Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


English 346. Contemporary American Fiction: Quirks, Quarks and Quests, or Sex, Lies and Quantum Leaps

In this course we will read a selection of novels by Paul Auster, Joan Didion, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, David Plante, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Stone and others. We will focus on postmodern modes of structures and vision as a way of seeing our world from different and controversial perspectives, as well as those explored by a selection form such critics as Colin McGinn, Christopher Norris, Todd Gitlin, Terry Eagleton, Wendy Steiner, Linda Hutcheon and others.

The course will also explore and examine (from a nonscientific perspective, in terms of language and images) the effects and influences of quantum theory on contemporary fiction in terms of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and the difficulty of the relationship between language and quantum experience, which seems to flaunt and evade every logical way we have of trying to describe it. In this regard race, gender, sexuality and class can be seen from entirely new perspectives and shed light on the constant confrontation between “essences” and “relationships.”