WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2011-2012       Home       Archive       Search
The Rise of the Novel
ENGL 210
Fall 2011
Section: 01  

The novel as we know it was first written in 18th-century England. The real questions are, How and why? Were novels first written by white men, expressing the attitudes and capitalizing on the reading practices of an emergent middle class? Or did they evolve from a somewhat less respectable tradition of romance writing by and for women? Did novelistic prose draw on scientific and economic discourses as it naively sought to present a realistic picture of the world? Or was the genre playfully self-aware, from its very origins, of the difficult relationship between reality and language? This course will explore some of the complexities of the "rise of the novel," one of the most important and oft-told tales of literary history. As we read fictions full of criminals, love-letters, scandals, and satirical self-referentiality, we will think about the differences between early novels and the not-quite novels that preceded them. We will focus on how novels work through plot, character, and realistic prose, but we will also consider how critical narratives like the "rise of the novel" work. How do these narratives help us, as novel readers today, understand our relationship to the period and to the novel as a form?

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Writing
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Brit Lit)(ENGL-TLF Conc)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on APR-23-2014
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459