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American Literature 3 - II

Class at Faculty of Arts |



From the 1920s (Quinn, Ulmanová, Roraback 8 weeks)

The following themes are discussed: Lost Generation, Southern Literature, War Novel, Beat Generation, American Jewish Literature, Afro-American Literature, Contemporary American Poetry, Contemporary American Drama, Twentieth-Century American Fiction.

SEMINAR - Erik Roraback:


To study in some detail works in four genres by six writers and the movements they helped to spawn from post-1945 American literary and cultural history. Some outstanding critical and theoretical work on our target writers will also be used.


Houston A. Baker, Jr.: Excerpts pp. 60-63 and 172-99 in Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: A Vernacular Theory (1984).

Roland Barthes: "The Death of the Author" pp. 142-48 from trans. in Image, Music, Text (Hill and Wang, 1977, Twentieth printing 1998).

Ralph Ellison: Invisible Man (1952).

Toni Morrison: Beloved (1987).

Thomas Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49 (1966).

J. Kerry Grant: A Companion to the Crying of Lot 49 (Georgia, 1994), text in the course reader for consultation or for photocopying.

Jacqueline Rose: "Daddy" pp. 205-38 in The Haunting of Sylvia Plath (Harvard, 1991) in the course reader.

Caroline M. Woidat: "Talking Back to Schoolteacher: Morrison's Confrontation with Hawthorne in Beloved," pp. 181-200 in Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches, ed. Nancy J. Peterson (Johns Hopkins, 1997) in the course reader.

The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2.

"The Voice of the Poet: Sylvia Plath reading from her own work": 60 minutes (1999).

Director Elia Kazan's film starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, A Streetcar Named Desire (USA, 1951), will also be shown in our study of Tennessee Williams's play of the same title. 131 minutes.


To receive credit for the seminar students must have no more than three absences and must produce an essay of 2000-3000 words (pp. 7-10); a written proposal regarding this essay (including a working bibliography using relevant critical matter in the English department library and in the National library) must be submitted and discussed with the instructor before the paper will be accepted.

SEMINAR - Roberta Fernandez