Topics in Comparative Studies 3

Semester 2

March 8th- 11th, 10am- 1pm

March 28th- April 1st, 10am- 1pm

May 16th- 20th, 10am- 1pm

Room: PN18

‘Macrotextuality and the linked story collection’Elke D’hoker, Dagmar Vandebosch and Bart Van den Bossche

In this course, we will study the interaction of smaller textual units within larger textual wholes. We will start with the case of the collection of linked short stories and we will (a) study the way this form has been theorised in Western critical traditions as either a separate genre (short story cycle, short story sequence); a form of macrotext; or a merely a specific case of collecting smaller texts into a larger whole. We will also (b) read a number of concrete instantiations of the linked story collection in different literary traditions (esp. English, Italian and Spanish) so as to learn more about the specific textual properties, readerly effects and thematic concerns of this literary form. (c) We will consider the relation between the linked story collection and the representation of communities (cf. regional narratives of community, modernist anti-communities, hybrid communities, postcolonial communities and contemporary networked communities).

We will then proceed to widen our focus in several ways: (1) by discussing linked collections in other genres (poetry, essay); (2) by investigating the crossovers in contemporary fiction between short story collections and composite novels; (3) by comparing the functioning of short stories in different textual wholes (magazines, anthologies, editions, newspapers, books) and their interactions with these neighbouring texts.