In this course, we will be exploring fantastical/magical realist texts (also, works that many people would consider “genre”), and we will investigate how various authors push and nudge at what we consider “real,” be it romance, mystery, sci-fi, spy-fi, and more. Some writers incorporate magic directly and unapologetically (i.e. Garcia Marquez), some render a world a few degrees away from our “real” world (i.e. Alissa Nutting), and some write in a way that allows for the possibility of magic without explicitly breaking with “reality” as we know it (i.e. Donald Antrim).
As we explore the various ways in which authors present differing registers of fractured reality, we will complete in-class writing prompts that inspire us to take techniques and tropes from established authors—e.g. Edgar Allan Poe, Steven Milhauser, Aimee Bender, Alissa Nutting, Jorge Luis Borges—and use them in our own writing.