2020 The Historical Novel: Reconstructing the Past from Waverley to Wolf Hall

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  • Course: 3.02.141
  • Time: Thursday 10-12h
  • Venue: A01 0-010 b
  • Course Description: The beginning of this summer term also marks the publication of Hilary Mantel's The Mirror & the Light, the third part in the Wolf Hall trilogy. With these bestselling and critically acclaimed titles, two Booker Prize wins and a world-wide fan base, Mantel has been at the centre of (1) a debate linking current Brexit politics with the English Reformation and (2) a resurgence of the historical novel. In this course, we will trace the beginnings and developments of the genre (from Waverly [1814] to Wolf Hall [2009]), its reconstructions of historical characters and settings (via a constructivist, New Historicist, postmodernist lense), as well as the scholarly contributions making sense of its appeal (from Lukacs to Borgmeier, Hutcheon, de Groot). Students are required to have read the two main novels and expand their experience with and knowledge of the genre by choosing a third novel (selection below) and studying secondary literature.

Please, buy and read the following novels:

  • Scott, Walter. Waverley; or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since. [1814] Ed. Claire Lamont. Oxford: OUP, 1998/2008/2015. (9780198716594)
  • Mantel, Hilary. Wolf Hall. [2009] London: Fourth Estate, 2010. (9780007230204)
  • as well as one of the following: [to be discussed]
  • Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities (1859) - preferably Penguin or Norton
  • Graves, Robert. I, Claudius (1934) - preferably Vintage
  • Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969) - preferably Vintage
  • Barnes, Julian. Flaubert's Parrot (1984) - preferably Vintage
  • Morrison, Toni. Beloved (1987) - preferably xx
  • Byatt, A.S. Possession (1990) - preferably xx
  • Chevalier, Tracy. Remarkable Creatures (2009) - preferably --

PLEASE NOTE: All primary materials will be made available at the CvO bookshop. Should the semester be postponed due to current circumstances, please use the time to immerse yourself in the reading of the first two novels.

  • Additional materials for preparation, as well as the detailed syllabus, will be made available here and/or on Stud.IP. There will be a Handapparat in our library.
  • Course Requirements for 6 KP: 'active participation' via (1) textual analysis assignments + (2) three RPOs (1 page each) + (3) one seminar paper (15 pp), based on the topic of one of your RPOs.


Session 1: 23 April 2020: Introduction to the History of the Historical Novel

  • Course syllabus, requirements, etc.
  • Introductory Texts:
  • Keen, Suzanne. "The Historical Turn in British Fiction" (2006)
  • cf. online links below

Session 2:

  • Topic: Textual Analysis
  • Primary Literature:
  • Context:
  • Secondary Reading:

Session 3:

  • Topic: Wolf Hall II
  • Primary Literature:
  • Context: History and Theory
  • Secondary Reading:

Session 4:

  • Topic: Wolf Hall III
  • Primary Literature:
  • Context: Genre
  • Secondary Reading:
  [Hand in RPO #1 until ]

Session 5:

  • Topic: Textual Analysis
  • Primary Literature: Scott, Waverley
  • Context:
  • Secondary Reading:

Session 6:

  • Topic: Reconstructing Scottish History
  • Primary Literature: Scott, Waverley
  • Context: History and Theory
  • Secondary Reading: Trevor-Roper, Hugh. "The Invention of Tradition: The Highland Tradition of Scotland." The Invention of Tradition. Eds. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1st. ed. 1983, repr. 2003. 15-42.

Session 7:

  • Topic: Reconstructing the History of the Historical Novel
  • Primary Literature: Scott, Waverley
  • Context: Genre
  • Secondary Reading: Borgmeier, Raimund. "Das Gattungsmodell: Sir Walter Scott, Waverley (1814)". Eds. Raimund Borgmeier and Bernhard Reitz. Der Historische Roman: 19. Jahrhundert. Heidelberg: Winter, 1984. 39-55.
  [Hand in RPO #2 until ]

Session 8:

  • Group Work / Theory and Methods I
  • Lukacs, The Historical Novel (1937/1983); read esp. xx-xx

Session 9:

  • Group Work / Theory and Methods II
  • de Groot, The Historical Novel (2010); read esp. xx-xx

Session 10:

  • Topic: [third text]
  • Primary Literature:
  • Context:
  • Secondary Reading:

Session 11:

  • Topic: [third text]
  • Primary Literature:
  • Context:
  • Secondary Reading:
  [Hand in RPO #3 until ]

Session 12:

  • Final Questions
  • evaluation

Session 13:

  • hand in your chosen and revised RPO
  • feedback on evaluation


  [Hand in research papers until 15 September 2020]

Tools

Primary Reading

Secondary Reading

(will be made available via Stud.IP, cf. also Handapparat)

  • Lukacs, Georg. The Historical Novel. [1937] Trans. Hanna and Stanley Mitchell. Introd. Frederic Jameson. Lincoln and London: U of Nebraska P, 1983.
  • Keen, Suzanne. "The Historical Turn in British Fiction" (2006)
  • de Groot, Jerome. The Historical Novel (2010)
  • Trevor-Roper, Hugh. "The Invention of Tradition: The Highland Tradition of Scotland." The Invention of Tradition. Eds. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1st. ed. 1983, repr. 2003. 15-42.
  • Borgmeier, Raimund. "Das Gattungsmodell: Sir Walter Scott, Waverley (1814)". Eds. Raimund Borgmeier and Bernhard Reitz. Der Historische Roman: 19. Jahrhundert. Heidelberg: Winter, 1984. 39-55.
  • Keen, Suzanne. "The Historical Turn in British Fiction" (2006)

Further Reading

cf. Stud.IP/Dateien

Quotes

Links