English 690:  Postmodern Fiction

Orderly Disorders

Professor Joseph Conte

 

Sep 1: Introduction: Orderly Disorders and the Non-Narrative Tradition in Prose Fiction
Sep 8: Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow I. Edward Mendelson, "Gravity's Encyclopedia," in Bloom, ed. Modern Critical Interpretations: Gravity's Rainbow, pp. 29-52.
Sep 15: Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow II. Brian McHale, "Misreading Gravity's Rainbow," in Constructing Postmodernism, pp. 87-114.
Sep 22: John Hawkes, Travesty. David Porush, "Fictions as Dissipative Structures: Prigogine's Theory and Postmodernism's Roadshow," and Peter Stoicheff, "The Chaos of Metafiction," in Hayles, ed. Chaos and Order: Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science, pp. 54-99.
Sep 29: Kathy Acker, Empire of the Senseless. John Kuehl, "Entropy," in Alternate Worlds, pp. 251-67.
Oct 6: Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler. Brian McHale, "Chinese Box Worlds," in Postmodernist Fiction, pp. 112-30. Kathryn Hume, "Calvino's Framed Narrations," in The Review of Contemporary Fiction 6 (1986): 70-80.
Oct 13: Claude Simon, Triptych. Claude Simon Number, RCF 5 (1985).
Oct 20: Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch. Julio Cortázar Number, RCF 3 (1983).
Oct 27: Italo Calvino, The Castle of the Crossed Destinies. Calvino, "Prose and Anticombinatorics," in Motte, ed. Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature, pp. 143-52. Warren Motte, "Calvino's Combinatorics," in RCF 6 (1986): 81-87.
Nov 3: John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman. Linda Hutcheon, "Freedom Through Artifice," in Narcissistic Narrative, pp. 57-70.
Nov 10: Christine Brooke-Rose, Textermination. Christine Brook-Rose Number, RCF 9 (1989).
Nov 17: Milorad Pavic, Dictionary of the Khazars.
Dec 1: Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose. Eco, Postscript to The Name of the Rose. Brian McHale, "The (post)modernism of The Name of the Rose," in Constructing Postmodernism, pp. 145-64.
Dec 8: Walter Abish, Alphabetical Africa.


Required Texts:

Walter Abish, Alphabetical Africa (New Directions, 1974)
Kathy Acker, Empire of the Senseless (Grove Weidenfeld, 1988)
Christine Brooke-Rose, Textermination (Carcanet, 1991)
Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler (HBJ, 1979)
__________, The Castle of the Crossed Destinies (HBJ, 1969)
Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch (Pantheon, 1966)
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (Warner, 1980)
John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman (NAL-Dutton, 1969)
John Hawkes, Travesty (New Directions, 1976)
Milorad Pavic, Dictionary of the Khazars: A lexicon novel (male and female editions) (Vintage, 1989)
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin, 1973)
Claude Simon, Triptych (Riverrun, 1973)

Texts are available at Talking Leaves Bookstore, 3144 Main St.

Reserve List:

Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Interpretations: Gravity's Rainbow.
Eco, Umberto. The Aesthetics of Chaosmos: The Middle Ages of James Joyce.
__________. Postscript to The Name of the Rose.
Hayles, N. Katherine. Chaos and Order: Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science.
__________. Chaos Bound: Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science.
Hutcheon, Linda. Narcissistic Narrative: The Metafictional Paradox.
Kuehl, John. Alternate Worlds: A Study of Postmodern Antirealist American Fiction.
McHale, Brian. Constructing Postmodernism.
__________. Postmodernist Fiction.
Motte, Warren F., ed. Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature.

See also:

Julio Cortázar/John Hawkes Number, The Review of Contemporary Fiction 3 (1983).
Claude Simon Number, RCF 5 (1985).
Italo Calvino Number, RCF 6 (1986).
Christine Brook-Rose Number, RCF 9 (1989).

Course Requirements:

Seminar participants who are registered intensively will be required to make a twenty- to thirty-minute oral presentation that addresses the novel and criticial works assigned for that class meeting. A one page, single-spaced precis with an attached works cited should be prepared for distribution to the class.

A twenty page research paper that addresses one or more novels on the syllabus is also required of intensively registered students.

Last Revised Sunday, January 16, 2000
Copyright 2000 Joseph M. Conte. All rights reserved.