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American Fiction and Memory

ENGL 089.001
TR 9-10:30

This course will introduce you to a wide range of American fiction from the 1790s to the present, including 19th-century classics like Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, and modern masterpieces like William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! and Toni Morrison's Beloved. Other authors will include Washington Irving, Lydia Maria Child, Philip K. Dick, Cynthia Ozick, Allen Barnett, and Leslie Marmon Silko. While enjoying these authors' tremendous diversity of style and subject matter, we'll be paying special attention to the relation between fiction and memory-a relation at the heart of American traditions of storytelling. And because the American experience of memory is so thoroughly bound up with the history of cinema, we will also screen a few particularly important examples, such as Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity, John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate, and Christopher Nolan's Memento. Students will write two short essays, plus mid-term and final exams.

fulfills requirements