This course is founded on the belief that the way to a writer’s personal style and voice is through the close study, absorption, and imitation of others’. We will be reading and replicating many contemporary master stylists, from Doctorow to DeLillo to Toni Morrison to Denis Johnson to Julie Otsuka, and others. In every case, we will conduct a three-part examination of the work being considered: an analysis of the intentions and themes; an oral report concerning some aspect of style; and an original piece that tries to reproduce the writer’s style as closely as possible.
NB: The goal here is creative expression through close imitation. It requires students to check their own styles-and their investments in them-at the door.
Corequisite: Students are required to be in attendance at all Literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events (typically on alternating Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm).