Fictional Worlds

Fictional Worlds
What makes the imaginary world created by a novel feel "real"? What aspects of narrative in any medium contribute to our sense of being immersed in a coherent and convincing universe? From the Victorians who addressed letters to Mr. Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker Street, to fans of a Middle Earth that now encompasses multiple books and films, readers have always been drawn to narratives that create a place that seems large and vivid enough to enter. In this course, we will look at novels from the 18th century through the present that create compelling fictional worlds, comparing them to a few works in contemporary media--films, television episodes, and videogames--that cultivate a similar sense of immersion in the worlds they represent. Works to be studied include: Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Dickens, Bleak House; Eliot, Middlemarch; Joyce, Dubliners; Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring; DeLillo, White Noise; The Matrix; Star Trek, Dante's Inferno (EA videogame). Coursework will include two papers and a final exam.
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ENAM 0276

All Sections in Fall 2010

Fall 2010

ENAM0276A-F10 Lecture (Byerly)