This book offers a new approach to the genre of the campus novel. Through a critical analysis of eleven novels, Aristi Trendel argues that the specificity and complexity of the pedagogic rapport between professor and student calls for a new genre: the Master-Disciple novel. After the 1980s, the professor-student relationship was highly scrutinized and politicized, making the Master-Disciple novel essential to critical theorists and educators. Furthermore, the Master-Disciple novel broadens the scope of the campus novel as the master-pupil rapport can develop beyond the halls of academia. Though some of the novels analyzed in this book have been thoroughly discussed before, Trendel reads them through the lens of the pedagogic rapport and in constant dialogue with a broad range of themes, such as gender, sexuality, and power. The book will be important for academics, students, and all who are interested in the bond between teacher and student.
Aristi Trendel is associate professor at Le Mans University in France.
Chapter 1 Lying in the Pedagogical Encounter: Donna Tartt’s The Secret History
Chapter 2 Mentorship and Gratitude in Lan Samantha Chang’s All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost
Chapter 3 The Power Differential Between Professor and Student in Francine Prose’s Blue Angel
Chapter 4 The Myth of the Wounded Healer in Pedagogy: Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys
Chapter 5 The Poet and his Translator in John Crowley’s The Translator
Chapter 6 Queering Master and Disciple in Susan Choi’s My Education
Chapter 7 Pedagogical Encounters in John Updike’s Roger’s Version and Terrorist
Chapter 8 Master and Disciple in Cities of Light: Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein
Chapter 9 Embodied Interaffactivity in Russell Banks’ Lost Memory of Skin
Chapter 10 The Pedagogic Encounter in the Time of the Posthuman: John DeLillo’s Cosmopolis
The academic novel is often spoke of as one large genre. However, it actually includes or mixes several genres, and in this book, Aristi Trendel identifies the striking genre of the “master professor,” not just of an academic field but of their proteges.
In this study of the campus novel and beyond, Trendel insightfully examines mastery and discipleship under modern and contemporary conditions advancing the understanding of the pedagogic relation. The originality of its perspective and the subtleness of the analysis make it a must-read for those interested in the American novel.
Aristi Trendel situates her timely and engrossing study of the master-disciple novel against the backdrop of the long tradition of eros and pedagogy in Western letters. Pedagogic Encounters gets at the heart of the tensions – intellectual, moral, cultural, existential – in the fraught politics of the American academy. Through skillful analyses of fictional encounters in selected novels, Trendel draws attention to the richly figured complexities in the pedagogic bond.
Aristi Trendel’s Pedagogic Encounters: Master and Disciple in the American Novel After the 1980s provides readers with a much-needed study of the complex, vital interrelationships among faculty and students. Fans of academic fiction will find much to admire in this well-wrought, thoughtful book about university life.