E 380F • Literature for Writers: The Novella
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
For graduate students in the creative writing programs and, by permission of instructor, other programs. As the titles of the anthologies below suggest, the term novella is regarded as problematic: the novella is ill-defined in formal terms. On the other hand, the name is widely applied to fiction of intermediate length (variously marked off) between short stories and novels.
Students in this course will browse the two anthologies-- ideally before the semester begins-- and select novellas to assign to the class for reading and discussion. Each student will introduce the novella(s) s/he has assigned; the number will depend somewhat on the number of students in the class. We will examine definitions of the novella, test some against our observations, and work towards a sense of the dimensions of fiction that the genre accommodates. We will talk in terms of formal elements such as language; coherence; narrative voice (point of view, distance, tone, style); character; action; dramatic proportioning, etc.
The Norton Introduction to the Short Novel, 3nd edition [earlier editions are different], Jerome Beaty, ed.
The Granta Book of the Long Story, Richard Ford, ed.