English 207. The Novel
Professeor Suzanne Keen

This course has been renumbered: see English 232.

Novels in Letters and Letters in Novels.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Christine Balint, The Salt Letters
Fanny Burney, Evelina
Nick Bantock, Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence
A.S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
Choderlos de Laclos, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Ring Lardner, You Know Me Al
C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
David Lodge, Thinks. . .
Gail Pool, ed. Other People's Mail
Lee Smith, Fair and Tender Ladies
Bram Stoker, Dracula

Death in the Novel. Dead bodies, murder, world war and cold war; voices of mourning, dying voices, voices from beyond the grave; retrospection, paranoia, and celebrations of survival against all odds: this course offers a study of novels engaged with mortality. For purposes of English Department distribution, this course counts as Later British.

John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress
Patricia Cornwell, The Body Farm
Jim Crace, Being Dead
Machado DeAssis, Epitaph of a Small Winner
Don DeLillo, End Zone
Harriet Doerr, Stones for Ibarra
Helen Dunmore, The Siege
William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
Walker Percy, The Thanatos Syndrome
Dorothy Sayers, Whose Body?
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Ali Smith, Hotel World
Muriel Spark, Memento Mori

The Uses of the Past. History, heritage, memory, revisionism, and nostalgia: a study of novels engaging with the past. For purposes of English Department distribution, this course counts as Later British.

Walter Abish, How German is it?
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
Paul Auster, The Locked Room
A. S. Byatt, Possession
Robert Graves, I, Claudius
Robert Harris, Fatherland
Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables
Thomas Kenealley, SchindlerŽs List
Toni Morrison, Beloved
Muriel Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye

Novels of Ideas: Sometimes novelists use the fictional worlds they create to think about problems. The issues and ideas tackled in novels can be theological, philosophical, social, and psychological. The novel may present an argument intended to change something in the world, or it may resist easy conclusions, inviting instead open-ended discussion.  This course explores novels by twentieth century writers, mainly British, written in a wide variety of genres.  Mysteries, dystopias, thrillers, allegories, and modernist fictions appear on the list below. Acquiring vocabulary for the formal analysis of narrative technique will enable students to describe more precisely how novelists create the fictional worlds in which to think about problems and enact imaginary sequences of events.

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
J. L. Carr,  A Month in the Country
Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark
Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Alice Thomas Ellis, Fairy Tale
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
Doris Lessing, The Fifth Child
Iris Murdoch, The Philosopher's Pupil
Ayn Rand, Anthem
Barry Unsworth, Morality Play
Jill Paton Walsh, The Knowledge of Angels

Tradition and Experiment in the Novel: This course explores both major subgenres of the novel, and narrative experiments altering and contesting convention. Social comedy, the marriage plot, adventure (romance), social problem novels, domestic fiction, and bildungsroman (novel of development) will be examined within the context of theory of the novel. Acquiring vocabulary for the formal analysis of narrative technique will enable students to describe more precisely how both traditional and experimental fiction works. A variety of texts, from the eighteenth century (the period of the rise of the novel) to the present (a quarter of a century after the prematurely announced death of the novel), will be represented.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Barbara Kingsolver, Pigs in Heaven
Gloria Naylor, Mama Day
Ring Lardner, You Know Me Al and "Haircut"
Tom Phillips, A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel
Art Spiegelman, Maus
Christina Stead, The Man Who Loved Children
Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy
Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

Secondary text:

David H. Richter, Narrative/Theory. Study questions will refer to specific excerpts from this collection of essays.

Novels of Education: The course covers a wide variety of novels of education, including bildungsromanen, school and campus novels, satires, romances, and a thriller. Acquiring vocabulary for the formal analysis of narrative technique will enable students to describe more precisely how novels work. A variety of English and American texts, from the early nineteenth century to the present will be represented.

Jane Austen, Emma
A. S. Byatt, The Game
Charles Dickens, Hard Times
Don DeLillo, White Noise
Nadine Gordimer, July's People
Rudyard Kipling, Kim
David Lodge, Nice Work
Steven Millhauser, Edwin Mullhouse
Ruth Rendell, The Crocodile Bird
Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

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