RARA-AVIS: Courses on Chandler (was European valuations of genre fiction)

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 03 Feb 2004


Re your comment below:

"Incidentally, I've always thought that Chandler (no offense to your doctoral thesis--I'm sure it's stellar) was always kind of a poor example of the potential literariness of the genre. I used to adore Chandler myself, until I made the mistake of taking a graduate seminar exclusively about him. When I really looked at him that closely, I discovered, much to my teacher's dismay, how much I truly loathed him, how tedious he now seemed to me (it'd been almost a decade since I'd read anything of his)."

Though it apparently killed your love of Chandler, your reference to a University course devoted exclusively to him affords me an opportunity to announce that I've been hired to teach an on-line course on Chandler that will become available in March
(or maybe April).

The course, entitled RAYMOND CHANDLER - MASTER OF AMERICAN NOIR, will be taught at Barnes & Nobel's
"University" site and will use the first volume of the Library of America's collection of Chandler works, STORIES & EARLY NOVELS, as its text. We'll read seven short stories, and the first three novels (not, unfortunately your favorite, TLITL, which is in the second volume).

I had to write a series of 8 lectures, amounting to 40,000 to 50,000 words, which if bound, would be a book. A small book, but a book. So, in a way, I have two books coming out at the same time. Huzzah!

The course'll probably be a bit elementary for most of you Rare Birds, but some of you might enjoy it. If the course is successful, it'll be offered every other month. Maybe I'll see a few of you there.

Of course, the down side of this for some of you is that, since I'm now a paid professional EXPERT on what is and isn't noir, I'll be more insufferable than ever.

By the way, I should mention that I have another Rare Bird to thank for this opportunity. I'm not sure he'd want his name mentioned (that whole "insufferable" thing), but he knows who he is, and, I hope he knows how grateful I am. He was B&N's first choice to put the course together and teach it. He was too busy with other projects to take the job on, so he recommended me. If I get his permission, I'll thank him less mysteriously.


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