Great American Novel Podcast Artwork Image

Great American Novel

Scott Yarbrough and Kirk Curnutt

Few literary terms are more hotly debated, discounted, or derided than the "Great American Novel." But while critics routinely dismiss the phrase as at best hype and as at worst exclusionary, the belief that a national literature commensurate with both the scope and the contradictions of being American persists. In this podcast Scott Yarbrough and Kirk Curnutt examine totemic works such as Herman Melville's Moby-Dick and Toni Morrison's Beloved that have been labeled GANs, exploring their themes, forms, and reception histories, asking why, when, and how they entered the literary canon. Readers beware: there be spoilers here, and other hijinks ensue...
Episodes
Episode 25: Surmising the Motives in Henry James's THE PORTRAIT OF A LADYJanuary 13, 2024
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Episode 24: Speeding Down the Highway with PLAY IT AS IT LAYS by Joan DidionNovember 03, 2023
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Episode 23: Hearing Voices in William Faulkner's AS I LAY DYINGOctober 07, 2023
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Episode 22: Rambling Along the REVOLUTIONARY ROADAugust 07, 2023
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Defining Dignity through Service in Ernest J. Gaines' A LESSON BEFORE DYINGJune 03, 2023
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Episode 20: Cracking Through the Scrub with THE YEARLINGApril 12, 2023
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Episode 19: Riding the Rocket with Thomas Pynchon's GRAVITY'S RAINBOWMarch 03, 2023
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Episode 18: We Want to Fly Away with Chopin's THE AWAKENINGJanuary 03, 2023
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Ep 17: Pursuing the Picaro in Saul Bellow's THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCHDecember 12, 2022
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Episode 16: Classics of American NoirNovember 02, 2022
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Searching for the Ghost of Tom Joad in John Steinbeck's THE GRAPES OF WRATHSeptember 01, 2022
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Episode 14: Ride into the sun--Cormac McCarthy's BLOOD MERIDIANJuly 11, 2022
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Homing in on the Prairie with Willa Cather's My ÁntoniaJune 15, 2022
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Episode 12: Hitting the Road with LOLITAApril 27, 2022
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The Everyday Ecstasy of Marilynne Robinsone's GILEADMarch 14, 2022
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Episode 10: Finding the Lost Generation in Hemingway's THE SUN ALSO RISESJanuary 17, 2022
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Episode 9: Adventures of Huckleberry FinnDecember 29, 2021
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Episode 8: Beloved and Ghosts of the Past, the Present, and Possibly the FutureNovember 24, 2021
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Episode 7–All that Jazz: F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great GatsbyOctober 14, 2021
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Episode 6: Watching the Horizon in THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GODAugust 20, 2021
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Episode 5: Blending Black and White in ABSALOM, ABSALOM! July 23, 2021
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Episode 4: Returning to THE AGE OF INNOCENCEJune 14, 2021
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Episode 3: Seeing Ralph Ellison's INVISIBLE MAN ClearlyMay 14, 2021
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Episode 2: Diving with MOBY DICKApril 23, 2021
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Definitions and Debates: What Exactly is a GAN?March 31, 2021
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