English R1B

Work in Progress


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2009 Oyama, Misa
MWF 9-10 225 Wheeler Reading and Composition

Book List

Paul Auster, Man in the Dark; Tony Kushner, Caroline, or Change; Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running; Stephen King, On Writing; a course reader of short stories and articles. Recommended: Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research.

Film list: Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner (2006), Show Business: The Road to Broadway (2007), Grey Gardens (1975), Grey Gardens: From East Hampton to Broadway (2007), One True Thing (1998), Chess in Concert (2009), Fruit Fly (2009)

Film list: Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner (2006), Show Business: The Road to Broadway (2007), Grey Gardens (1975), Grey Gardens: From East Hampton to Broadway (2007), One True Thing (1998), Chess in Concert (2009), Fruit Fly (2009)

Description

Although our ultimate goal as writers is to finish our work, we can learn a great deal from the process of working through an idea. As Haruki Murakami suggests about his running, sometimes the process of a work is even more meaningful than the end product. This course examines the pleasures and frustrations that people experience while perfecting their work, whether the result is a novel, a film, a musical, or (for those who consider their lives a work in progress) a fulfilled life. What challenges do people face when putting an idea into practice? What can we draw from their examples to apply to our own writing? Students will begin by writing a close reading of one of the texts (2-3 pages), then write and revise two essays (5 and 10 pages) which link close readings together to form a larger argument. The second essay will involve the student’s own research project about the development of a creative work. Through these assignments, students will sharpen two skills: looking closely at evidence and making a claim that matters to them.


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