Postgraduate Course: Acts of Story-Telling: Narrator, Text, Audience (ENLI11134)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This 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.
WEEK 2: Margaret Oliphant, The Library Window
WEEK 3: Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
WEEK 4: Muriel Spark, The Driver¿s Seat
WEEK 5: James Salter, A Sport and a Pastime
WEEK 6: Toni Morrison, Jazz
WEEK 7: Louise Erdrich, Tracks
WEEK 8: Percival Everett, Erasure
WEEK 9: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
WEEK 10: Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
WEEK 11: Lisa Olstein, Lost Alphabet
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)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Students will acquire knowledge of a range of fictional texts in which story-telling is thematized as a practice.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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
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.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Patrick Errington
|Course secretary||Miss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030