Fall 2012 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
"Fantasy and Fantastic Literature" - This seminar will begin with a historical overview of fantasy from the late Renaissance until the 19th-century. The class will then read three 19th century masterpieces, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto," and Jules Verne's "20,000 leagues under the sea." In the second part of the semester we will examine the neo-fantastic and its relation to surrealism and magic realism in selected 20th century works, beginning with Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," and the "Ficciones" of Jorge Luis Borges. Topics will include the Borgesian fantasy, the surrealist short story (Cortazar), magical realism (Gabriel Garcia Márquez), post-colonial strategies of the fantastic (Timothy Findley), and the incredulous narrative (Martel). Attention will be given to relevant critical writings, particularly Todorov's The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre, and Monleon's A Specter is Haunting Europe: A Sociological approach to the Fantastic.
Gabriel García Marquez, "The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and her Souless Grandmother"
Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto"
Julio Cortazar, "Blow-Up and Other stories"
Roald Dahl, "Book of Ghost Stories"
Haruki Murakami, "The Elephant vanishes: Stories"
Mary Shelley, "Frankenstein"
Jules Verne, "20,000 leagues under the sea"
Oscar Wilde, "The portrait of Dorian Gray"
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Two 5-page papers; midterm and final exams; a class presentation.