FS 301 (Unique #33400):
How Books Work in an Age of Mass Media

SYLLABUS: FALL, 2000


WEEK 1: NO CLASS -- classes start on Wed.
**BY THE TIME WE MEET, be sure you have seen THREE required movies:
The Tin Drum
Jerusalum
Death in Venice
By the first class meeting, ou wil have three movie reviews due
(see Third-Hour Requirement sheet)


WEEK 2: 4 September
Mon: NO CLASS-- Labor Day


WEEK 3: 11 September
Mon:
Introduction to the course; introduction to assignments
**Three Movie Reviews Due (see Assignment Sheet for details)


WEEK 4: 18 September
Mon:
The Audience and the Prize: Which audience thinks it's "great"?
Günter Grass, Cat and Mouse, in The Danzig Trilogy
Grass Nobel Statements
**Reading Goal: identify at least three aspects of the Nobel statements that do/don't apply to what you read; explain why or why not.


WEEK 5: 25 September
Mon:
The Question of History and Audience: When is a book or movie "timely"?
The Tin Drum (1979). Director: Völker Schlöndorff
"The Failure of Günter Grass: Another Nobel Bomb," David Pryce-Jones.
"Nobel for Günter Grass," Roger Cohen
"German Author wins Nobel Prize," Marc Fischer
"Polemical Prize," James Atlas
"A Cloud of Witness," Peter Gay
"Grandchildren of Günter Grass," Volker Hage
**Reading Goal: identify at least two things that critics say that apply to Grass (film or novella), and two that don't; explain why or why not


WEEK 6: 2 October
Mon: The Audience and the Prize
Selma Lagerlöf, Jerusalem (all; copy)
Lagerlöf Nobel Statements
**Reading Goal: identify at least three aspects of the Nobel statements that do/don't apply to what you read; explain why or why not


WEEK 7: 9 October
Mon:
Film Adaptation as "Rewriting"
Jerusalem (1996). Director: Bille August
André Lefevere, Chaps. 1 & 2 of Translation, Rewriting . . . .
**Reading Goal: identify and exemplify two ways in which a film adaptation can be "read" as a "translation" or "rewriting" of the original; explain why the changes were made the way they were


WEEK 8: 16 October
Mon:
Library Meeting: Meet in FAC 227 with Clara Fowler
*Read the Library Worksheet and bring it with you for note-taking
*Precis due: Lefevere, either Chapter 1 or Chapter 2
•First Writing Assignment Due: Your choice of author


WEEK 9: 23 October
Mon:
The Question of the Nobel and Booker Prizes: What is "Literary Value"?
"In Britain, The Booker Sells Books," Ion Trewin
"The Booker is More than a Book Prize," James Atlas
"The Book on the Booker Prize," Jonathan Wilson
"The Super Bowl of Fiction," Eva Hoffman
"A Literary Prize Gets Wired," Sue Kelly
"Nobel Prize in Literature," Kjell Espmark
"The Stockholm syndrome: is the Nobel a curse?," Walter Kirn
"Stockholm syndrome" (humor--Editorial)
"Nobel Prize in Literature," Kjell Espmark
"The Nobel Prize for Literature," Renee Winegarten
"Letter from Stockholm: The Nobel Syndrome," Michael Specter
"The Swedish Academy & the Nobel Prize in Literature," W. Riggan
**Reading Goal: identify three "problems" with prizes like these that are given for the "best book of the year" or "best author"; what problems do they create for the rest of the book and reader world?
**Precis due: either Winegarten or Riggan


WEEK 10: 30 October
Mon:
The Publishing Industry: How do books get out and advertised?
Greco, Albert N. The Book Publishing Industry
-Chapter 2: U.S. Title Outputs, Book Categories . . .
-Chapter 3: Mergers, Acquisitions . . .
-Chapter 5: Editors . . .
-Chapter 7: Marketing Practices and Procedures
-Chapter 8: Consumer Book Purchasing Patterns
"Knopf cuts prices on two titles, to mixed results," Martin Pedersen.
"Publishers block effort to discount Booker shortlist," Vivienne Menkes
"Publish or Perish," Malcolm Jones and Ray Sawhill
"Amazon Tangles With 'Times'; Will Open New DC," Steven M. Zeitchik.
"A-W rejects claim authors tricked 'Times' list," Calvin Reid.
"Barnes & Noble to Create Own Bestseller List," Steven M. Zeitchik
"Feeding a fever," Scott McCormack
"The Making of a Best-Seller," Willy Stern
"The List of Lists," L. J. Davis
Publisher's Weekly Bestseller list (sample)
"How'm I Doing?," Howard Means
"Playing the Numbers Racket," Jamie Malanowski
**Reading Goal: identify at least 3 major forces driving what books are available, and be ready to explain a little on how they work
**Precis due: any Greco chapter


WEEK 11: 6 November
Mon:
Printing, including the e-book: How are books made and distributed?
Daly, Henry, & Ryder, The Magazine Publishing Industry
-Chapter7: History of Magazine Production Technologies
-Chapter 8: How Magazines Are Made
"Galleys, `Publishers Weekly' Reviewers Go Digital," Calvin Reid
"SoftBook Adds 100 Classic Fiction Titles, Magazines," Paul Hilts.
"Not Bad: AAP Tests E-book Copyright Encryption," Calvin Reid.
"Authors Guild Shoots Down Rocket eBook Contract," Calvin Reid
"E-book Economics," Martin Eberhard.
"Boo! How He Startled the Book World.(Stephen King)," Andrea Sachs
"Gutenberg need not worry--yet," Stephen Manes and SoftBook
"Is This the End of the Story for Books?," Dinitia Smith
"Bedtime for Binderies," Charlotte Moore
**Reading Goal: identify at least 2 things that have gotten harder and two things that have gotten easier in making and distributing books, and be ready
to explain how they work
**Second Writing Assignment due: Abstract and research plan


WEEK 12: 13 November
Mon:
Translation: How it affects writers and readers
"How I Won the Nobel Prize (for Naguib Mahfouz)," Kennett Love
**Precis due: Love


WEEK 13: 20 November
Mon:
Literature and Politics: Does a book's topic affect its acceptance for a prize?
Nadine Gordimer, Burger's Daughter.
Gordimer Nobel Statements
**Reading Goal: identify at least three aspects of the Nobel statements that do/don't apply to what you read; explain why or why not.


WEEK 14: 21 November
Mon:
The "Great Books" Fallacy: Does a book's style or message affect its acceptance for a prize, or a movie for an award?
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice
Death In Venice
(1971). Director: Luchino Visconti
Mann Nobel Statements
**Reading Goal: identify at least three aspects of the Nobel statements that do/don't apply to what you read; explain why or why not.
**Third Writing Assignment due: revised abstract, précis, and ¶1

WEEK 15: 4 December
Mon:
Discussion: The future of the book!!

 


 

••FINAL PAPER DUE: Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 2 pm (official exam time)
Turn it in under my office door.