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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 WEEK 1: Margaret Oliphant, The Library Window
WEEK 2: Muriel Spark: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
WEEK 3: Edith Wharton: The House of Mirth
WEEK 4: James Salter: A Sport and A Pastime
WEEK 5: Toni Morrison: Jazz
WEEK 6: Louise Erdrich: Tracks
WEEK 7: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Americanah
WEEK 8: Abstract/Commentary due; Reading catch-up & essay research week
WEEK 9: Patricia Duncker, Hallucinating Foucault
WEEK 10: Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

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
Not being delivered
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
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Allyson Stack
Tel: (0131 6)50 4290
Course secretaryMr Callum Lennie
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