History of the Novel

Autumn 2016-2017


Maud Ellmann

This course approaches the history of the novel through detailed study of at least one masterpiece from each of the last four centuries from the 18th through the 21st. We will also study shorter works of fiction and key works of narrative theory, along with films based on some of the set texts. We’re likely to begin with Choderlos de Laclos’s Dangerous Liaisons (1782), which has inspired dozens of film and television spin-offs; we’ll then move on to the 19th century with works by Austen and Flaubert; to the 20th century with James and Nabokov; and to the 21st century with Tom McCarthy and other writers. Course requirements include two papers and regular Chalk posts, in addition to written exercises in class and participation in discussion sections. (B, F, G)