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LIT 65 — Great 20th-Century Short-Fiction Authors

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 29—Dec 8
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 1
Units: 2
Tuition: $520
Instructor(s): Michael Krasny
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on November 24
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Sep 29—Dec 8
10 weeks
Refund Date
Oct 1
2 Units
Michael Krasny
Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on November 24
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
In this course, we will concentrate on stories by major fiction writers of the 20th century. We will grapple with the reasons why certain storytellers and specific stories across the last century continue to stand out above most others, endure, and be widely read and taught. How do we determine what makes a short story masterpiece and how much of that determining has to do with traditional canonical and even time-worn considerations versus individual reckonings? Emphasis will be on close readings and textual analysis. Through lectures and discussions, we will discuss style and craft as well as the aesthetics and distinctiveness of the short story genre. Major questions related to literary traditions as well as national, cultural, and racial differences will also be discussed, as will the central question of the nature of the overall zeitgeists of the 20th century and preeminent motifs and leitmotifs.

Authors will include Anton Chekhov, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, Franz Kafka, Gabriel García Márquez, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Grace Paley, and Margaret Atwood. Selected critical writing and commentary will also be included in course reading assignments.

Professor of English, Emeritus, SF State; Former Host of Forum, KQED Radio

Michael Krasny is a literary critic and scholar as well as a celebrated broadcast journalist. He is the author of many books, including Off Mike, Spiritual Envy, and Let There Be Laughter; the coauthor of Sound Ideas; and the creator and presenter of the audio lecture series "Masterpieces of Short Fiction."

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer, Tenth (ISBN 9781319105600)