A Couple Openended Novels

Autumn 2016-2017


Stephen C. Meredith

This course will consider two (or in the spirit of openendedness) three novels by modern whatistheterm or postmodern or postpostmodern, openended novels—by writers, all of whom, to some extent, are artistic descendants of James Joyce. One of the novels will be Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. This will be paired (?tripled?, so maybe a trigon not a couple) with the following: White Noise by Don DeLillo and Zazie Dans le Metro by Raymond Queneau. (There were other possibilities: Life: A User’s Manual by George Perec; Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon…). So like but then, the themes of the course will be: the postmodern (?postpostmodern?) dysfunctional family; ecodisaster; depression; prozac and its buddies; addiction and OCD; language: to proscribe (or prescribe) or not; the fear of death; and (natch) the problem of evil in a morally leveled ethical landscape. (B)