Reading and Writing Short Stories: Narrative Shape-Shifting (LIT4003.01)

Rachel Lyon

The traditional short story often follows a traditional form. A story begins when some clear incident incites a causal chain of events. Over the course of these events, action and tension breathe life into the story until it reaches a climactic scene. When the balloon can get no fuller, it pops, deflates, or sails away (this is known as the denouement). In this class, we will study approximately two dozen great examples of more and less traditional short stories. Authors we read may include Margaret Atwood, Anton Chekhov, John Cheever, Ted Chiang, Junot Diaz, Denis Johnson, Miranda July, Jhumpa Lahiri, Lorrie Moore, George Saunders, Zadie Smith, and Justin Torres. Additionally, each student will write two ten- to twenty-page stories of their own. At the end of the semester a revision will be due: one of these two stories, reworked, according (or in opposition) to feedback from myself and your peers. In the process of revision, stories may take on different sizes, colors, and shapes. Once the form has been mastered, it may be shattered.


Learning Outcomes:



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students must submit a statement of interest and fiction sample for application to the course via this form by November 17, and will be notified of the admissions decision by November 22. Students may apply to more than one Reading and Writing course, but may only take one per term.
Corequisites: All students taking this course are required to also attend all Literature Evenings, Bennington Translates, and Poetry at Bennington events, held on most Wednesdays at 7pm.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
Th 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Literature , Fully In-Person
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