What is the novel and how is it constructed? This course will treat the novel, primarily, as an exercise in form, and take students on in-depth tour of the traditions as they have evolved: the epistolary novel, the picaresque, the bildungsroman, the sturdy ‘realist’ or ‘naturalist’ novel, meta-fiction in its many different guises. We’ll read from the novel’s beginnings in the 18th Century (Richardson, Sterne) through the 19th (Flaubert, Gogol, James, Twain) and the 20th (Woolf, Bellow). We’ll also dissect the contemporary meta-fictions of Jeannette Winterson, David Mitchell, and Percival Everett. Students are expected to write frequent exercises in fiction writing and produce the beginning of a novel of their own for a final project.
Corequisites: Students are required to attend Literature Evenings (Wednesdays, 7 – 8pm).