"The Gray Day" by George Grosz (1921)

“For an hour the procession of grotesques passed before the eyes of the old man, and then, although it was a painful thing to do, he crept out of bed and began to write. Some one of the grotesques had made a deep impression on his mind and he wanted to describe it.” (Sherwood Anderson, “The Book of the Grotesque”)

Many American writers have been moved by the impulse that grips Anderson’s old man. What is the grotesque and why has it dominated the work of so many twentieth and twenty-first-century writers? In this course we will try to find out. Our reading will include fiction and poetry by William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, Jean Toomer, T.S. Eliot, Flannery O’Connor, Kurt Vonnegut, Grace Paley, and Karen Russell.

Please contact me for further information (Jeremy.Green@Colorado.EDU).