Expected learning outcomes:
•Familiarization of students with basic skills in the close reading of short fiction.
•Familiarization with the basic critical terminology used in the analysis of fiction.
•ability to connect literary texts to their social-historical context.
•Training in the construction of a literary critical essay, providing a thesis with relevant examples.
Course Content (Syllabus)
This course introduces students to the literary genre of fiction and to the critical concepts used to interpret narrative texts. It also teaches students how to construct a written interpretation of fictional works. Sample analyses of a range of short stories will be made in class with emphasis on the way meaning is constructed for each individual reader. Critical concepts such as point of view, plot, theme, allegory and symbolism, and realism versus fantasy, will be discussed within the context of individual readings of stories. In addition, students will be instructed and tested on how to construct a valid written interpretation of a work of fiction.
fiction, narrative, reality, interpretation, reading, ideology
Assessment methods: depending on the instructor
a) Two in-class essays (20% +20%) and a final examination (60%) OR
b) Two essays, one written as a mid-term test in class (20%) and the other written at home (with frequent consultation with the instructor, 20%), class participation and class tasks (10%), plus a final examination (50%), OR
c) Two essays, one written as a mid-term test in class (20%) and the other written at home (with frequent consultation with the instructor, 30%), plus a final examination (50%).
Additional bibliography for study
Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”
James Joyce, "Eveline"
Nadine Gordimer, "An Intruder"
Edgar Allan Poe, "The Tell-Tale Heart"
Monica Wood, "Disappearing"
Shirley Jackson, "The Lottery"
Margaret Atwood, "Happy Endings"
Katherine Mansfield, “Miss Brill”
Elizabeth Bowen, “The Demon Lover”
Ernest Hemingway, “Hills like Elephants”
Charlie Fish, “Death by Scrabble”
Guy de Maupassant, “Moonlight”
Ernest Hemingway, “Cat in the Rain”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children”
Charles Perrault, “Little Red Riding Hood”
Angela Carter, “The Company of Wolves”
Robert Coover, “The Babysitter”
Extract from Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia
John Updike, “A & P”