Penn's Coronavirus COVID-19 Update
2020 SAS summer courses will take place remotely. For undergraduates, please check Penn InTouch for updated summer course information. For graduate and professional students, please consult your schools and programs. Summer study abroad remains cancelled.

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies staff is working remotely to comply with University protocols as we navigate the COVID-19 virus. Penn is committed to maintaining a safe campus and workplace for faculty, students, staff, and visitors. While we are not onsite, we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or lps@sas.upenn.edu.

Visit coronavirus.upenn.edu, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates.

Good or Good for You?: The Fiction of Enjoyment

You are here

Online: 
No
Subject Area: 
Course Number: 
ENGL 100 920
Instructor: 

JENSEN, MELISSA

Course Description: 

It’s an age-old debate: If a book is entertaining, is it not literary? One New Yorker stalwart distilled the difference between literature and genre fiction down to the quip, “one was good for you, one simply tasted good.” True?  According to tradition, Literary Fiction is culturally and ethically valuable, challenging, character and language driven, esoteric. Genre Fiction is plot driven, simplistic, formulaic, and more entertaining than valuable. Love stories, ghost stories, whodunnits, and children’s books, then, fall solidly into the latter, while tragedies, the ideological, and the non-linear narrative reside in the former. So, where does Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s complex, atmospheric work that also just happens to be arguably the first Sci-Fi novel ever written, fit into that equation? What about Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the Brothers Grimm and Sisters Bronte, E.B. White, Jennifer Egan? Stoppard and Gaiman. Stephen King? What about J.K. Rowling, whose easy-to-read kids’ book might have changed the world? In this course, we will examine what makes a work good, and what makes it Great. We will read across time and matter, from novel to picture book to play, acid-tongued review to Lit Theory treatise. We will take apart that list of what makes what: see what stands, what intersects, what breaks molds, and what never should have been stuck in a mold at all.

Programs for every

type of student

SEE THE OPTIONS

Study online,

all summer long

SEE ALL COURSES

Summer is the best season

to be a Penn student

SEE ALL PROGRAMS

Penn Summer

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326
summer@sas.upenn.edu

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram