ENGL457 - The Modern Novel

In this course we will explore the remarkable development and transformation of the novel in the twentieth century. We will begin with a short work of Edith Wharton's which will be presented as the consummation of the realist tradition. We will go on to look at the transformations made by major modernists like Joyce, Woolf, and Faulkner, and move on to mischievous examples by writers like Nabokov and Queneau. We will then examine modern novels from Africa, India, and Latin America, and Africa, and conclude with the unusual and fascinating fiction of postmodernism, reading writers like Samuel Beckett, Italo Calvino, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Angela Carter. By the end of the semester, we will have a solid overview of one of the great achievements in the history of literature. This is intended to be extremely stimulating intellectually and aesthetically; adventurous minds will be rewarded. No previous expertise is any of these areas is required. Assigned reading will usually be something like 150 pages or so per week. There will be several short assignments, a midterm exam, a term paper (10-12 pp), and a take-home final.


Two English courses in literature or permission of department.