E s348 • Twentieth-Century Short Story
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
The Art of the Story is an anthology that testifies to the vibrancy and variety of the short story in the twentieth century. The various approaches taken by writers in this remarkable collection brings to the forefront the question: what makes the story art? Is it the formal, structural content of the story? Is it the perceptiveness into the lives of humans that allows the reader to reexamine his or her own life? The ability to take an old cultural form and "make it new." We'll use these stories and discuss the question of literary art, as well as literary testimony, literary probing into cultural difference, etc.
Blocks of stories will be organized by theme, style, and geography. The course packet will allow us, on several occasions, to read a second or third story written by one of the authors in the anthology or an author that was left out. On two occasions the text for the class will be taken from a current edition of the New Yorker magazine (available online and at your local newsstand.
Test #1. Terms of analysis and literary history, author bios, plots. 20%
Test #2. In class, open book, essay test. 30%
Final paper. Analysis of a topic in the short stories we have read. 30%
Quizzes on reading. Best 6 or 8 quizzes taken for grade. 10%
Participation in class discussion. Progress reports given on July 28 and August 6. 10%
Halpern, Daniel. The Art of the Story: An International Anthology of Contemporary Short Stories. Viking Books, 1999.
A Course Packet with some additional short stories will be available at Ginny's Printers.