ENGLISH 452 - Studies in Literature, 1830-Present
Section: 002 Fiction and Reality
Term: WN 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Novels are fictional—that is, explicitly made-up stories about imaginary characters—yet they typically strive to convince their readers they are true to life. Taking this paradox as our starting point, this course will explore such questions as: What techniques do novelists use to make their novels seem realistic? What understanding of reality do novels assume or promote? How have these techniques and these understandings changed over time? What are the ethical, political, and affective benefits and pitfalls of using novels as a lens through which to view the real world?

We will read a series of novels from the second half of the nineteenth and early decades of the twentieth centuries, along with related critical and theoretical work. The centerpiece of the course will be Middlemarch, by George Eliot (Marian Evans): Eliot was the first English novelist to use the term “realism,” and Middlemarch is widely considered the greatest realist novel in English (and the greatest British novel of all, if you believe a recent BBC poll of experts). Other likely texts include Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles; H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds; and Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (#2 in that poll!). Depending on class interest, we may add or swap in a couple of other authors, such as Charles Dickens and (jumping ahead to the twenty-first century) Ian McEwan or the newest Nobel Prize laureate, Kazuo Ishiguro.

ENGLISH 452 - Studies in Literature, 1830-Present
Schedule Listing
002 (REC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0141439548
Middlemarch, Author: George Eliot. Edited with an introduction and notes by Rosemary Ashton., Publisher: Penguin Books Repr. 2003
ISBN: 0199538298
New Grub Street, Author: George Gissing ; edited with an introduction and notes by John Goode., Publisher: Oxford University Press Oxford wor 2008
ISBN: 0140439056
A Christmas carol and other Christmas writings, Author: Charles Dickens ; with introduction and notes by Michael Slater., Publisher: Penguin [14th prin 2003
ISBN: 0156907399
To the lighthouse, Author: Virginia Woolf ; foreword by Eudora Welty., Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1st Harves 1989
ISBN: 9781250007650
Train dreams, Author: Denis Johnson., Publisher: Picador 1st Picado 2012
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