English 190

Research Seminar: The Jamesian Novel


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
13 Fall 2018 Hale, Dorothy J.
MW 10:30-12 301 Wheeler

Description

This seminar seeks to introduce students to the pleasure of Jamesian difficulty. We will undertake an intensive reading of James's fiction, playing close attention to the extended figuration and syntax that is the signature of Jamesian style. Topics of discussion include: James's notion of novelistic aesthetics; his investment in point of view; his engagement with a variety of narrative modes (the novel of manners; the gothic; psychological realism); his investigation into morality and ethics; his inquiry into the problem of knowledge; his cultivation of narrative ambiguity; his representation of queer identity; and the values that led other fiction writers and literary critics to forward his reputation as "the master" of the art of the novel. The course will begin with short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne and George Eliot, wrtiers to whom James paid homage and whose influence is strongly registered in James's fiction. Novels by Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf will allow us to appreciate the immediate impact that James's work had on the modern novel.

For the 15-20 page critical essay due at the end of the term, students may write on any aspect of James's significance as a literary and cultural figure. A prospectus, bibliography and full rough draft of the essay will be required steps of the writing process. Each student will also be responsible for one oral presentation on the assigned reading. There is no midterm or final exam.

Fiction by James includes short stories as well as Washington SquareThe Turn of the ScrewThe Portrait of a Lady; and The Ambassadors. Also required: The Age of Innocence, Wharton; To the Lighthouse, Woolf. A course reader will be available through Copy Central.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

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