Modern Short Fiction and Novellas

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Discipline CoreSUS1EN2584

Semester and Year Offered: Semester II, Winter Semester

Course Coordinator: Sayandeb Chowdhury

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: This course looks at Fiction as a specific category in literature, with its peculiar characteristics. While the course will delve into stories and novellas, it will also closely study the fiction form as well as the various literary devices and styles. The course proposes to undertake an in depth analysis of some of the stories mentioned. For this purpose, each story belongs to a different sub-genre and represents different modes of writing. As the writers belong to different countries, hence the present selection almost serves as a window to the literature of various countries.

Outcome: Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of fiction as a distinct genre in literature with its own specific forms of perceiving and registering reality in all its varied manifestations. The stories are selected keeping in mind the need to broaden the perspective of the readers.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 2:TheShort Story

This module will demonstrate the various aspects of short fiction through analysis of the selected stories. The storiesrepresent various languages and various tropes and styles. The selected stories represent variety of forms of fiction. The course instructor will undertake an analysis of some of the stories listed below, however the remaining stories will be discussed through student presentations.

  • NikolaiGogol, The Overcoat
  • Edgar AllanPoe, The Purloined Letter.
  • Guy de Maupassant, Forgiveness.
  • Charlotte PerkinsGilman, The Yellow Wallpaper.
  • OHenry, The Gift of the Magi.
  • James Joyce, Araby
  • Katherine Mansfield, Fly
  • RabindranathTagore, A Wife’s Letter.
  • M Premchand, Kafan.
  • SHManto, Toba Tek Singh
  • IsmatChugtai. Choti Ka Jora

Module 2: Principles of Narratology: Short Fiction

The second module will reflect on forms of short fiction. It will begin with a brief overview of the emergence of short stories. Further it will introduce students to the principles of Narratology. The module will offer introduction to literary terms related to above fiction : Irony, Satire, Plot, Character, Tone, Atmosphere, Mood, Setting, Context, Time, Narration, Point of View, Structure, Form and a few critical theories and approaches related to understanding fiction.

Module 3: Novellas

Having been armed with conceptual frameworks and illustrations, module will introduce students to the form of a novella as distinct from a short story. The novella is a complex and a more elaborate form of fiction as it can involve more than a single plot line and several complex narrative devices. This module will deal with three significant novellas.

Dostovesky, Fyodor, White Nights,
Kafka, Franz, Metamorphosis

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. No One Writes to the Colonel

Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea


  • Baldick, Chris. Oxford Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Booth, Wayne. The Rhetoric of Fiction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961.
  • Cuddon, J.A. A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (Fourth Edition). Maye Blackwell: Doaba House, 1998.
  • Foster, E.M. Aspects of the Novel. New York: Harcourt, 1954.
  • Gurerin, Labor, Morgan, Reesman, Willingham. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature (Fourth Edition). New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Harvey, W. J. “Character and the Human Context”. Character and the Novel. New York: Cornell University Press, 1968.
  • Harvey, W. J. “Character and the Context of things”. Character and the Novel. New York: Cornell University Press, 1968.
  • Lodge, David (Ed).Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. London: Longman, 1972.
  • Murfin, Ross and Ray. M. Supriya. The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms. Boston: Bedford Books, 1998.
  • Mark Scholes, “Technique as Discovery." Hudson Review 1.1 (1948): 67-87.
  • Shroder Maurice Z, “The Novel as a Genre”The Massachusetts Review.Vol. 4, No. 2 (Winter, 1963), pp. 291-308.
  • Wimsatt, WK, Jr. and Cleanth Brooks. Literary Criticism: A Short History, New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1957.
  • Further Ian Watt’s “Two Tone Fiction”, Frank Kermode’s “Major statements”, Crane’s, “Concept of Plot” and selections from David Lodge’s, The Language of Fiction and Percy Lubbock, Craft of Fiction may also be referred to.

Assessment structure (modes and frequency of assessments):

S. No.


Period in which the assessment will take place







Class Presentation




End-semester Exam

As per calendar