The American Novel Since 1945

Yale Course , Spring 2008 , Prof. Amy Hungerford

49 students enrolled

Overview

Introductions - Richard Wright, Black Boy - Flannery OConnor, Wise Blood - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita - Guest Lecture by Andrew Goldstone - Jack Kerouac, On the Road - J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey - John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse - Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 - Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye - Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior - Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian - Philip Roth, The Human Stain - Edward P. Jones, The Known World - Students Choice Novel: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

Lecture 22: Edward P. Jones, The Known World

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        Lecture Details

        In the first of her two lectures on Edward P. Joness The Known World, Prof. Hungerford begins from the novels title, asking what counts as knowledge in the novel and why knowledge is central to the story. This leads to related questions who is a knower, and what can be known? Highlighting several different versions of how knowledge of the past is communicated through storytelling within the novel, she draws distinctions between Joness model of historical knowledge and that of other writers on the syllabus. Prof. Hungerford suggests that Jones revives a 19th century form of the novel when his narrator takes on a God-like omniscience, but unlike the 19th century novels narrators, Joness omniscient narrator provides little in the way of God-like consolation.

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