E 342 • Life and Literature of the Southwest
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
This is a course in regional literature, specifically writing set in Texas and written mostly but not exclusively by Texans. I divide the state into five regions: the South (East Texas), the West (the arid lands), the Border (El Paso to Corpus Christi), and Town and City (where most people in Texas live). We will read stories, essays, parts of autobiographies and memoirs, and cuttings from novels by both major figures and relative unknowns. We will also read full-length works by Larry McMurtry, Katherine Anne Porter, and Cormac McCarthy. What will emerge, I believe, is a fuller, richer portrait of writing in Texas than anybody could possibly have thought. The course should be equally an eye-opener for those not born and raised in Texas as well as for those who have never lived anywhere else. Some attention will also be given to major Texas films.
There will be a mid-term (30%), one out-of-class essay (30%), and a final (30%). Attendance & participation will count for 10%.
Poor attendance may result in lowering of grade by one or two letters.
We will read fiction from four traditions: The South (East Texas), The West, The Border, Town & City