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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Postgraduate Course: Acts of Story-Telling: Narrator, Text, Audience (ENLI11134)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will challenge students to approach published works from the point of view of a practitioner and generate a discourse uniquely suited to analyzing fictional texts with an eye towards writing them. The course will deploy and foster such an analytic practice by examining fictional texts where the act of story-telling is explicitly incorporated into the narrative itself. By approaching fictional texts as acts of story-telling, we will examine selected works with a particular emphasis on how the interplay between narrator and audience shapes the story. Analyzing the dynamic relationship between story-teller and audience in each text, students will grapple with the crucial and complex role narrative voice plays in propelling a plot, developing characters, engaging readers, and inscribing 'meaning'.

This course is the dedicated fiction option course for the Creative Writing MSc, and places will be offered to students enrolled in the MSc in Creative Writing in the first instance.
Course description Weekly Schedule:
WEEK 2: Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
WEEK 3: Muriel Spark: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
WEEK 4: Edith Wharton: House of Mirth
WEEK 5: James Salter: A Sport and A Pastime
WEEK 6: Toni Morrison: Jazz
WEEK 7: Louise Erdrich: Tracks
WEEK 8: John Fowles: The French Lieutenant¿s Woman
WEEK 9: Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita
WEEK 10: Italo Calvino: Invisible Cities
WEEK 11: Clarice Lispector: The Hour of the Star

Additional readings, largely drawn from the texts listed below, will also be assigned. These assignments will take the form of theoretical and critical writings and will be distributed the previous week in class. Students are strongly urged to purchase the above-listed texts, and used copies of these books tend to be widely and inexpensively available. That said, most of them should be readily available in the library as well.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Weekly Reading Journal: Students will keep a weekly reading journal in which they respond to assigned texts as a writer. That is to say, these responses should focus on questions of plot, character, narrative voice, point-of-view, and other issues of craft that students might be struggling with in their own work, delving in a detailed and critical manner into how these published works inform such issues. This journal will take the form of 250-300 word responses (one page single spaced or 2 page double-spaced) that are uploaded onto LEARN before noon on the day of the class in which a particular text will be discussed. The tutor will read these in advance of the class. These responses will only be read by the tutor, not the class as a whole.

Students will be required to write a 4,000 word essay in response to one of the five questions put forth by the instructor, or a response to a question put forth by students themselves with prior approval from the instructor. Students are encouraged to meet one-on-one with course tutor to discuss their topics and proposed approach the latter half of the course. Citation format for final essays should adhere to the style guidelines set out on the English Literature website.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will acquire knowledge of a range of fictional texts in which story-telling is thematized as a practice.
  2. Be able to demonstrate familiarity with critical and theoretical debates about what role the reader plays in generating 'meaning' and gain an understanding of the different perspectives on prose fiction of reader, critic, and practitioner.
  3. Ability to locate and situate how point-of-view and narrative voice operate in a fictional text and analyze how the interplay between narrator and audience impacts other elements (plot, character, dialogue, setting, etc.). They will have been encouraged to develop a self-critical creative practice through reflection on the relationship between reading critically and writing creatively.
Reading List
Primary Texts:
Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
Muriel Spark: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome
James Salter: A Sport and A Pastime
Toni Morrison: Jazz
Louise Erdrich: Tracks
John Fowles: The French Lieutenant's Woman
Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita
Italo Calvino: Invisible Cities
Clarice Lispector: The Hour of the Star

Secondary Texts:
Adorno, Theodor W. Aesthetic Theory. Minneapolis, Minnesota UP: 1997.
Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Orion, 1964.
Calvino, Italo. Six Memos for the Next Millennium. Vintage, 1993.
Chamberlain, Daniel. Narrative Perspective in Fiction. Toronto UP, 1990.
Cixous, Hélène. Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing. New York, Columbia UP: 1994.
de Man, Paul. Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rosseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and
Proust. New Haven: Yale UP, 1979.
Derrida, Jacques. The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translations: Texts
and Discussions with Jacques Derrida, trans. Peggy Kamuf. New York: Schocken, 1986.
Ehrlich, Susan. Point of View: a linguistic analysis of literary style. London: Routledge, 1990.
Felman, Shoshana and Dori Laub. Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature,
Psychoalanysis, and History. Routledge, 1992.
Felman, Shoshana. What Does A Woman Want? Reading and Sexual Difference.
Johns Hopkins, UP, 1993.
Fish, Stanley. Is There a Text in this Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1980.
Gourevitch, Philip. The Paris Review Interviews. Canongate, 2009.
Hutcheon, Linda. Narcissistic Narrative: The Metafictional Paradox. Routledge, 1980.
James, Henry. The Letters of Henry James. Percy Lubbock, Ed. BiblioBazaar, 2009.
Johnson, Barbara. The Critical Difference: Essays in the Contemporary Rhetoric of Reading.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1980.
Lanser, Susan Sniader. Fictions of Authority: Women Writers and Narrative Voice. Cornell
UP, 1992.
Laplanche, John. Essays on Otherness. Ed. John Fletcher. Routledge, 1999.
Lucy, Niall. Postmodern Literary Theory: An Anthology. Blackwell: Oxford, 2000.
Morrison, Toni. What Moves at the Margin. UP Mississippi, 2008.
Sand, Georges. The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters. Hard Press, 2006.
Snaider, Susan. The Narrative Act: point of view in prose fiction. Princeton UP, 1981.
Stevick, Phillip, ed. The Theory of the Novel. New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1967.
Strachey, James. ¿Some Unconscious Factors in Reading¿, International Journal of Psycho-
Analysis, 2 (1930), pp. 130-43.
Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel. California UP, 1957.
Wharton, Edith. The Writing of Fiction. Scribner, 1924.
Zamora, Lois Parkingson and Wendy B. Faris, Eds. Magical Realism: Theory, History,
Community. Duke UP, 1995.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Valentina Bold
Course secretaryMiss Kara Mccormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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