English 237 - Spring, 2022

Seminar for Writers

Topic: POV: Autofiction to Animals

Class Information

Instructor: Corin, Lucy
CRN: 62165
Time: W 3:10-6:00
Location: 120 Voorhies


We'll be reading a wide range of prose, mostly but not exclusively fiction, by mapping the intersections of Point of View as a technical aspect of writing and perspective as an aspect of content in writing. The goal is to see how technical/craft choices matter. I'm structuring the course around three units: Autofiction: we'll look at this end of the "perspective spectrum," the most inward-turned. Objects: we'll think about the idea of objectivity in narration, and how it intersects with the use and treatment of objects in fiction. Animals: we'll focus on works that upend the typical role of animals as proxies for human emotions or ideas by giving them a range of kinds of agency.
Authors we're definitely or probably reading (I'm always refining the reader up to the last minute): Jesse Ball, Teresa Carmody, Raymond Carver, Julio Cortazar, James Hannaham, Shelia Heti, Zora Neale Hurston, R.O. Kwon, Nona Fernandez, Clarice Lispector, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, Irene Sola. We'll also be reading selections from ye olde Wayne Booth's Rhetoric of Fiction and some others for a grounding taxonomy of Point of View and Focalization.
You'll present analytic "maps" of the readings in which you identify and amplify points of charged convergence between form and content. You'll also experiment creatively with the terms and ideas about perspective that we discover and generate.


Grading is holistic and is based on the quality and consistency of your participation in the seminar and the quality of your analytic and creative assignments.


When I Sing, Mountains Dance, Irene Sola
The Curfew, Jesse Ball
Maison Femme, Teresa Carmody