Summer—A term; 2016
Dr. Laurie George
Course Definition & Goals
“Novel, a, short story padded.”
--Ambrose Bierce,The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911
This class in fiction celebrates the shorter rather than the longer fictional narrative—the reading, writing, and interpretive critique of it, though some of our readings will be novellas, short novels. Ambrose Bierce will be one of the “unpadded” writers whose fiction we read with the above quotation in mind; and we will be focusing mostly on contemporary fictions, traditional as well as innovative themes and styles that sometimes shock reading publics. Primary goals of the course include: increasing your reading enjoyment of the short fiction by sophisticating your reading practices and your awareness of how you interpret and assess fiction; exposing you to a variety of fictional authors, genres, styles, and literary movements; enhancing your critical abilities, both orally and in writing, to analyze, interpret and evaluate responses to stories. Course writing includes short, analytical essays and identification/competence using literary fictional terms.