Techniques of Fiction
This is a literature course designed for fiction writers and students interested in reading both canonical works of fiction and contemporary fiction from a craft perspective. We will read the novels and stories of such authors as Henry James, Earnest Hemingway, Virginia Wolff, Franz Kafka, Jane Smiley, and Jhumpa Lahiri, among others, and explore how these authors employ the tools of narrative fiction - exposition, plot dialogue, setting, point of view, character development, etc. In addition to considering the elements of craft, the course will explore several literary traditions - realism, minimalism, and fantastical literature - in order to understand how these traditions utilize the techniques of fiction to construct vastly different fictional worlds. Though this is not a creative writing course that makes use of workshop, students will be asked to write both a traditional analytical essay as well as a work of fiction, a story or extended scene, in the style of one of the authors we will be discussion during the semester.