SubjectsSubjects(version: 867)
Course, academic year 2019/2020
Contemporary Novel: Post-2000 - AAALE018AE
Title: Contemporary Novel: Post-2000
Guaranteed by: International Office (21-ZO)
Faculty: Faculty of Arts
Actual: from 2017
Semester: winter
Points: 0
E-Credits: 5
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:0/2 Ex [hours/week]
Capacity: unknown / unknown (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Is provided by: AAALE018A
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: Mgr. David Vichnar, Ph.D.
Class: Exchange - 09.2 General and Comparative Literature
Last update: Mgr. David Vichnar, Ph.D. (05.09.2019)
David Vichnar, PhD (
Office Hours: Mon & Wed 3-3.45 pm (Room 219b);
Elective M.A. Course (Tue 12.30-14.00);
Program in Critical & Cultural Theory;
Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures (Room 111)

The course will explore a range of Anglophone novelists of the past 20 years, whose work has been described by many critics as “experimental” and continuing the unfinished project of the historical avant-garde. Departing from an introductory lecture on "what ‘was’ postmodernism?", the course will consider how the postmodernist project of “incredulity towards metanarratives” has been pursued in the works of innovative writers of the past two decades. Topics covered include textuality in the age of hypertext, critical fiction in the age of pseudo-politics, literature of simulation, etc. Authors dealt with include Daniela Cascella, Joshua Cohen, Mark Z. Danielewski, Jennifer Egan, Kenneth Goldsmith, Stewart Home, Chris Kraus, Alan Moore, Lynne Tillman, David Foster Wallace, and—paradoxically if also compulsorily—Thomas Pynchon.


Oct 1 Introduction: The Novel Post-2000; A Report on Knowledge

Oct 8 David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (1997) – excerpts; “E Unibus Pluram: Television & US Fiction” (1993)

Oct 15 Chris Kraus, I Love Dick (1997); Hatred of Capitalism: A Semiotext(e) Reader, eds. Kraus & Lotringer

Oct 22 Kenneth Goldsmith, Fidget (2000); Uncreative Writing (2011)

Oct 29 Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000)

Nov 5 Stewart Home, 69 Things to Do With a Dead Princess (2002); “Assault on Culture” (1991)

Nov 12 Iain Sinclair, Edge of the Orison (2005)

Nov 19 Lynne Tillman, American Genius, A Comedy (2006)

Nov 26 Joshua Cohen, Witz (2010)

Dec 3. Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010)

Dec 10 Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge (2013)

Dec 17 Alan Moore, Jerusalem (2016)

Jan 7 Conclusion/Reserve

All of the primary reading will be available from the faculty Moodle system for the students to study as part of their weekly readings.

The in-class presentation should last around 30 minutes (followed by a 15-min Q&A) and should be focused solely on a close reading of the text in question (i.e., no lengthy biographical summaries, no paraphrases of extant critical accounts). Every presenter should, in reasonable advance (by Sunday noon), assign the rest of the class a particular passage from the work-to-be-presented (50 pages), on which his/her presentation and subsequent discussion should be focused. In response to the presentation, each member of the audience should form a question to the presenter in the Q&A session after each presentation.

The final seminar paper shall have the scope of 2,500 words (for a non-graded paper), or 4,000 words (for a graded paper) and will be due by the end of January 2019. Individual deadline extensions are possible, but need to be discussed with the lecturer in reasonable advance. N.B. Students need to discuss their final paper topics, bibliography, etc. with the lecturer ahead of the end of the course, i.e. in mid-December.

Students will be given their credit for presence at, and active participation in, a minimum 10 sessions (of 12 total), as well as their final paper (50%).
N.B. Due to Departmental policy, only MA students are allowed to enroll for the graded paper credit option.
N.B. for Erasmus students: you can only enroll for the non-graded/Zápočet credit option; however, should your home university demand it, you can consequently receive a “grade” for your overall performance.
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