ENGL630 - Readings in 20th C. English Literaute: Twentieth Century Fiction from Realism to Altermodernism

This course will trace the movement from realism to modernism to postmodernism to altermodernism by exploring transformations in story construction that occurred in the twentieth century in a number of literary traditions, including the modernist eschewing of realist practices of plotting (Joyce, Woolf), avant garde experiments, original forms of sequencing in the nouveau roman and magic realism, African American and Chicano antinarratives, and postcolonial and feminist rewritings of traditional plots and reconstructions of time and sequence (Angela Carter, Clarice Lispector). We will go on to examine postmodern works that move backward in time and invert causality, investigate experimental hyperfiction, and examine the kind of fiction now being called post-postmodernism or altermodernism. We will also spend time on shorter works that explicitly thematize plot and emplotment by Lydia Davis, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Grace Paley, Margaret Atwood, Clarice Lispector, and others. The class will also have a substantial theoretical component. In addition to basic accounts of realism, modernism, postmodernism, and altermodernism, we will read Said on beginnings, Peter Brooks and Susan Winnett on plot, Ricoeur and Genette on temporality, Hillis Miller on narrative middles, Aarseth on the navigation of hyperfiction, D.A. Miller and Russell Reising on closure, and Rachel Blau duPlessis on writing beyond the ending. Probable readings:

Joyce, “The Dead”;  J. L. Borges, Labyrinths ;  Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Djuna Barnes, Nightwood; Samuel Beckett, Molloy; Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jealousy; A Carpentier, “Journey Back to the Source”;  Blanchot, “The Madness of the Day”; Juan Rulfo, Pedro Paramo; Angela Carter The Passion of New Eve; Ana Kavan, Ice;   Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo; Ana Castillo, The Mixquiahuala Letters;  Ian McEwan, Atonement; Stuart Mouthrop, Victory Garden (hypertext); Clarice Lispector, Stream of Life;   Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot;  W. G Sebald, The Rings of Saturn