||TTh 12:30-2||301 Wheeler||
Beckett, S.: Three Novels; DeLillo, D.: White Noise; McCarthy, Cormac: Blood-Meridian; Nabokov, V.: Lolita; Pynchon, T.: Mason $ Dixon; Spark, M.: The Driverâ€™s Seat; Robinson, M.: Housekeeping
This section of English 246L will explore the postwar and contemporary novel and will focus, necessarily eclectically, on the particular works listed above and on others that may be of specific interest to individual members of the class. The course will move through these texts inductively, without any particular preconceptions or thematic axes to grind, in an effort both to understand these writers on their own terms and to discover among them commonly shared concerns and practices; but we will also supplement our work with readings by critics and theorists who have thought about the state of late twentieth-century fiction. Since the Pynchon novel is long and difficult, it is likely to take up a good part of the second half of the semester; since it offers a meticulously researched look back, from a millennial perspective, on the origins of America and modernization, it may be of interest to students who are studying not only contemporary literature and culture, but the Enlightenment and eighteenth century.