Explore the complex and dynamic nature of novelistic elements through the lens of nine literary selections.
We will start this course by making one of Jane Austen’s novels our “norm” and then read a survey of the novel’s great variety through the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. As we read the novels, most of them short, we will keep asking what we mean by narrative, point of view, the nature of character, the paradigm of character relationships each novel creates, and the meaning of the end. Every great novel wants to “correct” its predecessors, so the answers will keep changing. The novel is a most capacious genre and it makes up its own rules as it goes along.
+ Austen’s Northanger Abbey (Penguin)
+ Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (Penguin)
+ Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground (Mod Library in Best Short Stories of F. D.)
+ Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (Vintage)
+ Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (Harcourt Brace)
+ Jones’s The Known World (Amistad)
+ Kertesz’s Fateless (Northwestern)
+ Roth’s The Ghost Writer (Vintage)
+ Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin (Penguin)