HENB0115EU English - Elective 4, topic 2: American Postmodern Writing at the Turn of the Century

Volume 2016/2017



This course introduces students to late postmodern American writing and provides them with insight both into how it has changed over the course of two decades and into what those changes suggest about contemporary American society and culture. A comparative study of a selection of novels by three influential American writers, the course explores the ways in which each writer’s aesthetics and concerns have evolved from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s. We will discuss breaks and continuities within and between them by focusing on a variety of recurring themes with a view to, by the end of the course, establishing a solid concept of what these otherwise widely different authors and their works have in common – and how they can be seen as commenting on present day topical issues like war, terrorism, and climate change. To supplement our readings, we will also consider various key nonfiction texts (TBA) that shed critical light on the periods in question.

Auster, Paul:

  • The New York Trilogy (1987)
  • Travels in the Scriptorium (2006)
  • Man in the Dark (2008)

(Travels and Man can be found collected in the diptych Day/Night (2013))


DeLillo, Don:

  • White Noise (1985)
  • Falling Man (2007)


McCarthy, Cormac:

  • Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West (1985)
  • The Road (2006)
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 162,75
  • Total
  • 204,75
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment