English 203

Graduate Readings: The Novel in Theory


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2014 Hale, Dorothy J.
TTh 2-3:30 108 Wheeler

Book List

Barthes, Roland: S/Z; Coetzee, J.M.: Elizabeth Costello; Eagleton, Terry: Literary Theory: An Introduction; Genette, Gerard: Narrative Discourse; Hale, Dorothy: The Novel: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory; Hurston, Zora: Their Eyes Were Watching God; James, Henry: What Maisie Knew; Lukacs, George: The Theory of the Novel;

Recommended: Abbott, H. Porter: The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative; Cohn, Dorrit: Transparent Minds; Culler, Jonathan: Structuralist Poetics

Other Readings and Media

Some of the required course reading will either be available in a course reader or posted on bspace.

Description

This course traces the development of novel theory in the twentieth century.  Designed as an introduction to major arguments that are still influential in literary studies generally, the course asks why so many different theoretical schools have made novels the privileged object of critical attention.  Topics of discussion include the difference between narrative and the novel; the location of novelistic difference in the representation of time and space; the definition of subjectivity in terms of vision and voice; the valorization of grammatical structures; the search for a masterplot; the historicization of genre; the confusion of realism and reality; and the belief in a politics of form.  Readings will be drawn from, but not limited to, works by H. James, Shklovsky, Lukács, Jameson, Barthes, Girard, Genette, Booth, Bakhtin, Bhabha and Spivak.  James's What Maisie Knew and Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God will serve as test cases.   Elizabeth Costello, J.M. Coetzee's metafictional engagement with the theory of the novel, will provide a view of the tradition from century's end.  

Two short papers (10 pages each) will facilitate the work of theoretical analysis and discussion.  An oral presentation and postings on bspace are also course requirements.

This course satisfies the Group 6 (non-historical) requirement.

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