Short Story

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Discipline CoreSOL2EN3224

Semester and Year Offered: Semester III, Monsoon Semester 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr. Bhoomika Meiling

Email of course coordinator: Bhoomika[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Course Objectives/Description:

The short story formally acquired its name only in 1884 when Brander Matthew, the author of The Philosophy of Short-story coined the term though short stories had existed and been popular for almost a century by then. Also, most oral literatures did create and share stories much before the written form became popular. This course focuses on short story, a form which despite having very ancient roots has gained a formal acknowledgement fairly recently. It is a survey course which explores the origins of the short story in the Euro-American and Indian milieu through the study of stories written by some representative authors of the genre. Along with short stories, some essays and musings on the form of the short story will also be read to explore the theoretical moorings of the genre. The course also seeks to engage the students with some modern Indian short stories which will form the basis of their term papers and other assessments.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate disciplinary knowledge of the form and history of short story.
  2. Identify and relate to some representative short stories.
  3. Demonstrate critical thinking about the writings of some prominent modern critics and writers on short fiction.
  4. Appreciate and value the plurality and multiculturalism of the short story tradition.
  5. Apply research skills to source materials for class presentations and assessment tasks.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1:Experiments-

  • Brothers Grimm- ‘Hansel and Gretel’, 1812
  • Washington Irving- ‘Rip Van Winkle’, 1819
  • E.T.A. Hoffmann- ‘The Sandman’, 1817
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne- ‘Young Goodman Brown’, 1835
  • Hans Christian Andersen- ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, 1837
  • Edgar Allen Poe- ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’, 1839
  • Nikolai Gogol- ‘The Overcoat’, 1842
  • Ivan Turgenev- ‘Byezhin Prairie’, 1852
  • Herman Melville- ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener’, 1853

Module 2: Early Short Stories-

  • Guy de Maupassant- ‘Boule de Suif’, 1880
  • George Egerton- ‘A Cross line’, 1893
  • Kate Chopin- ‘Desiree’s Baby’, 1893
  • Anton Chekhov- ‘The Lady with the Pet Dog’, 1899
  • Jack London- ‘To Build a Fire’, 1902
  • Rudyard Kipling- ‘Mrs. Bathurst’, 1904

Module 3: Short Story in Twentieth Century-

  • Saki- ‘The Lumber Room’, 1914
  • Ryunosuke Akutagawa- ‘Rashomon’, 1915
  • Katharine Mansfield- ‘The Garden Party’, 1922
  • William Faulkner- ‘Barn Burning’, 1939
  • Jorge Luis Borges- ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’, 1941
  • Julio Cortazar- ‘End of the Game’,
  • Eudora Welty- ‘Why I Live at the P.O.’, 1941
  • The Lottery

Module 4: Early Short Story in India-

  • Rabindranath Tagore- ‘Kabuliwala’, 1917
  • Prem Chand- ‘The Shroud’, 1936
  • Intizar Hussain- ‘An Unwritten Epic’, 1952
  • Mohammad Basheer- ‘Walls’, 1965

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Class Presentation (40%),
  • Term Paper (30%)
  • End-Term Examination (30%).

Secondary Readings:

  • Nikolai Gogol, ‘On Realism’
  • Edgar Allen Poe, ‘The Philosophy of Composition’
  • Brander Matthew, Selections from The Philosophy of Short Story
  • Henry James, ‘The Art of Fiction’
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ‘Why I wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”’
  • Guy de Maupassant, ‘The Realist Method’
  • Frank O’Connor, ‘The Lonely Voice’
  • Prem Chand, ‘SahityakaUddeshya’
  • Nadine Gordimer, ‘How the Short Story Differs from the Novel’
  • Adrian Hunter, ‘The Yellow Book Circle and the 1890s avant-garde’ in The Short Story in English.
  • Jorge Sacido, Modernism, Postmodernism and the Short Story in English
  • VioricaPatea, Short Story Theories: A Twenty-first Century Perspective
  • FarhatIftekharrudin’s co-edited collection The Postmodern Short Story: Forms and Issues

A secondary reading list will also be provided. Term paper and presentation topics may be chosen from that list.