Post-Print Fiction (ENGH 400-002)


For several centuries the novel has been associated with a single material form: the bound book, made of paper and printed with ink. But what happens when storytelling diverges from the book? What happens when writers weave stories that extend beyond the printed word? What happens when fiction appears in digital form, generated from a reader’s actions or embedded in a videogame? What happens when a novel has no novelist behind it, but a crowd of authors---or no human at all, just an algorithm?

We will address these questions and many more in this English Honors Seminar dedicated to post-print fiction. We will begin with two “traditional” novels that nonetheless ponder the meaning of narrative, books, and technology, and move quickly into several novels that, depending upon one’s point of view, either represent that last dying gasp of the printed book or herald a renaissance of the form. Alongside these four novels we will explore electronic literature, kinetic poetry, transmedia narratives, and videogames that both challenge and enrich our understanding of storytelling in the 21st century.

Guiding Concerns:

* the materiality of books

* the role, function, and question of authorship

* the narrative and aesthetic potential of procedure and chance

* the impact of technology upon the material and narrative form of fiction.

(Source: Course Guidelines)

Creative works referenced

Titlesort descending Author Year
Basho's Frogger and JABBER Neil Hennessy
Firefly Deena Larsen
Game, game, game, and again game Jason Nelson
House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski
i made this, you play this. we are enemies Jason Nelson
This is how you will die Jason Nelson
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Eric Dean Rasmussen