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ENG 392

Genre: Advanced Topics

Study of works drawn from a specific literary genre or subgenre. Examples include Confessional Poetry, The Early Novel and Revenge Tragedy.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Fall Semester information

Susan Hahn

392A: AdvTps:Genre: Narrative Conundrum and Unreliable Narrators

What difference does it make who is telling the story and why? We will survey a range of narrative conventions (many of which started as "inventions") looking at novels and short stories, some classic, some recently published, to examine the problems of what have been called "reliable/unreliable" narrators. What are the artistic and philosophical implications of perspective? Is there ever really a reliable narrator? Some readings might include: The Good Soldier (Ford), Edgar Allan Poe short stories, A Lost Lady (Cather), Wuthering Heights (Bronte), Old School (Woolfe), Under the Feet of Jesus (Viramontes), All He Ever Wanted (Shreve).

Michael Sinowitz

392B: AdvTps:Genre: Marriage and Monsters in the Victorian Novel

The Victorian era may very well be the golden age of the novel. It was a time when, arguably, the most popular authors were also among the best authors. The novels of this time showed a broad interest in concerns about the public world, but also, importantly, the space where the public and personal met, the institution of marriage. For this, we can look at Jane Austen's novels as popularizing a concern with the marriage plot. Perhaps a bit more surprisingly, the authors of this era also showed a recurring interest in monsters. Frankenstein's creature is a forerunner to the era that produced both Mr. Hyde and Dracula. Yet they were also intrigued by characters that veered towards the monstrous or seemingly monstrous characters that could be startlingly, powerfully human. This course, then, will explore a range of prominent Victorian writers, including Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Emily Bronte, and pay particular attention to the recurring interest in marriage and monsters.