Virginia Woolf asked herself why illness was not a literary theme as were love and war. A century later the tide has changed: so many writers, including myself, use disease as subject matter and metaphor. After a lecture on the theme we will turn to your texts (please send me two pages a week in advance), and workshop them. We will examine questions of style and point of view –the risks of including ourselves and others as protagonists–, the use of too much or too little detail when describing the ill body and how to write disease without scaring (too many) readers away.
(You will be expected to read in advance short excerpts by Virginia Woolf, Roberto Bolaño, Siri Husvedt, Paul Auster, Jeanette Winterson and Sarah Manguso, among others.)