English R1B

Reading & Composition: Boredom

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
15 Spring 2008 Ayon Roy
TuTh 11-12:30 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

T.S. Eliot, Selected Poems ; Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea ; Samuel Beckett, Company ; Georg B�chner, Danton�s Death ; ---, Lenz; ---, Leonce and Lena; A required course reader with excerpts from the work of various poets and philosophers


"�Boredom,� E.M. Cioran writes, �is the echo in us of time tearing itself apart�the revelation of the void, the drying up of that delirium which sustains�or invents�life.� Cioran is just one of many writers convinced that the seemingly unremarkable phenomenon of boredom can offer profound insights into the human condition. In this course, we will explore the various ways that poets, playwrights, and novelists�such as T.S. Eliot, Georg B�chner, Samuel Beckett, and Jean-Paul Sartre�treat boredom not only as a thematic concern but as a formal and existential horizon for their literary experiments. Throughout the semester, I will encourage us to place literary texts in dialogue with brief but provocative philosophical reflections on boredom excerpted from the work of such thinkers as Blaise Pascal, Arthur Schopenhauer, S�ren Kierkegaard, and Ferdinand de Pessoa. We will also watch two films along the way.

In this course, you will be too busy to be bored. The primary aim of this course is to sharpen your analytical and close-reading skills and to teach you to write cogent academic essays with well-supported arguments. You will be required to write at least two essays, each of which will go through a stage of revision. You will also be expected to post an online response to weekly reading assignments and to be an active participant in class discussions. "

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