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American Fiction: The American Novel; Trash: The Novel

ENGL 089.001
instructor(s):
TR 12-1:30 pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 5: 19th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

Starting in the 19th Century, a genre of the novel arose around the globe that was widely reviled and wildly popular. Sometimes called the Dime Novel, the Yellow-Back, Railroad Literature, the Urban Mystery, or Pulp Fiction, this genre was one of the first examples of mass-produced culture. While these novels were dismissed and even suppressed by critics as trash—because they were full of sex, violence, gender defiance, racial crossing, and all manner of passing, deceit, and depravity—readers from all walks of life devoured them. We will study the 19th-century rise of this controversial, unruly, and salacious genre, reading such thrilling titles as Malaeska, The Indian Wife of the White Hunter; The Secret Service Ship; The Heroine of Tampico: or, Wildfire the Wanderer; The Mexican Spy: or, the Bride of Buena Vista; Inez, the Beautiful: or, Love on the Rio Grande; Deadwood Dick; Big Foot, the Guide; Dr. Quartz, and Dr. Quartz II!; and, closest to home, The Quaker City, or the Monks of Monk Hall: A Romance of Philadelphia Life.