Reality Hunger in Recent Literature
Inspired by Marcel Proust and W. G. Sebald, and working alongside Annie Ernaux, contemporary writers such as Karl Ove Knausgård, Rachel Cusk, Jenny Offill, and Teju Cole undermine traditional divides between fiction, memoir, and essay-writing, and challenge our understanding of what a novel is. How are we to understand this “reality hunger”? Does it entail new ideas about subjectivity and identity? Is it a return to realism? Or does it We will read contemporary literature from different countries alongside theories of language and reality, realism, the novel, and reading. We may study theoretical texts by Wittgenstein, Lukács, Adorno, Barthes, Orwell, Arendt, Shields, Felski, and others.