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Fiche de cours

Explication de textes : Gustav Hasford's The Short Timers

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2018 -> 2018

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre de printemps
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0
Polycopiés: Oui



In this class, you will continue your training in literary analysis, and develop your close-reading skills in prose. You will further improve your ability to look closely and methodically at a text, and to understand and identify both a number of literary devices (figurative language), as well as its formal and modal elements (narrator, plot, characters, etc.). You will also engage with secondary sources, and be encouraged to use them in a dialectic manner to enrich and confirm your own observations, arguments, and conclusions about the text.


The novel you will read for this class is Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers, an American novel published in 1979, and written after the author's own experience of the Vietnam War. Through the perspective of Joker, who starts off as a recruit, before being deployed to the war front, this novel depicts the experience of war in a striking, corrosive, and often destabilizing manner, using a variety of stylistic and narrative devices and modes to convey a sense of the violence, absurdity, and insanity of it all. The goal of this class will be for you to see how these impressions are conveyed through the text, and to support your own argument using specific and relevant textual examples from the novel. On a more general level, your improved analytical skills will allow you to uncover many of the ways in which this particular representation of the Vietnam War, but also of war and military identity in general, is constructed.


Class participation is expected, and each student will prepare questions and lead class discussions once.
1) Oral presentation in groups, plus a written handout.

2) Final essay on the novel (1500-1800 words); students with "Enseignement complémentaire" (4 ECTS) write a final essay of 2500 words using secondary sources. Possibility to rewrite.


The primary and secondary texts will be available on Moodle.

Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15