Thanks to technology glitches, the Week 4 reading response comes to you late, and with an extended deadline. It’s a three-part assignment:
STEP 1: Listen to our conversation with Jenny Egan:
STEP 2: Choose one of the ten sections listed below to write about and email me with your pick and a second choice. If you’ve got a good idea of how to approach the material, let me know. Don’t start writing until I email back – someone might have beat you to it, or might have a particularly good and personal angle on a section.
STEP 3: Once you have your section confirmed, write a (nonfiction) account of it. You should summarize part of her remarks, but also quote verbatim (she’s often quotable for whole paragraphs). If appropriate, discuss relevant passages from Goon Squad and quote from them as well.
This should be part reportage and part personal essay. Let us know how Jenny’s fiction and our encounter with her resonated with your own experience as a fiction writer. What was inspiring or perhaps discouraging about the Q&A? How did it affect your thinking or your practice? This is also a chance to revisit Goon Squad and write about its impact on you as reader and writer.
The sooner you take care of Steps 1 & 2, the likelier you will be to get your first choice of assignment. Deadline is Tuesday before class. Step 3 is due midnight Friday 18 March, eve of Spring Break.
- INTRO: The basics: who is Jenny Egan? What is Goon Squad? (Your critical assessment is welcome.) What is LT212? What broad themes did the conversation cover? What scoops did we get (Goon Squad sequel!) or other good teasers for the reader? Probably work in the funny concluding Skype glitch.
- 0:00 – 5:32: JE’s new book – time & Proust – 1930s/40s NYC waterfront – research and historical fiction.
- 5:33 – 9:42: How do you know you’re done? Research and drafts and revisions.
- 9:43 – 14:29: Can research trip you up? Editing is about removing inert material. Little darlings. All fiction is an action thriller. Writer’s group – reading aloud to expose inert material.
- 14:30 – 17:59: Little darlings: the things you’ve worked the hardest on: built-in flaws – the “Pieces” document.
- 18:00 – 23:59: Goon Squad genre: the concept album – Goon Squad film adaptation – would she write the screenplay? Planned Goon Squad fiction: younger generation.
- 24:00 – 28:39: Moral considerations – curiosity vs. judgment – moral readings of Goon Squad.
- 28:40 – 34:49: Sasha and kleptomania – disorders, character background – preconceptions, predictability, choice limitation.
- 34:50 – 40:59: 2nd-person and free-indirect narration
- 41:00 – end: Inspiration for the PowerPoint chapter – graphic novels – advice to the young.