The Art of the Novella

Moderator: Elizabeth Armstrong
Role of participants: Prepare a short presentation on one novella from a list provided by the moderator and participate in the general discussions of the four featured titles.
Number of participants (including the moderator): 13
Time: Wednesdays, 10:00 am–noon [Note: 8 week seminar begins March 11]
Place: Amherst Woman’s Club, 35 Triangle Street, Amherst
Parking: Ample parking on site

The author Ian McEwan has said: “I believe the novella is the perfect form of prose fiction. It is the beautiful daughter of a rambling, bloated ill-shaven giant (the novel). And this child is the means by which many first know our greatest writers.”

Somewhere between the long short story and the short long novel, the novella lays out the age-old conflicts between guilt and innocence, love and alienation, personal autonomy versus communal responsibility, and invites us to join in the struggle.

In this eight- week seminar we will discuss together four novellas, published originally in English, French, and Spanish. Additionally participants will each present a short report on another title chosen from a list to be provided.

Our class titles are James Joyce’s The Dead, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, The Stranger by Albert Camus, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Format: Seminar

Resources: The Dead by James Joyce is to be found in his collection entitled DublinersOf Mice and Men by Steinbeck is readily available in libraries, bookstores and on-line. There are several translations of Camus’ The Stranger. Any may be used. If you are buying a book, I recommend the recent translation (rendered as The Outsider) by Sandra Smith. Chronicle of a Death Foretold has been translated by Gregory Rabassa and is readily available.

The moderator: I have been an active member of LIR for 19 years and moderated more seminars than I can count, primarily in literature.

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