LIT 161: BRITISH COMMONWEALTH FICTION

Duke University, Fall 1999



Professor Kenneth Surin
114 Art Museum Building, East Campus
Tel# 684-4364
e-mail: kenneth.surin@duke.edu
home page: http://www.duke.edu/~ksurin/

Office Hours: please sign up on sheets on my office door or make an appointment



OBJECTIVES

The class will be run as a seminar, though in the first part of each class the instructor will speak of the salient features of the topic(s) set for that particular day. There is relatively little reading for each class. This is so that we can work slowly and thoroughly. A lot of emphasis is placed on discussing the details and intricacies of the readings, so they must be done. As in every subject, there is some terminology to be learned. It may take you a week or so to become familiar with most of it, so be patient with yourself. You must always see me if you have any concerns. The books for this course can be purchased from the Textbook Store in the Bryan Center (tel: 684-6793). There are several editions of some of the works used for this class. To ensure that we will be reading the standard editions, please use the editions stocked in the Textbook Store.

READINGS AND MOVIES

The following novels will be read:

J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

J. M. Coetzee, Life and Times for Michael K

Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay

Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist

Nadine Gordimer, Burger's Daughter

Kazuo Ishiguro, Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled

V.S. Naipaul, A House for Mr. Biswas

V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

The following movies will be viewed:
Remains of the Day

The English Patient

In addition, one class will be given over to a set of theoretical readings on the subject of orientalism.

REQUIREMENTS:

CLASS SCHEDULE

Tu Aug 31 Introductions

Th Sept 2 V.S. Naipaul, A House for Mr. Biswas, Part One

Tu Sept 7 V.S. Naipaul, A House for Mr. Biswas, Part Two

Th Sept 9 V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River, I and II

Tu Sept 14 V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River, III and IV

Th Sept 16 Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist, beginning to p. 82

Tu Sept 21 Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist, p. 84 to end

Th Sept 23 Nadine Gordimer, Burger's Daughter, beginning to p. 108

Tu Sept 28 Nadine Gordimer, Burger's Daughter, p. 109 to end

Th Sept 30 J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

Tu Oct 5 J. M. Coetzee, Life and Times for Michael K, Part I

Th Oct 7 J. M. Coetzee, Life and Times for Michael K, Parts II and III

Tu Oct 12 NO CLASS- FALL BREAK

Th Oct 14 Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay, Chs 1-4

Tu Oct 19 Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay, Ch 5-end

Th Oct 21 Kazuo Ishiguro, Remains of the Day, beginning to p. 126

Tu Oct 26 Kazuo Ishiguro, Remains of the Day, p. 129-end

Th Oct 28 Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient, Chs 1-3

Tu Nov 2 Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient, Ch 4-end

Th Nov 4 Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled, Part I

Tu Nov 9 Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled, Parts II, III and IV

Th Nov 11 NO CLASS

Tu Nov 16 Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things, Chs. 1-10

Th Nov 18 Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things, Chs. 11-end

Tu Nov 23 Theoretical readings by Edward Said, Dennis Porter, and Aijaz Ahmad on Orientalism (these readings will be made available in class)

Th Nov 25 NO CLASS- THANKSGIVING BREAK

Tu Nov 30 Class Presentations

Th Dec 2 Class Presentations

Tu Dec 7 Class Presentations

Th Dec 9 Class Wrap-up

INTERNET LINKS

Here are some useful Internet links for the topics covered in this class:

Also very useful is the MLA (Modern Language Association) Bibliography, which is available as a database in the Duke Library System:

Duke University Online Catalogue