It seems kind of uncanny that last week’s reading was about a woman who sacrifices herself to challenge the rule of a tyrannical king, and this week’s reading opens “in the cavernous chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States of America” (The Sellout, 3). And the conditions of our protagonists arrival there aren’t precisely reflective of what we see in the news today, but I think they might be a little resonant with that news, too.
I am excited to hear what you think of Beatty’s novel, and also how you might use a key term from Levine’s article to read it. This week, see if you can put a keyterm on the blog before class (under “keyterms”) and ask: How could you use Levine’s argument to analyze The Sellout?
Other questions I want to consider when we meet include:
- How does Beatty use the form of the novel to reflect on the politics of race in contemporary America?
- What literary devices do you see him using in ways that are new to you, and how does this novel challenge your interpretive skills as a critic?
- What do you find hard to explain in your reading so far, and what prompts your curiosity?
- Which passages should we read together to think about the “good of literature” in this context?
- In the evening class, we talked about the narrative device of prolepsis as something akin to fate, and I want to return to that in both classes. The Sellout is a novel that reveals its protagonist’s future at the beginning of the novel and then looks back to reconstruct the narrative of how he got here. How do you interpret this usage of proleptic form?
I also want to look closely at Levine’s argument about “the affordances of form.” What seems potentially useful to you about this theoretical text?
And in unrelated news, I’ve gotten the announcement about the accelerated M.A., and I’m posting it below. If you want to talk about it, just let me know!AcceleratedENGLMAoption_finaldescription