This is a survey of recent trends in the Contemporary Novel. The novels on the syllabus have been chosen to represent a variety of technical and thematic approaches to the novel form, and we will focus our discussion on the changing ways in which these mostly American novelists represent culture, society and consciousness through technical and thematic means.
In addition to regular attendance and participation in class discussion, you are responsible for two papers (5 typed pages in length) a final exam, and short quizzes on the material. The quizzes will be given on the first day we are scheduled to discuss a novel. Needless to say, you need to have read the novel before we begin to discuss it. Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped. I don’t give makeup quizzes.
Since this class meets twice a week and covers a lot of material each class meeting, you are allowed two unexcused absences. Each additional absence will affect your final grade. I do make occasional allowances for medical emergencies with a doctor’s excuse. Please come to class on time, as arriving late is disruptive to everyone, and frequent tardiness will also affect your final grade. Please turn off your cell phone before you enter the classroom.
I will provide you with some suggestions for paper topics, but I encourage you to write about any aspect of these novels that you wish, so long as your discussion encompasses to some degree both thematic and technical considerations and how the two are related. If you would rather not write about a suggested topic, I ask that you clear your topic with me in advance. In the event that you do not turn in your paper in time, your grade will be lowered one letter grade for each day it is late. I would like for your papers to be double-spaced, legibly typed and carefully proofread. Please number your pages and title your analysis. You may use outside sources so long as the central argument is your own. We will talk further about format when the paper is due.
GRADING PERCENTAGES: Quizzes, 20%; Paper 1, 25%; Paper 2, 25%; Final Exam, 20%; Participation and Attendance, 10%.
READING AND WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
16—Class Introduction. Read Stoner and handouts.
18—Further Intro to trends in Contemporary novel. Discuss Handouts. Read Stoner.
23—Discuss Stoner. (QUIZ) Read Mrs. Bridge.
25—Stoner. Read Mrs. Bridge.
30—Finish Stoner. Start discussion of Mrs. Bridge. (QUIZ)
1—Mrs. Bridge, cont’d. Read Outer Dark
6—Mrs. Bridge. Start discussion of Outer Dark (quiz)
8—Outer Dark; Read Housekeeping
13- Outer Dark; Start discussion of Housekeeping (quiz)
15-Housekeeping; Read In The Skin of a Lion;
20-Housekeeping. Start discussion of In the Skin (quiz)
22-In the Skin of a Lion; Read Regeneration
27-In the Skin of a Lion:
29-Regeneration. (quiz) (read Jazz)
6—Regeneration FIRST PAPER DUE
11-No Class, Fall Break
13-Jazz (quiz) Read Blindness
20-Jazz. Start discussion of Blindness
25-Blindness; Read Wolf Whistle.
27-Blindness; Start discussion of Wolf Whistle (quiz).
1—Wolf Whistle; Start Being Dead.
3—Wolf Whistle; Start discussion of Being Dead (quiz)
8—Being Dead; Start Why Did I Ever
14- Start Discussion of Why Did I Ever. (quiz)
16-Why Did I Ever.
22—DAY OFF TO WORK ON YOUR PAPERS
24—NO CLASS, THANKSGIVING
28—Why Did I Ever. SECOND PAPER DUE
30—Catch up day
1—Review for Final Exam