Thursday, November 2nd

Finish Mrs. Dalloway

Banfield, from Unspeakable Sentences: Narration and Representation in the Language of Fiction (McKeon 515-535), published 1983

Terms and Concepts“represented speech and thought“; difference between oral (SPEAKER and PRESENT) and literate (SELF and NOW) culture

Hite, “Tonal Cues and Uncertain Values: Affect and Ethics in Mrs. Dalloway.” Narrative 18.3 (2010): 249-275. (.pdf accessible through Galileo; the file is too large for me to link to it. If you’re on campus, you’ll be able to immediately link to it. If you’re off-campus, you’ll have to login to the library site. The pdf has a stable  URL is


Defamiliarization: a term derived from Russian formalism, which stressed the aesthetic power of literary language as opposed to language of the everyday. Formalists stress the “literariness” of aesthetic linguistic endeavors. “The primary aim of literature in thus foregrounding its linguistic medium, as Victor Shklovsky put it in an influential formulation, is to estrange or defamiliarize; that is, by disrupting the modes of ordinary linguistic discourse, literature ‘makes strange’ the world of everyday perception and renews the reader’s lost capacity for fresh sensation” (Abrams, “Formalism,” The Glossary of Literary Terms)

Defamiliarization “opens up spaces for ethical questioning without necessarily guiding readers to a definitive conclusion” (Hite 250)


Link to Mrs. Dalloway notebooks held by the British Library


Tuesday, November 7th

Ian McEwan, Atonement (Part One, 3-175)

Thursday, November 9th

Atonement, (Part Two, 179-250)

Discussion Question: 

McEwan is interested in the experience and representation of  Perception and Time in this novel, both at the level of theme and at the level of narrative technique. Focusing on either perception or time, choose one or two scenes and discuss how it is represented in the text on the level of both theme and narrative technique.

Saturday, November 11th

*Second Writing Assignment due at 8:00 pm via electronic submission*


Tuesday, November 14th

Atonement (Finish Novel, Part Three and “London, 1999”)
Hutcheon, from Historiographic Metafiction (McKeon 830-850), published 1988

Terms: Historiographic metafiction (844); event vs. fact (843)

D’Angelo, “‘To Make a Novel’: The Construction of a Critical Readership in Ian McEwan’s Atonement,” Studies in the Novel, vol. 41, no. 1, 2009, pp. 88-105. (pdf)

In-Class Writing

Kathleen D’Angelo argues that Briony seeks “atonement” for her crimes through fictionalizing the events of June 1935, and finds some degree of
self-forgiveness in doing so. However, D’Angelo also points out that “the overpowering effect of the epilogue is its exposure of her narrative deceit,” and furthermore that the “deceit” has ultimately been perpetuated by McEwan.

Your question today is one posed by D’Angelo herself: “Why does McEwan utilize such a reversal in concluding his novel?” (100). I’d like you to both answer D’Angelo’s question and simultaneously consider whether or not you agree with D’Angelo’s own answer, which she elaborates on in the final pages of the article.

Thursday, November 16th

Individual conferences with Dr. Eberle, Park 240: 10:30 (Hannah), 10:45 (Andrea), 11:00 (Johnny), 11;15 (Laura), 11:30 (Brianna), 12:30 (Carina), 12;45 (Rachel), 1;00 (Paige), 1:15 (Kayla), 1:30 (Shailey), 1:45 (Sara)


Thanksgiving Break: November 20th – November 24th


Tuesday, November 28th

Please have Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn read by today’s class

 Tóibín on Austen 

Woolf, “Modern Fiction”

Translation of “Casadh an tSugain” (“Twisting of the Hayrope”); scene from the film

*Abstract of Long Essay Due: Please send me your abstract via email ( by 11:00am today. I’ll print up multiple copies to bring to class for peer review and discussion.*

In-Class Writing: (a) How would you describe narrative voice in Brooklyn? Support your assertions with specific evidence from the text. (b) What connections can you make between Brooklyn and at least one another we’ve read this semester? In your response, you may choose to discuss how Tóibín’s novel is different from another text rather than how it is like something else that we’ve read.


It’s time to evaluate English 4864! 1 course evaluation = 1 donut
You don’t have much time since donut day is Thursday!

Thursday, November 30th: Last Day of Class

Conclude discussion of Brooklyn
Final Scene from Brooklyn

Iser, “The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach.” New Literary History, vol. 3, no. 2, 1972, pp. 279-299. (pdf)

Late Addition: If possible, please read Section I (764-765) of Iser’s  The Implied Reader (1974), where he introduces the term “implied reader.”

Definition of Reader-Response Criticism: “a type of literary criticism that focuses on reading as an active process and on the diversity of readers’ responses to literary works. Reader-response critics raise theoretical questiosn about whether our responses to a work are the same as its meaning(s), whether a work can have as many meanings as we have responses to it, and whether some responses are more valid than others” (The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms 425)

Terms and Concepts from Iser: “the implied reader,” concept of reading as a “creative” and dynamic process dependent upon the “gaps” and “indeterminacy” of a literary text

Guidelines for Peer Reviews of Final Essay Abstracts


Final Essay Due by Friday, December 8th at 8:00 pm

Final Exam: Tuesday, December 12th, 12:00-3:00

Schedule for October