English R1A

Reading and Composition: Metamorphosis and Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Fall 2006 Erin E. Edwards
TTh 9:30-11 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Faulkner, W.: As I Lay Dying

Hacker, D.: Rules for Writers

Kafka, F.: The Metamorphosis

Sexton, A.: Transformations

Stevenson, R. L.: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Woolf, V.: Orlando

Course reader, including selections from Ovid, Angela Carter, Gilles Deleuze, Sigmund Freud, and the Grimm Brothers "


"This course examines why human metamorphosis has been such an enduring motif in literature and how the meanings of literary metamorphoses have themselves changed over time. Starting with classical myth and working through more modern fairy tales, poems, novels, and psychological case studies, we will ask what metamorphosis implies about voluntarism, repression, animality, the demands of socialization, and the possibilities and limits of subjectivity. We will also pay careful attention to the kinds of language used to express changes in form, asking how literature enforces metamorphosis and how it is adequate to the task of its representation.

The theme of metamorphosis informs the primary goals of the course: becoming more critical readers and more effective writers. In class discussions and in a number of short essays, we will focus on developing critical arguments from initial observations or questions about the texts, and we will practice revision strategies that transform essays from their first incarnations. "

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