E 314L • Banned Books And Novel Ideas
MW 330pm-500pm PAR 6
Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.
Description: Our purpose is to prepare undergraduates for upper-division English courses by focusing on close reading and critical writing. To that end, we will consider historical, formal, and cultural approaches to issues of censorship in twentieth-century fiction, and we will practice using the Oxford English Dictionary, research databases, and other tools germane to the process of reading and interpreting literary texts. Throughout the semester, we will often return to the commentary in Milan Kundera’s The Art of the Novel and use it as a starting point for discussions related to agency, desire, memory, truth, culture, political ideology, and how authors choose to position individuals in relation to a larger society. In addition to our focus on these issues, as we read through each text, we will also discuss basic elements of fiction (plot, characterization, point of view, narrative structure, setting, description, dialogue, conflict, symbolism, etc.) and the ways in which particular authors utilize these elements to challenge narrative expectations.
Required Texts: Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel; Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Fictions; Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita; Allen Ginsberg, Howl.
Requirements & Grading: Weekly Reading Quizzes (30%); Critical Essays (30%); Research Paper (40%).