Seminar: Literary Criticism: Genetic Criticism

Th 3:00PM - 5:55PM / 126 Cathedral of Learning / CRN 30398

This course will introduce graduate students to the tools of genetic criticism, a contemporary approach to the study of modern manuscripts that was first developed in France in the 1970s but now is used widely around the world to study the early stages of literary and artistic creation. Critique génétique focuses on texts as process, with an emphasis on early outlines, drafts and revisions. Initially developed to study literary manuscripts such as those of Heinrich Heine, Gustave Flaubert and Marcel Proust, it has now been used productively in the study of Herman Melville (John Bryant), William Wordsworth, Alfred Tennyson and Emily Dickinson (Sally Bushell), Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Butler Yeats, Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf (Fordham), José Hernández, Juan Bautista Alberdi and José Hernández (Élida Lois), Juan José Saer (Premat), Jorge Luis Borges, Manuel Puig, Silvina Ocampo and Juan José Saer (Balderston), Alejandra Pizarnik (Di Ció), Samuel Beckett and James Joyce (van Dulle and Slote), José Donoso (Bocaz) and others. A good anthology of writings from the French theorists in the field is Deppman et al., Genetic Criticism (Penn), while good introductions in other languages include Biasi’s Génétique des textes and Lois’s Génesis de escritura y estudios culturales. An interesting book on the applications of the field to music and theatrical manuscripts is Kinderman and Jones’s Genetic Criticism and the Creative Process. This is the third time I will teach a graduate seminar on this field at Pitt but the first time I will offer it in English; the previous three courses resulted in joint publication of genetic/critical editions of short stories and a fragment of a novel (of Silvina Ocampo for the Revista Escritural at the Université de Poitiers and of Juan Carlos Onetti for Lo que los archivos cuentan at the National Library of Uruguay). I would be interested in having a mix of students from HAA, Music, English, Theatre Arts and the language departments, as well as from my home department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures. There will also be work with literary archives in Pittsburgh such as the Ramón Gómez de la Serna Papers in the Hillman Library. There are also important archives online.


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Daniel Balderston

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Category A: Text and Theory

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