ENGL S-249 Summer Seminar: (Very) Contemporary American Fiction
Thirty years ago David Foster Wallace described his generation as obsessed with "a social Now that admits neither passion about the future nor a curiosity about the past." This course reads some of the most vital work being done in American fiction to ask how we today experience, or want to experience, time. What kinds of temporal lags or leaps does fiction afford us? Why and whence this obsession with the Now? How are questions of identity knitted to our histories, present circumstances, and hopes for the future? Each book is paired with a review or critical essay. Students complete a creative project exploring their own experience of time, both in the course and out.