What is happiness? Does literature have the answer?

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” Joseph Campbell

This year the Department of English and American Studies organizes the 12th colloquium, a traditional event that connects researchers, scholars as well as students.
Each year, there is a different thematic focus which is explored through a series of lectures presented by academics, workshops, film screenings and discussions. The event is aimed primarily at students of humanities. Following the last year’s NARRATIVES OF TRAUMA AND PAIN, this year’s event focuses on the question WHAT IS HAPPINESS? DOES LITERATURE HAVE THE ANSWER? It seems that literature is fuelled by anxiety, despair, anger, angst and suffering rather than by happiness and contentment. Do negative emotions and experiences inspire better books or do they simply motivate writers more? Do we have problems with happy endings?

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