English | Literatures in English, 1900-Present
E304 | 6967 | Christoph Irmscher

Christoph Irmscher

9:30a-10:45a TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.

We will be discussing a series of U.S. American and Canadian novels
published since the 1960s that respond to each other and that are
fun to read.  I have tried to mix familiar writers, such as Plath
and Atwood, with less familiar ones (Tremblay and Choy), and
conventional incarnations of the genre with less conventional ones
(a graphic novel, a novel in verse).   We will hone our ability to
talk and write coherently about modern fictional texts, but we will
also ask ourselves some pertinent questions about nationhood and the
usefulness of this concept for distinguishing between supposedly
different literary traditions.   One primary goal will be to
introduce students to contemporary Canadian literature and establish
its crucial importance for the conversation about what it means to
live in North America.  Texts to be read are Sylvia Plath, The Bell
Jar; Margaret Laurence, Jest of God; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaidís
Tale;  Kurt Vonnegut, Galapagos;  Michel Tremblay, The Fat Lady Next
Door Is Pregnant; Wason Choy, The Jade Peony; Anne Carson,
Autobiography of Red; Gene Luen Yang, American-born Chinese.  A
major component of the course will be working at the Lilly Library,
which houses important collections of Plath and Vonnegut material.