ENGL-253-01 Beckett, Borges, and Nabokov
Spring for 2011-2012
In his seminal 1967 article “The Literature of Exhaustion,” John Barth identifies Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, and Vladimir Nabokov as the standard bearers of the new literary tradition. For Barth, Beckett, Borges, and Nabokov are artists who are technically up to date and yet able to speak to the human condition as few others. This course will examine the literary works of these three authors and their respective roles in ushering in the literary tradition we now call postmodernism. We will explore the literary and cultural contexts of their writing, a selection of their major works, and the narrative and dramatic techniques of each. Readings will include Three Novels: Malloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable, Waiting for Godot, The Garden of Forking Paths, The Aleph, Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada, or Ardor.
Prerequisites: ENGL 040, 041, 042, or 043; or previously cross-listed Gateways from other departments.
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