jean toomer

If you were teaching a class on American experimental fiction, what texts would you choose, and why?

My apologies to Jereme, who recently commented something along the lines of “htmlgiant is like a teacher’s lounge,” but since I spent the weekend putting together course proposals for next year, I thought I’d share one of the possible reading lists I devised for my “Introduction to American Experimental Fiction” course. You’ll notice that all of the selections are on the shorter side <300 pages. This is crucial, so that I can cover a bunch of different texts. Nothing is set in stone yet, so I would love to hear what you would add or subtract from this list, and why:

Ishmael Reed – Mumbo Jumbo
William S. Burroughs – The Soft Machine
Kathy Acker – Blood and Guts in High School
Carole Maso – Aureole
Jean Toomer – Cane
David Markson – This Is Not A Novel
Gertrude Stein – Tender Buttons
Ben Marcus – The Age of Wire and String

*As a bonus, my wife found this cool database of syllabi for American Lit courses from professors at various universities (including a Poetics syllabus from Susan Howe for a course on “Sexuality and Space in 17th – 19th Century American Literature.”

Behind the Scenes / 217 Comments
January 26th, 2010 / 5:29 pm