English 166

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2017 Goble, Mark
MW 5-6:30 PM 182 Dwinelle

Book List

Didion, Joan: Play It As It Lays; Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie; Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Love of the Last Tycoon; Gibson, William: Pattern Recognition; Johnson, James Weldon: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Lambert, Gavin: Inside Daisy Clover; Stoker, Bram: Dracula; West, Nathaniel: Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust


In this course, we will examine intersections between literature and visual media in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on texts concerned with film and its cultural effects. We will read novels, short stories, poetry, and essays which not only help us better understand the social implications of media technologies, but also show how literature itself tries to understand its new place as one medium among many in the period. The class will consider such topics as the status of reading in a culture of looking, the politics of the extremely popular, celebrity as a way of life, and the commercial origins of the modern work of art. Of particular interest will be texts that address directly the mythology of Hollywood, as well as writers who borrow liberally from film technique as an aesthetic resource. In addition to our readings, we will screen: The Jazz Singer (1926), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Singin' in the Rain (1951), and Peeping Tom (1960). 

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