English R1B

Reading and Composition: Realism and Contemporary Fiction

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
18 Spring 2005 Ben Graves
T Th 3:30-5:00 54 Barrows

Other Readings and Media

"Eduardo Galeano, Upside Down

Jonathan Coe, The Winshaw Legacy: or, What a Carve Up!

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Fae Myenne Ng, Bone

Timothy Mo, The Redundancy of Courage

Scarlett Thomas, Popco

Xeroxed reader "


"Realism names a complicated array of literary conventions and procedures, but it is also a familiar term in everyday usage. One film or TV show may be 'realistic' while another is not, but in either case we tend to judge the success of the work in terms of the fullness of its engagement with a given world. In this course, we will explore how some contemporary writers have responded to this call, and how they have used realist fictions to address the fateful changes of recent years. Their close attention to these changes will be mirrored in our own attention to both their work and our own, as we will concentrate our efforts on sharpening our skills as writers in a variety of contexts. Several short responses will lead to a final research project of 9-10 pages, but more important will be the peer-editing and revising sessions in the weeks between. In these, we will pay special attention to gathering and weighing textual evidence, turning observations into arguments, and crafting theses that show a developing sense of a text's possibilities and the way they are imagined.

Note: Please attend first meeting before purchasing books"

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