Two faces

TMA 114, pairing tragedy and comedy, Greek and otherwise


Week 7: The Tragic Mode

Read: Andersen, Under the Willow Tree; Chekhov, Heartache (Misery), Typhus, (

Listen: Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely,” Byrds, “Plane Crash at Los Gatos,” Del Shannon, “Sister Isabelle,”  Tracy Chapman, “Fast Car”

Discuss: Aristotle and Arthur Miller, fate/hubris/nobility, the sparrow’s fall, the nihilistic option, activism and the mythical, compassion

View: de Hoog, The Wall; Becker, Casque D’Or

Supplementary, books: Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Anderson, Thieves Like Us, Clarke, Childhood’s End, Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop, Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night, Gide The Immoralist, Golding, Lord of the Flies, Greene, The Power and the Glory, Hardy, Jude the Obscure, Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, Ibsen, Ghosts, Kafka, The Trial, Lowry, Under the Volcano, O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, Shakespeare, Othello, Wilde, De Profundis, Zola, La Bete Humaine

Supplementary, films: Bergman, Cries and Whispers, Bong, The Host, Borzage, A Farewell to Arms/The Mortal Storm, Brittain, Volcano, Carné, Le Jour se Léve, Chabrol, La Ceremonie, Chaplin, City Lights, Clayton, Room at the Top, Cronenberg, Dead Ringers, Cukor, A Star is Born, de Sica, Shoeshine/Bicycle Thieves, Eastwood, White Hunter, Black Heart/Unforgiven, Egoyan, The Sweet Hereafter, Ford, Four Sons/They Were Expendable, Forman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Frankenheimer, The Manchurian Candidate, Frears, Dangerous Liaisons, Freund, Mad Love, Fuller, White Dog, Gad, The Abyss, Godard, Vivre sa Vie, Kalatozov, The Cranes Are Flying, King, The Gunfighter, Kozintsev, Hamlet, Kurosawa, Throne of Blood, Lang, Scarlet Street, A. Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, S. Lee, The 25th Hour, Leone, Once Upon a Time in the West, LeRoy, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Makhmalbaf, The Cyclist, Mamoulian, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Mann, The Furies/The Fall of the Roman Empire, Mikhalkov, Burnt by the Sun, Milestone, All Quiet on the Western Front, Mizoguchi, Women of the Night/Sansho the Bailiff, Panahi, Crimson Gold, Pasolini, Accatone, Polanski, Chinatown, Polley, Away from Her, Polonsky, Force of Evil, Powell, The Spy in Black/Peeping Tom, Ray, They Live By Night, Ray, Pather Panchali, Renoir, Rules of the Game, Rossellini, Rome, Open City, Saura, Carmen, Scorcese, Taxi Driver, Scott,  Gladiator, Sembene, Black Girl, Stevens, A Place in the Sun, Takahata, Grave of Fireflies, Tourneur, Out of the Past, Von Sternberg, The Last Command, Wajda, Kanal, Welles, The Magnificent Ambersons/Chimes at Midnight, Wenders, The American Friend, Wilder, Double Indemnity/Ace in the Hole, Wise, The Set Up, Wyler, Detective Story, Yimou, To Live, Zhuangzhuang, The Blue Kite

Week 8: The Comic Mode

Read: Chekhov, Green Scythe; Leacock, The Marine Excursion of the Knights of Pythias, Thurber, The Catbird Seat (; Twain, The £1,000,000 Bank Note

Listen: Frank Sinatra, “Come Fly with Me,” Kate and Anna McGarrigle, “The Swimming Song”

Discuss: Aristotle and the low man who rises, Aristophanic critique, commedia’s catalogue of human character, Shakespeare and heterosexual union, French classicism and sexual scruple, modern modes, joy

View: Clampett, Kitty Kornered; Lean, Summertime

Supplementary, books: Amis, Lucky Jim, Aristophanes, Lysistrata, Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday, Congreve, The Way of the World, Coward, Private Lives, Forster, A Room with a View, Greene, Our Man in Havana, Hammett, The Thin Man, Richler, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor/Twelfth Night, Shaw, Major Barbara/Misalliance, Sheridan, School for Scandal, Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, Wodehouse, The Inimitable Jeeves/The Code of the Woosters, Wycherley, The Country Wife

Supplementary, films: Allen, Annie Hall, Anderson, Rushmore, Ashby, Shampoo, Aubier/Patar, A Town Called Panic, Bergman, Smiles of a Summer Night, Boetticher, Buchanan Rides Alone, Bogdanovich, What’s Up, Doc?, Brooks, Lost in America, Capra, The Strong Man/Lady for a Day/It Happened One Night, Clair, Le Million, Cukor, Pat and Mike, Del Ruth, Topper Returns, Eastwood, Bronco Billy, Edwards, The Great Race/The Return of the Pink Panther, Frears, The Snapper, Germi, Divorce, Italian Style, Hawks, Twentieth Century/Bringing Up Baby/I Was a Male War Bride/Monkey Business, Hitchcock, Stage Fright, Horne, Way Out West, Howard/Asquith, Pygmalion, Ivory, A Room with a View, Kanin, My Favorite Wife, Kaurismaki, Ariel /The Man Without a Past, Koster, It Started with Eve, Kurosawa, Sanjuro, Leisen, Midnight, Lester, A Hard Day’s Night, Lewis, The Nutty Professor/The Family Jewels, Lubitsch, The Oyster Princess/Ninotchka, Mackendrick, Whisky Galore/The ‘Maggie’/The Ladykillers, MacLeod, Monkey Business, May, A New Leaf, McCarey, Ruggles of Red Gap, Minnelli, The Pirate/The Long, Long Trailer, Morandini, Big Deal on Madonna Street, Nichols, The Graduate, Ophuls, La Ronde, Oz, What About Bob?, Ozu, I Was Born, but…, Renoir, Boudu Saved from Drowning/The Golden Coach, Ritchie, The Bad News Bears, Rohmer, Pauline at the Beach, Sandrich, Top Hat, Stevens, Swing Time, Sturges, The Lady Eve/The Palm Beach Story/The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, Tashlin, Artists and Models/The Disorderly Orderly, Tirard, Le Petit Nicolas, Wilde, The Kid Brother,  Wilder, Some Like it Hot, Zinneman, Oklahoma!


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