Honors | Introduction to Fiction
L204 | 2180 | Kreilkamp

11:15A-12:30P TR LH019

This course will offer an introduction to modes and techniques of
interpreting fiction through close analysis of a series of great
nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels. We will be organizing our
investigation around the theme of desire: how does fiction represent
and depict desire? How does erotic desire define depth of character
and generate plot? Why do unmanageable, illicit, dangerous, or
impossible desires provide such a central topic and obsession for
modern fiction? Proceeding roughly chronologically, we'll establish a
conceptual framework for thinking about literary "realism" as
fiction's fundamental genre, and then track the ways modernist and
post-modernist authors deviate from and disrupt the conventions of
realism. Course assignments will probably include three papers with
mandatory revision, an in-class midterm, take-home final exam,
frequent short response papers, and dedicated class participation. We
will devote some class time to writing workshops and exercises. The
reading list isn't determined yet, but a few likely possibilities
include: Emily Brontė's Wuthering Heights, Virginia Woolf's Mrs.
Dalloway, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, D.H.
Lawrence's Women in Love, James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, Vladimir
Nabokov's Lolita, and Jeannette Winterson's The Passion.