Individual offerings of this course might concentrate on the historical development of narrative, oral and written traditions, medieval epic, romance, and the early novel. In each case the relation between narrative forms and history will be foregrounded.
Spring 2014: Washburn (10A)
Reality Effects: The Novel in Global Perspectives
What is a novel? Is it a type of narrative distinguished by its resistance to generic classification? Is it purely a product of Western modernity and colonialist cultures – or do its origins lie elsewhere? This course will take up those questions by reading selected works within the specific historical and cultural contexts of their composition and reception. The aim is to test various theories and histories of the novel to see if it is possible to identify common rhetorical elements that define the form as a genre and to develop a coherent history that accounts for the novel’s status as a global phenomenon. Readings: Selections from The Tale of Genji, Don Quixote, The Dream of the Red Chamber, Tristram Shandy and The Sound and the Fury. Unabridged works: Madame Bovary, The Broken Commandment, 100 Years of Solitude, Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and Blood Meridian. Critical essays will be drawn from the anthology, Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach (ed. Michael McKeon).
Last Updated: 6/27/12