The Englightment Rise of the Novel
The central literary event of the Enlightenment is the emergence of the novel as the most influential literary genre of the modern era. In this course we will study the many different kinds of novels invented in this early epoch of print media entertainment. The early novelists did not think they were writes books merely to distract and entertain their readers. Instead they fashioned novels to enable their readers to question, to know, to discover new and novel things. But rather than creating a separate virtual reality, novels blended reality with fiction in order to probe, engage, know and augment reality.
In this class we will read three important early travel narratives: Behn's Oroonoko, Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, and Swift's Gulliver's Travels (along with some early journalism); we will follow with a libertine novel seduction, Foster's The Coquette, and one of the greatest early gothic thrillers, Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland.
Requirements: class participation, 2 short papers, a midterm and a final.