Authorises Exam Centre

English Literature & Translation

November 2020 - June 2021

The purpose of this unique discussion-based course is twofold: one, it provides you with regular practice in the skill of translating cultural texts from German into English, thus activating, improving and enriching your knowledge and command of the English language and culture; and two, it introduces you to, and enables you to discuss novels by seven major writers.

The theme of the new course is

A Century of American Crime Fiction

Most novelists of crime fiction’s Golden Age, spanning World Wars I and II, were British, notably Agatha Christie, Majorie Allingham, Dorothy Sayers and Michael Innes. Yet, the apex of Golden Age fiction was seen by some in the American Ellery Queen novels; beyond compare in the plot-puzzle formula; the expression used to describe their crime novels, where characters must conform to the roles allocated them, as parts of a puzzle, and their personality must neither become too complex, nor too unpredictable to distract from this.

By 1954, the Golden Age had ended, but even during its heyday, its antithesis had emerged in America, where writers were combining the spare idiomatic mode of Hemingway and Faulkner with a crime-based narrative; often reflecting the tensions and uncertainties beneath the surface of American society; where the private detective is the knight of a medieval age.

Amongst the most celebrated practitioners of this ‘noir’ brand of detective fiction was Dashiell Hammett, author of The Glass Key, one of the best-known crime novels of the 20th century, which is compared with Dickens at his best, and with Dostoevsky’ Crime and Punishment, without the moral judgement.

While the British crime novel progressed little after the years of Agatha Christie, Hammett’s generation of American writers inspired a sequence of radical departures from the formulae of pre-1930s writing, often, and, in Patricia Highsmith’s novels, to an extreme, moving the narrative focus away from the investigator toward the perpetrator; which raises the question: ‘Would you, reader, be capable of this?’

The course-leader is Philip Moore. You are invited to attend the course either from 17.15 - 19.15 on Tuesday evenings, or from 16.30 - 18.30 on Friday evenings, beginning on Tuesday 3 November 2020 and Friday 6 November 2019, respectively. The course ends in June 2021.


When & How much

1 x per week Tue 17.15 - 19.15 H 670 € / Course*
1 x per week Fri 16.30 - 18.30 H 670 € / Course*
from to  
03.11.2020 22.06.2021 late registration possible
06.11.2020 29.06.2021 late registration possible

Course details

Group-size 6 - 12

Course-members are asked to read the following titles, which are obtainable as a set from our Reception. They will be discussed in the order given below

‘The Dutch Shoe Mystery’  by Ellery Queen

‘The Glass Key’  by Dashiell Hammett

‘Strangers on a Train’  by Patricia Highsmith

‘In the Heat of the Night’ by John Ball

‘Pronto’ by Elmore Leonard

‘American Tabloid’ by James Ellroy

‘Hit Man’ By Lawrence Block

The above titles are obtainable at our reception at 67,- € a set. As the size of each group is limited, prompt enrolment is recommended.

The course-leader is Philip Moore.

How to register

To benefit fully from this discussion-based course, your current passive level of English should be equivalent to approximately that of the C1 Advanced (CAE) C1 (CEFR).

If you are unsure of your present level, it can be determined by the free grading service the Cambridge Institut provides (45 min. writing + 10 min speaking test, please register at Reception).

Daily Mon – Thu 9.00 H – 19.30 H
Fri 9.00 H – 13.00 H
  14.00 H – 18.00 H

No appointment is required to take the grading test.

Register now


Cambridge Institut
Residenzstrasse 22
80333 München

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Cambridge Institut
Residenzstrasse 22
80333 München T +49(0)89 22 11 15