Major Authors

Major Authors

This class studies three major works by two classic novelists of the English language.  It focuses on a critical decade in the history of the novel: 1870-1880.

We’ll begin with one of the greatest novels of them all: George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1871-72), a masterpiece of fictional realism depicting the intricate webs of connection binding people together in community and history. Next we’ll examine Eliot’s subsequent (and last) novel, Daniel Deronda (1874-76), which pushes the boundaries of realism, exploring territory hitherto uncharted by this type of fiction. Last we’ll take up Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady (1880), a novel that rewrites the basic plot of Deronda in attempt to set the novel genre on a different course – toward Modernism, with its explorations in psychology (“stream of consciousness”) and formal experimentation.

Student work will involve frequent short response papers on readings, a brief oral report or two, and a creative project at the semester’s end.

Provides a workshop environment for understanding interactive narrative (print and digital) through critical writing, narrative theory, and creative practice. Covers important multisequential books, hypertexts, and interactive fictions. Students write critically, and give presentations, about specific works; write a short multisequential fiction; and develop a digital narrative system, which involves significant writing and either programming or the structuring of text. Programming ability helpful.