Craft of Fiction


In some ways the history of fiction is nothing but experimental traditions. As an elaborate explanation of what that statement might mean, this class will focus on lineages that have been purposely reactive or subversive in a way that demonstrably shapes the work itself. These "lineages" aren't necessarily linear. They skip generations or pop up in unexpected places, so we'll approach them both as movements or moments (Romanticism, Surrealism, the Nouveau Roman) and as concepts (parody, alienation, play). The course will be equal parts reading and creative writing, following a hybrid workshop-model, with the writing related to the reading sometimes closely, sometimes loosely. Reading list subject to change but possibly including excerpts or books from, for example: Fran Ross, Flann O'Brien, Ishmael Reed, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, Bertolt Brecht, Donald Barthelme, Georges Perec, Leonora Carrington, Renee Gladman, Jen George, Martin Eslin, David Antin, John Cage, Kathy Acker, Amos Tutuola, Laurence Sterne, Francois Rabelais, Samuel Beckett, Denis Diderot, Christine Brooke-Rose. No prerequisite for graduate students. Prerequisite for undergraduates is Fiction 2, or by special permission of the instructor. This course counts toward the Creative Writing Concentration.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; WR F

Section 01

Craft of Fiction: Fiction and the Visual
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