Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Tutorial. 2 hours every other week for Semester One


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment One piece of written work (5,000 words), which will focus upon a critical engagement with a theoretical essay from an imaginative perspective.  Essay: 
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. write systematically and theoretically about elements of writing, such as plot, perspective, poetic form;

2. demonstrate sustained creative engagement with the areas of narratological and poetic theory;

3. show that they have developed an area of personal specialism within this body of work, by the development of a creative engagement with an area of theory accompanied by a critical explication.


The key aim of the module is to encourage students to think systematically about elements of writing, seeing composition as a series of choices from within a finite set of options concerning such elements as plot, viewpoint, and poetic form. The module will be in two sections, with three sessions on narratology, followed by two on poetics. The emphasis will be on the practical analysis of selected literary works, from a practitioner's point-of-view rather than that of the literary critic.

_1. Plot Repertoires

The idea of plot repertoires will be introduced using the early structuralist work on folk narratives by Vladimir Propp and Alexander Greimas. Students will be asked to consider any corpus of tales known to them in these terms (for example, sea tales by Joseph Conrad, stories for children such as the "William" books, or romantic stories by a specific author or from a specific series).

_2. Points-of-View

This session will introduce such notions as the implied reader (from Wayne Booth), the narratee (from Gerald Prince), and the heterodiegetic narrator (from Gerard Genette), and investigate their usefulness in practical analysis.

_3. Meta-Fictions

This session will focus on the practice of "narratorial self-conciousness", especially in modernist fiction, exploring the possibilities and the limitations of the "text which is known to itself". The question asked will be whether a text can undercut the illusion of its own realism with impunity.

_4. Modernist Poetics

This session essentially asks the same questions as the previous one, but of poetry rather than prose. It will experiment with transposing a "unified/linear" poem to a fragmented, spatial, free-verse format.

_5. Postmodernist Poetics

This session asks, firstly, if there exists a distinctive poetics which can be termed "postmodernist". A number of candidates for this category will be looked at, including brief video extracts of poets performing their own work.


This module is at CQFW Level 7