E 379N • Interwar US Literature-Honors-W
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
This course takes as its purview novels published by US writers in the 1920s and 1930s. The vexed and vibrant interwar period includes the Jazz Age and the Great Depression as well as the publication of major works by Nobel Prize-winning authors Pearl Buck, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Eugene O'Neill, Sinclair Lewis, and John Steinbeck. This period was also the golden age of detective fiction. The required readings offer a geographically diverse range of works: Buck's China, Chandler's Los Angeles, Faulkner's Mississippi, Fitzgerald's New York, Hemingway's France and Spain, Hurston's Florida, McNickle's Montana, and Wright's Chicago. We will place these works in their regional, national, and historical contexts, consider their stylistic innovations, and attend particularly to questions of class and race. Visits to the Harry Ransom Center, which has substantial collections from this period, will also be a part of the course.
Class participation and presentation: 20%; Short writing assignments and essays (3-4 pages): 30%; Research paper (10-12 pages): 50%
Buck, Pearl. The Good Earth (1931); Chandler, Raymond. The Big Sleep (1939); Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury (1929); Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby (1925); Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises (1926); Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937); McNickle, D'Arcy. The Surrounded (1936); Wright, Richard. Native Son (1940)