An intelligent, relevant, and lively new introduction to fiction builds on the success of its parent text, Understanding Literature. With accessible discussions of historical and cultural contexts and critical approaches, biographical information, and a stimulating table of contents, Understanding Fiction offers instructors and students an innovative option in anthologies. Accompanied by the Understanding Literature CD-ROM and Web Site, Understanding Fiction enriches the reading experience, enhances critical thinking, and promotes mastery in writing about fiction.
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Why Study Literature? I. Form and Content 1. Introduction: Reading Fiction Narrative Fiction Characteristics of Fiction The History of Prose Fiction Analyzing and Interpreting 2. Overview: The Formal Elements of Fiction Critical Perspectives: Formalism and New Criticism Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Birthmark" 3. Character Critical Perspective: Psychological Criticism Critical Perspective: Myth Criticism Stories About Character Herman Melville, "Bartleby the Scrivener" Sarah Orne Jewett, "The Flight of Betsey Lane" 4. Setting Critical Perspective: New Historicism Stories About Setting Edgar Allan Poe, "The Fall of the House of Usher" Guy de Maupassant, "Paul's Mistress" 5. Plot Mark Twain, "Story of the Bad Little Boy" Plot Versus Story Plot and Chronology Narrative Types of Plot Realism and Naturalism Jack London, "The Law of Life" Jack London, "To Build a Fire" Ambrose Bierce, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" 6. The Narrator and Point of View Point of View Critical Perspective: Gender and Point of View Critical Perspective: Secrets, Sexuality, and Interpretation Willa Cather, "Paul's Case" Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wall-Paper" Kate Chopin, "The Story of an Hour" 7. Theme Critical Perspective: Race Criticism Critical Perspective: Marxist Criticism Stories About Race and Class Alice Walker, "Everyday Use" Featured Writer: James Baldwin "Previous Condition" "Sonny's Blues" Issues of Class Tillie Olsen, "I Stand Here Ironing" II. Image, Style, Structure 8. Reading Image and Style Closely Critical Perspective: Semiotics Honore de Balzac, "Sarrasine" 9. Image, Motif, and Symbol Image and Motif Critical Perspective: On Imagery Joseph Conrad, "Heart of Darkness" Modernism E.M. Forster, "The Road from Colonus" Katherine Mansfield, "The Garden-Party" D.H. Lawrence, "The Horse-Dealer's Daughter" James Joyce, "Araby" Symbols Featured Writer: Virginia Woolf "The Symbol" "Kew Gardens" "The Introduction" 10. Language and Style Critical Perspective: On Style Critical Perspectives: Close Readings and Deconstructive Readings F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Babylon Revisited" Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants" Gertrude Stein, "Miss Furr and Miss Skeen" Style as Substance Featured Writer: William Faulkner "A Rose for Emily" "Golden Land" 11. Tone Critical Perspective: On Tone Stories About Tone Zora Neale Hurston, "Sweat" Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" W. S. Penn, "In Dreams Begins Reality" 12. Structure Critical Perspectives: Structuralism and Psychoanalytic Criticism Stories About Structure Chinua Achebe, "The Sacrificial Egg" Anita Desai, "Studies in the Park" Hanif Kureishi, "Blue, Blue Pictures of You" III. Reading and Interpreting 13. The Perils of Interpretation Edgar Allan Poe, "The Purloined Letter" Desire and Interpretation Critical Perspective: Reader Response Criticism Parables of Reading and Desire, or Seeing What You Want to See Franz Kafka, "A Hunger Artist" Jorge Luis Borges, "The Shape of the Sword" Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" Reading and Misreading Maria Cristina Mena, "The Vine-Leaf" Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, "The Hidden Woman" Dorothy Parker, "The Waltz" 14. Questions of Perception and Representation: Postmodernism Postmodernism Critical Perspective: On Postmodernism Julio Cortazar, "Blow-Up" Italo Calvino, "Mr. Palomar on the Beach: Reading a Wave" Michelle Cliff, "The Store of a Million Items" 15. Metanarrative Critical Perspective: On Metanarrative Rudolfo Anaya, "A Story" Joyce Carol Oates, "How I Contemplated the World from the Detroit House of Correction and Began My Life Over Again" Samuel Beckett, "The Calmative" Featured Writer: Salman Rushdie "The Free Radio" "At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers" 16. Intertextuality Collage and Pastiche Critical Perspective: An Example of Criticism Focused on Intertextuality Paul Auster, "Ghosts" Mark Leyner, Selections from My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist 17. Fiction Across Media: Film Fiction Film Adaptation, Translation, Transliteration Case Study: Blow Up Film Concepts 18. The Limits of Fiction: Autobiography Fiction and Nonfiction Mark Twain, from The Autobiography of Mark Twain Carl Van Vechten, "A Note on Breakfasts" Jean Rhys, "Chorus Girls" Chester Himes, from The Quality of Hurt W.S. Penn, "This Close, Coyote" Nicole Brossard, from Surfaces of Sense 19. Writing Communities: The Beats William S. Burroughs, "The Finger" Diane di Prima, from Memoirs of a Beatnik Jack Kerouac, "Essentials of Spontaneous Prose" Jack Kerouac, "The First Word: Jack Kerouac Takes a Fresh Look at Jack Kerouac" 20. Stories for Further Reading Anton Chekhov, "The Lady with the Dog" Katherine Mansfield, "This Flower" William Faulkner, "Barn Burning" Chester Himes, "Lunching at the Ritzmore" Hisaye Yamamoto, "Seventeen Syllables" Richard Wright, "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" Doris Lessing, "A Woman on the Roof" John Updike, "A & P" IV. Writing About Literature 21. Writing about Literature Getting Ready, Making Decisions Writing Revision and Final Thoughts 22. Writing about Fiction An Ongoing Conversation Drafting Your Essay Admissible Evidence Final Thoughts Sample Student Essay 23. Writing a Research Paper Prewriting Writing Revision Notes and Works Cited
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