism. Hence, it is interesting to follow the religious traces, as they are reflected in Appelfeld’s great work and appeared more frequently in his later novels. In this way, Appelfeld rewrote traditional religious motifs and did not give in to despair.

Wednesday 06.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 13.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 20.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 27.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 03.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 10.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 08.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 15.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 22.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 29.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 05.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 12.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 19.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Wednesday 26.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG


Aims, contents and method of the course

- Knowledge of the relationship between biography and literature in the work of Aharon Appelfeld
- Ability to demonstrate different appropriations of religious traditions due to different literary forms
- Understanding of the possibilities and limitations of the translation process from one language to another and its results.
- Perception and explication of the specific translation process of Aharon Appelfeld in the context of his attempt and claim to reflect his mother’s tongue in Hebrew.
- Ability to explicate these basic insights in a seminar paper.

- Selected works or parts of the works of more than 40 years of literary production by Aharon Appelfeld.
- The fleeing of a young person, its dreadful problems, and its legacy.
- What is Judaism for Aharon Appelfeld? And which traditions are essential to him?
- The question of retaliation as a way of resisting despair – the strong characters in Appelfeld’s work.
- Dream and reality

- Thematic impulses at the beginning of each session
- Presentation of the individual topics in variable forms
- Protocol of the results and discussion points of each unit

Assessment and permitted materials

- Presentation of a topic unit including a handout.
- Writing of a seminar or bachelor paper according to the guidelines of the Faculty of Catholic Theology (https://ssc-kaththeologie.univie.ac.at/services-ueber-uns/services-az/formulare/ - s. "Formalities of the written scientific Work ") - deadline Sept. 30th, 2019.
- Literature by and about Aharon Appelfeld and related topics
- 75% attendance and cooperation during the semester

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: 75% presence; preparation and implementation of one unit; written seminar paper (deadline Sept. 30th, 2019).
STANDARD FO EXAM: Textually correct and substantial seminar or bachelor paper (40%), regular presence (30%) and active preparation and implementation of a seminar unit (30%).

Examination topics

Topics of the seminar; focus on the topic chosen.

Reading list

Appelfeld Aharon / Appelfeld Meir, A Table for One. Under the Light of Jerusalem. Translated from the Hebrew by Aloma Halter, London 2005.
Appelfeld Aharon, Auf der Lichtung. Roman. Aus dem Hebräischen von Mirjam Pressler, Berlin 2014.
Appelfeld Aharon, Badenheim. Roman. Deutsch von Martin Kluger, München 2001.
Appelfeld Aharon, Beyond Despair. Three Lectures and a Conversation with Philip Roth. Translated by Jeffrey M. Green, New York 1994.
Appelfeld Aharon, Der Mann, der nicht aufhörte zu schlafen. Roman. Aus dem hebräische von Mirjam Pressler, Berlin 2012.
Appelfeld Aharon, Geschichte eines Lebens. Aus dem Hebräischen von Anne Birkenhauer, Berlin 22005.
Appelfeld Aharon, Meine Eltern. Roman. Aus dem Hebräischen von Mirjam Pressler, Berlin 2017.
Appelfed Aharon, „Meine Geschichte ist eigentlich undenkbar“, in: Doerry Martin, „Nirgendwo und überall zu Haus“. Gespräche mit Überlebenden des Holocaust. Fotografien von Monika Zucht, München 2006, 16-26.
Appelfeld Aharon, Zeit der Wunder. Roman. Deutsch von Ute Spengler, München 2002.
Brown Michael / Horowitz Sara R (Hg.), Encounter with Aharon Appelfeld, Oakville-Niagara Falls 2003.
Miller Budick Emily, Aharon Appelfeld’s Fiction. Acknowledging the Holocaust, Bloomington 2005.
Ramras-Rauch Gila, Aharon Appelfeld. The Holocaust and Beyond, Bloomington-Indianapolis 1994.
Schwartz Yigal, Aharon Appelfeld. From Individual Lament to Tribal Eternity. Translated by Jeffrey M. Green. Foreword by Arnold J. Band, Hanover-London 2001.
Treitler Wolfgang, Über die Verzweiflung hinaus. Das Jahrhundert zwischen Stefan Zweig und Aharon Appelfeld, Göttingen 2015, 255-317.
The literature of the seminar will be provided by the seminar facilitator.

Association in the course directory

für 011 (15W) FTH 17 oder FTH 26, für 066 800 M21, 033 195 (17W) BRP 18krp, 033 195 (17W) BRP 08ktb, BRP 08ktb oder 18ktb, 198 418 BA UF RK 16, 199 518 MA UF RK 02 oder RK 05, auslaufende Studienpläne: für Wahlmodul I/II für 011 oder DAM (11W) oder D31, 066 796 (15W) MRP, 033 195 (15W) BAM 13, Seminar oder (freies) Wahlfach für 020

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:27