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Subject's code : 24413235
An overview of the basic concepts of the theory of the short story. The narrative elements of fiction and the main narrative strategies of short fiction. The emergence of the American short story. Washington Irving: “Rip Van Winkle” (1819).
Nathaniel Hawthorne: “The Minister’s Black Veil: A Parable” (1836). Herman Melville: “Bartleby, the Scrivener” (1853). Historical, theological, psychological, intertextual, and existentialist readings. “The power of blackness”: the dark side of human nature. The rendering of mental states and feelings. The breakdown of moral certainties. Ambivalence and ambiguity. Human isolation. Characterization. Imagery. Symbolism.
Edgar Allan Poe: “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842) and “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843). Poe’s concept of “unity of effect.” Fantasies of fictional terror. Horror as a central topic: supernatural horror versus psychological horror. Sources for “The Masque of the Red Death.” The unknowable mind: psychoanalytical interpretations of “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
Henry James: “The Real Thing” (1892). The exploration of the art of writing short fiction. James’s anti-mimetic theories. Working through suggestion and implication. The precedence of character over plot: “plotlessness” as a formal innovation and a marker of literariness. The contrast between reality and representation. The mobility of point of view.
Kate Chopin: “Désirée’s Baby” (1892), “La Belle Zoraïde” (1894), and “The Story of an Hour” (1894). Literary representations of gender, race and class conflicts. The depiction of power relationships. Chopin’s critique of patriarchal culture. Verbal economy. Binary oppositions. Subversive irony.