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The Art of the Novella

ENGL 460.640
instructor(s):
R 5:30-8:30

Too short too 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 the Middle Ages, the novella was based on local events, either humorous, political, or amorous in nature. Writers such as Boccaccio developed the novella into a psychologically subtle and highly structured short tale, while the realistic content and form of Chaucer’s *The Canterbury Tales* 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 final project.