Kafka and Eliot
Topic 1: Based on the texts by Kafka and Eliot, (writing on one or the other or both), discuss how the writers seem critical of modern culture, as they portray modern man as a self-conscious functionary who fears an acute loss of spirituality and identity, as well as the ability to achieve authenticity and happiness, overcome by the dehumanizing forces of industrialization and capitalism in post-WWI Europe. Topic 2: Read the Dada Manifesto and the google artwork by Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Francis Picabia, and Giorgio de Chirico, among other Dada and surrealist artists. Explain how Dada and surrealism reflect the feelings of a culture gone mad after the devastation of WWI. If the ages of science and reason and industry led to the mayhem and suffering of that war, these artists asked, why should anyone have faith in logic, reason, or the beauty of art when life seems so arbitrary, desolate, and deranged? Notice how these artists prefer to explore the world of dreams and the unconscious than the surface world of objective, ordinary life.