Rilke and Walter Benjamin stalked Paris; Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens walked London’s streets at night; H.P. Lovecraft scoured the sewers underneath Providence; a whole universe of writers (Edith Wharton, Herman Melville, Joseph Mitchell) saw New York through unromantic eyes. In this course we’ll read fiction and non-fiction about the city from across the urban canon, featuring flaneurs, fierce social climbers, and savage detectives alike, picking it apart to see what makes it tick. Students will write their own encounters with the urban uncanny (both fiction and non-fiction) and refine them in regular workshops.
Corequisite: Students are required to attend literature evenings on Wednesday nights