Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story—what exactly is a novella? A concise and well-structured narrative, often realistic and satiric in tone, the novella influenced the development of the short story and the novel throughout Europe. Originating in Italy during the Middle Ages, the novella was based on local events that were humorous, political, or amorous in nature and often were gathered into collections along with anecdotes, legends, and romantic stories. Writers such as Boccaccio developed the novella into a psychologically subtle and highly structured short tale, often using a frame story to unify the narratives around a common theme. Chaucer introduced the novella to England with *The Canterbury Tales*, whose realistic content and form influenced the development of the English novel in the 18th century and the short story in the 19th. The novella flourished in Germany in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries in the works of writers such as Kleist, Goethe, Mann, and Kafka. This course will not only follow the path of the novella through the authors mentioned but will also consider works by Aphra Behn, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Paul Auster, and Stephen King, who has called the novella “an ill-defined and disreputable literary banana republic.” Requirements: class attendance & participation, oral presentation, and 2-3 writing assignments.