Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

The Matrix Wasn't Built In A Day: The Question of the Real in Contemporary American Literature.

ENGL 274.601
instructor(s):
R 6-9

In this course well consider the relationship between the technological advancements of the second half of the twentieth-century and the construction of the real. Yet who writes the program that we might call reality (and who writes its viruses)? Well read a number of recent American texts that attempt to disrupt Americas master narratives and produce alternative realities. Our focus will be on printed texts, which will allow us to consider how language anticipates virtual realities. Have we arrived at the moment of the end of the real? Other topics might include: electronic mediation and simulation, the rupture of the relationship between subject and body, and the connection between the postmodern novel and rock n roll. Authors may include: Kathy Acker, Pat Cadigan, Ishmael Reed, Don DeLillo, William Gibson, Thomas Pynchon and Douglas Rushkoff. Well also watch the Wachowski Brothers The Matrix.