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851-0365-01L  Introduction to English Literature: Science and Fiction Part I

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersA. Brand-Kilcher
Periodicitytwo-yearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

Abstract"Plot is to the novelist what experiment is to the scientist." (Lionel Trilling) We will read Emile Zola's essay "The Experimental Novel" and other texts to look on the one hand at the scientific aspect to fiction and fiction writing and on the other hand at the narrative and fictional aspects to science.
ObjectiveCompare and find out about differences and similarities between natural sciences and fiction/ fiction writing. Maybe become aware that "to conclude that what happens in the laboratory is what happens in the universe requires a leap of the imagination." (Trilling)
ContentWe will look at a number of essays and texts on that subject. We will also read Zadie Smith's highly entertaining novel "White Teeth" which has a very elaborate not to say artificial plot. One line of the story is about the geneticist Marcus Chalfen and the "Future Mouse" he designed.
LiteratureRecommended Reading: Zadie Smith: White Teeth; Emile Zola: The Experimental Novel