This course presents America's major writers of short fiction in the 20th century. We will begin with Willa Cather's "Paul's Case" in 1905 and proceed to the masters of High Modernism, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Porter, Welty, Ellison, Nabokov, on through the next generation, O'Connor, Pynchon, Roth, Mukherjee, Coover, Carver, and end with more recent work by Danticat, Tan and the microfictionists. Our initial effort with each text will be close reading, from which we will move out to consider questions of ethnicity, gender and psychology.
This course fulfills the Humanities requirement.
William Veeder is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English Language and Literature and the College. He has taught courses on American and British Gothic literature of the 19th century, contemporary fiction, and on specific figures such as Henry James and Ambrose Bierce. He is the author or coauthor of various books such as Mary Shelley & Frankenstein: the Fate of Androgyny; Henry James, the Lessons of the Master: Popular Fiction and Personal Style in the Nineteenth Century; The Woman Question: Society and Literature in Britain and America, 1837-1883; and Henry James: Lessons of the Master as well as essays on 19th and 20th-century Anglo- American gothic texts, psychoanalysis, gender issues, and popular culture.