ENGL 242 B: Reading Prose Fiction

Meeting Time: 
TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm
Location: 
SMI 407
SLN: 
14479
Instructor:
Nikolai Popov

Syllabus Description:

ENGL242B --  Au 2019 Reading Prose Fiction

Meeting Time:  TTh 2:30pm - 4:20 pm
Location:  SMI 407
Instructor: Nikolai Popov  

This class will read landmarks of prose fiction. We’ll follow the historical succession of styles and formal inventions in Western literary history, from Boccaccio to Beckett, and explore the particular uses of fiction in a variety of genres (short stories and tales, novels, satire, allegory, etc.), with special emphasis on language and style. You’ll be expected to read an average of 120-150 pages per week.

Reading List (editions I’ve ordered at the U Bookstore):

Raymond Queneau, Exercises in Style. New Directions. (You can use Kindle if you must save a few dollars but make sure your Kindle edition has the artwork of the book! If not, the Kindle is a swindle.)

Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron. McWilliam translation (Penguin). The Decameron is a big book, and we’ll read only a representative selection from its one hundred stories, but it’s one of humanity’s greatest books and every civilized person must own a copy. Penguins are inexpensive. (If you already own a copy of the Waldman (Oxford) or the Rohburn (Norton) translation you can use it; most online/electronic versions of the stories are dated, incomplete, and inferior.)

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Geoffrey Wall tr., (Penguin). There are many translations and they are not equal: Wall’s is one of the better ones.

James Joyce, A Porttrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Dover or any paperback).

 Aleksandr Solzhenutsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (any edn.; Willett’s is the best).

 George Orwell, Animal Farm. Signet.

Procedures, Requirements, Grading:

Please be aware that this class will involve a lot of reading—and writing. You will be quizzed on every individual work so attendance is not just mandatory but essential. Your grade will be the sum of four components: 1/ Several short take-home/in-class essays (total of two grade units); 2/ reading journal (one grade unit); 3/ quizzes and attendance (one grade unit). To get a passing grade you must get at least a minimal grade in each of the four components (e.g., failure to deliver one of the short essays will mean the loss of more than one grade unit).

*Reading Journal: your reading journal must contain your own observations, reflections, and questions as you read the primary texts, responses to tasks I’ve assigned in class, and notes from critical sources—but not lecture notes. (You can include your own discussions of or elaborations on things you have heard in class from me or any other participant.) I’ll expect you to write regularly—at least one page per meeting or a total of at least 20 standard pages (double space). I will periodically—and randomly—check your reading journals so you must have them in class all the time.

Tentative Schedule of Meetings

9/26

(Instead of an) Introduction: Readings from Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style.

10/1

Exercises in Style, cont.

10/3

Boccaccio’s Decameron and the Invention of Modern Prose Fiction.

10/8

The Decameron, cont.

10/10

The Decameron, cont.

10/15

Flaubert, Madame Bovary.

10/17

Flaubert, Madame Bovary.

10/22

Flaubert, Madame Bovary.

10/24

Flaubert, Madame Bovary.

10/29

Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist.

10/31

Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist.

11/5

Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist.

11/7

Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist.

11/12

Kafka, The Metamorphosis. Muir tr:  https://www.zwyx.org/portal/kafka/kafka_metamorphosis.html Wylie tr:  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5200/5200-h/5200-h.htm Corngold tr: https://www.gcit.org/ourpages/auto/2014/12/17/63704557/the-metamorphosis-text.pdf

11/14

Kafka, cont., or Beckett (to be determined)

11/19

Kafka, cont., or Beckett (to be determined)

11/21

Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

11/26

Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

11/28

Holiday

12/3

Orwell, Animal Farm.

12/5

Orwell, Animal Farm, cont. Conclusions.

Required/optional stories from Boccaccio’s Decameron (we don’t have time for the whole book so we’ll read selected stories only; the list below is preliminary: there may be a few changes; for quick reference use the numbers in the first column, i.e., 1.1 = Day One, First Story; the titles in the fourth column are my short-hand references, not Boccaccio’s titles):

 

 

Approx. Pages

 

Prologue

Required

2

 

Intro to Day 1

Req

13

 

1.1

Req

9

The Worst Man

1.2

Req

4

Abraham’s Conversion

1.4

Req

3

The Monk and the Abbot

1.5

Optional

2

The Marchioness and the French King

2.5

Req

10

Andreuccio’s Adventures in Naples

2.7

Opt

15

Alatiel’s Husbands

3.1

Req

6

Masetto and the Nuns

3.2

Opt

 

The Groom and the King

3.8

Req

8

Ferondo in Purgatory

3.10

Req

6

Putting the Devil Back in Hell

Intro to day 4

Req

5

 

4.1

Req

8

Tancredi and Ghismunda

4.2

Req

8

Sleeping with Archangel Gabriel (Frate Alberto)

5.4

Req

5

The Nightingale

5.9

Req

5

Federigo’s Falcon

5.10

Opt

7

The Wife, the Lover, and the Husband

6.1

Req

2

Incompetent Story-telling

6.7 cp 8.1

Req

2

Filippa’s Self-Defense in Court

7.2

Req

3

Peronella’s Barrel

7.5

Req

7

A Jealous Man Gets His Deserves

7.8

Req

6

The String

7.9

Req

8

Nicostrato’s Wife

8.7

Req

18

The Scholar and the Widow

9.1

Opt

 

The Two Suiters

9.3

Req

4

Calandrino’s Pregnancy

9.10

Req

3

The Mare’s Tail

10.3

Req

5

Nathan and Mithridanes

10.4

Req

5

Gentile and Niccoluccio’s Wife

10.10

Req

9

Patient Griselda

 

Catalog Description: 
Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
January 2, 2020 - 10:20pm