Wesleyan Home Page
WesMaps Home Page
Course Search by CID
Academic Year 2005/2006
Fiction and the Real
COL 116 SP
This course tackles one of the longest-standing themes in literary study: the question of literature's relation to real life. Much of the seminar will be devoted to close reading of novels from the main era of "realism"
in literature, the second half of the nineteenth century, but we will also consider the status of realism in contemporary fiction. And throughout the course, we will explore realism as both a technique and a philosophy:
a series of literary practices that create the illusion of verisimilitude, and as a kind of writing that claims an intimate knowledge of lived experience.
The first part of the course will center on two nineteenth-century novels: Flaubert's MADAME BOVARY and George Eliot's MIDDLEMARCH. We might also consider the fiction of Zola and Gissing. In the second half of the course
we will turn, first, to critics
who argued both for and against the idea of realism in literature (Auerbach, Nabokov); and, then, to contemporary American short fiction (Bellow, Cheever, Carver).
EXAMINATIONS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Students will be asked to write three short papers, spaced out evenly through the term. Each student will also give a brief in-class presentation, based on a particular week's reading. Participation in discussion is a
major part of the course. There are
no exams in this seminar.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS and/or COMMENTS
There will be many opportunities for students to develop their writing - both in conversation with the instructor and through exchanges with other students in the course. If there is enough interest, we will also
schedule film screenings.
Gen Ed Area Dept:
Links to Web Resources For This Course.
- Instructor(s): Matz,Aaron J.
- Times: .....F. 01:10PM-04:00PM; Location: BTFDA413;
- Reserved Seats: (Total Limit: 19)
- SR. major: X Jr. major: X
- SR. non-major: X Jr. non-major: X SO: X FR: 19
- Curricular Renewal: Speaking, Writing
- FYI: FYI Seminar
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459