E 379S • Updike and Ford: Modern America as Fiction-W
This course will consider the Rabbit novels of John Updike and the Bascombe novels of Richard Ford as a way of understanding American cultural history in the latter half of the twentieth century. We will read seven novels, beginning with Updike's Rabbit, Run (published in 1960) and concluding with Fords The Lay of the Land (published in 2005). Discussions and writing assignments will focus on the customs and concerns, successes and failures, assumptions and ambitions of American life from the 1950s to the end of the century. Particular attention will be given to the intersection of private and public realms, as Rabbit Angstrom and Frank Bascombe contend with the challenges of everyday life (career and money, marriage and family, friendship and faith) against the background of political, economic, and social change.
Two short papers (20% each), Term paper (40%), Attendance (20%)
John Updike, Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels (Everyman), Richard Ford, The Bascombe Novels (Everyman)