Nobel Prizewinners, Fall 2024

This seminar considers global fiction in English through the lens of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Surveying a selection of the fiction writers in English who have won the prize, the course traces the development of a fascinating, sometimes delightfully bizarre canon of prose-narrative world literature in English. This development tells us as much about the changing situation of the English-language novel as it does about individual writers. Discussion focuses on individual novels and stories, but also on the paraphernalia of the prize, including Nobel lectures, Swedish royalty photo ops, and outraged media commentary. Major themes: writing from, against, and after empire; the idea of the “universal”; realist and experimental forms; popularity and difficulty; and the politics of the world stage.

Detailed syllabus: syllabus.pdf.

This page last updated: April 11, 2024.