Historical Fictions/Fictional Histories (LIT4165.01)

Marguerite Feitlowitz

In this Writing Intensive Seminar, we will consider the demands and complexities of working with history in fiction. When, where, why, and how do facts abet and/or intrude on the creation of plot, character, place, framing, rhythm, and other details of style in novels and stories? How do questions of representation—selection and emphasis, vocabulary and tone, pacing and texture, affect the writing of history? What is the role of rationality in fiction? Of irrationality in history? On what basis do we extend our trust to the historian? To the fictional narrator? These are but a few of the questions we will ponder over the course of the semester. Our readings span centuries, countries, languages, as well as political and social classes. Dinesen, Yourcenar, Spence, Piglia, and Sebald are among the authors we’ll read.

Prerequisites: Interested students should submit a writing sample to mfeitlowitz@bennington.edu by November 15. Class lists will be posted outside the Literature office on November 27.
Credits: 4
T 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as All courses, Four Credit, Literature, 4000, Marguerite Feitlowitz, Tuesday and/or Friday Afternoons, and tagged , , , .