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Mass literature (fiction)


Mass literature (fiction)
  These are some notes of the lectures given by prof. Kucharenko in Odessa’s national university.
  This course was given all around the CIS and in the USA, being highly estimated by scholars. You may not find it anywhere else on the Internet.
  I hope this genius woman, who I was lucky to learn from, would not mind me posting this material, as she has always been glad when someone wanted to know, to develop.
  This is the first part of the lectures. The second one follows soon.

Lecture 1. Mass literature and its subdivision.

  As we know, human communication can be either non-verbal (gestures, face expression, etc.) or verbal. Verbal communication is what we are studying here: both oral and written.
  The vast sphere of written communication can be divided into two “streams”: “mainstream” and “off-mainstream“.
  What is mainstream literature? This is classics, the pearls of human cultural heritage. The things which enter history and shall never be forgotten. We do not mean that classics exists only in the past - in British modern literature there are several names, which deserve to be noted and remembered, which are also “mainstream”. These works receive the Pulitzer Prize, for example, and other awards.
  Still, the topic of our conversation is off-mainstream literature, or fiction, or even pulp fiction as it is called.
  When you come into the book store in the USA you may see great shelves with inscriptions pointing out the category. For example, “Cooking”, “Psychology”, “Classics”, “Magic” and so on. And besides, you may see one of the biggest shelves named “Fiction“. What is fiction? This is mass literature, something that does not require a lot of mental efforts to be understood, which is not difficult to perceive. It does not mean that such literature is useless or should not be called literature at all. It is also needed and “consumed” by society. You may take such book to read in the train, or maybe in your armchair after a hard day.

  As well as classics, fiction has its own genres:

  • suspense
  • romance
  • fantasy

  Each of them is a separate “world” and in its turn can be further classified.

  You may use this scheme to follow the classification:

(click for the large picture)

Lecture 2. Suspense. Adventure.

  The first and the most diverse part of fiction literature is suspense, which can be further subdivided into:

  • adventure
  • spy
  • crime
  • political thriller
  • horror

  Today we are going to speak about adventure literature as a subgenre of fiction.
  Adventure is finding something new around yourself, covering the land, etc. This genre became popular in the middle of 19th century. Examples of that period include Alexandre Dumas, Jules Verne etc.
  In its turn, adventure literature includes the following genres:

  • sea
  • land
  • frontier

  While “sea” and “land” genres are quite understandable, several words are to be said about “frontier“. Frontier is the border between the Indians and Pilgrims. It includes:

  • Indian stories
  • cowboy stories

  Indian stories tell the reader about contradiction of Indians with palefaces. One of the most famous names in this genre is James Fenimore Cooper with his “Leatherstocking Tales” (1823-1846) and “Dancing With Wolves”.

Lecture 3. Crime. Spy. Political thriller.


  Another genre of suspense fiction is crime, or detective stories.
  The first work of this genre was “Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe, published in 1840. E.A. Poe was the first one who represented “detective story” or “horror”. The first detective in the world was Mr.Dupin. This was the beginning of psychological detective.
  The general feature of all crime literature is the conflict:
                          Perpetrator VS Law
  This is the confrontation of individuals. Law is represented by a uniformed policeman or a private detective (”the private eye“).
  Crime fiction includes:

  • psychological detective
  • hard-boiled (tough) detective
  • specified detective
  • caper

  Psychological detective is mostly characteristic to Great Britain. This genre first appeared in the form of the detective story, not the novel. The latter was introduced by Agatha Christie. Other famous names: A.K. Doyle, N. Marsh, D. Sayers. In the novels of this genre the action usually takes place in the rural area, the detective is non-professional, violence is not shown.
  Hard-boiled or tough detective is characteristic to American literature. The most famous detective of this genre is Nathaniel Pinkerton. The detective is usually a professional “private eye”. All agents of private detective agencies are armed. The action takes place in the city and violence is often shown. Famous authors: Dashiell Hammett, Mickey Spillane.
  Specified detective touches upon a certain field. For example, Dick Francis wrote about 50 novels concerning horseracing - “The Favourite”, etc. Robert Cook wrote crime stories about medicine. Dan Brown’s novels feature the recurring themes of cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories.
  Caper genre features a detective story, presented in ironical tone. Columbo is the most vivid example of caper on the screen. Harry Kemmelman is the author representing this genre.


  The conflict of spy novels is
                          Perpetrator VS State
  The perpetrator is represented by an individual, acting undercover against the whole country. The original spy novel was written 1897 by William Le Queux. Other famous authors and their characters: Ian Fleming (James Bond), John Le Carre (Smiley), Robert Ludlum (Bourne).

Political Thriller.

  The conflict of political thriller is
                          A group VS State
  This means that an organized group arranges the activity against a certain state in conspiracy.

рубрика: Рефераты, курсовые, диплом, Студентам
6 комментариев к

“Mass literature (fiction)”

  1. On 6 сентября 2010 в 6:55 mehsam пишет:


  2. On 22 сентября 2010 в 19:46 Maari пишет:

    Thanks a lot.
    To be continued soon!

  3. On 10 января 2011 в 19:13 aphrodite пишет:

    she’s a great woman and scholar
    i wish she had learnt me

  4. On 23 февраля 2011 в 14:32 Alexandra пишет:

    Нам повезло быть учениками Валерии Андреевны. пожалуй ее лекции были самыми незабываемыми за 5 лет обучения.Всегда в хорошем настроении, с желанием рассказать что-то новое и с научной точки зрения и дать крупинку знаний полезных в жизни. Действительно удивительная Женщина (именно с большой буквы!!!!), маленькая, хрупкая, но сильная душой и сердцем!
    Много лет ей здоровья и сил.

  5. On 23 февраля 2011 в 16:16 Maari пишет:

    Приятно встретить здесь своих сокурсников!
    Я считаю её лучшим преподавателем нашего университета.

  6. On 3 мая 2011 в 13:01 Leju Ashok пишет:

    Its an excellent piece of work… Thanks a lot for providing such an insight.


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