In The Art of Fiction, David Lodge writes,
“Character is arguably the most important single component of the novel … yet
(it) is probably the most difficult.”
How do we talk
about character in literature? Why are we drawn to one, more than another? Are
we looking for a portrayal that in some way complements our understanding of
human nature in our “real” world, or one that challenges it – or both, often at
the same time? Equally, how do we write “good” characters? These are some of
the questions we’ll tackle in this course, through reading novels in a range of
styles and from a range of places. Short stories may also be included. Though
this is primarily a course that focuses on critical reading and writing, you
will also be encouraged to submit an original work of creative writing.
Class requirements will
include: participation in class discussions, quizzes on assigned texts;
reports/response papers on readings and discussions; individual and/or group
presentations on each book; three formal critical essays; one original work of
Texts: Toni Morrison BELOVED; David Guterson
SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS; Betool Khedairi ABSENT; Indra Sinha ANIMAL’S PEOPLE;
Audrey Niffeneger TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE; Kent Haruf PLAINSONG; Mark Haddon THE
CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME.
All text will be
available at Revolution Books.