English 138. The 18th-Century English Novel

Instructor: Stephen Osadetz
Terms: Fall Term

Mondays & Wednesdays, 11-12 | Location: Barker 024

The rise of the novel, seen through eighteenth-century fiction by Defoe, Haywood, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, and Jane Austen. Through fiction, we can live out our highest aspirations and blackest fantasies; we can imaginatively enter the minds of others and inhabit strange, sometimes terrifying alternate¬† realities. The early novel was preoccupied with such possibilities for dislocation and change: what happens when a character ventures far from home, and how can someone rise or fall in the world? Alongside these issues, we will explore the paradoxes of “realism,” the problems of gender and class, and the sheer pleasure of reading fiction.

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