E 348 • Twentieth-Century Short Story (35390-35395)
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
The course begins with two authors in translation who are counted among the most influential writers of the 20th century. We use the essays in the Norton Critical Edition, and some essays on Chekhov, to establish a vocabulary of analysis. One path from Chekhov leads to modern masters, Munro and Trevor. Another path, from Kafka, leads to the innovations of Borges, etc. The class will end with a kind of mini-course on the way that recent writing of the Indian experience is embodied in short story writing.
In-class exam on works of Chekhov and Kafka 20%
Final Exam on the International (Indian) short story 20%
Short report on an academic essay on an author (2-3 pages) 10%
Two short papers on assigned reading (2-3 pages) 20%
Participation in class discussion analyzing the stories 10%
Short quizzes on assigned reading 10%
1-2-page research on assigned topics 10%
This is a discussion-based format (which includes listening). Absence from class severely limits your ability to discuss or listen. Excessive absences (more than 4) will detract from your grade (10 points for each class day missed after 4).
Anton Chekhov, Five Great Short Stories (Dover Books)
Kafka's Selected Stories, Norton Critical Edition, Stanley Corngold, ed.
Alice Munro, Open Secrets(1994)
William Trevor, A Bit on the Side (2004)
Course Reader I: Experiments in Form and Thought (After Kafka) with works by 60s postmodernists including Borges, Calvino, Barthleme and Barth. Also, Kathy Acker, George Saunders, and others.
Course Reader II: International Expressions (Mostly India). A foray into one of the most vibrant traditions of current writing. Works by Desai, Lahiri, Mukherjee, Mistry, Rushdie, and others.