English R1A

Reading and Composition: Reading Closely and Writing

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
12 Fall 2006 Joseph Jordan
( -) 2-3:30 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Anton Chekhov,�Uncle Vanya.�

Frederick Crews, The Random House Handbook

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Herman Melville, �Bartleby the Scrivener.�

Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, Jon Stallworthy, eds. The Norton Anthology of Poetry. (e.g., at least one sonnet from Shakespeare, a couple songs from Ben Jonson�s plays, Blake�s �The Tyger,� something by Keats, Frost�s �Spring Pools,� Yeats�s �The Wild Swans at Coole,� Roethke�s �My Papa�s Waltz,� something by Philip Larkin, something by Robert Hass, etc.) "


"In this course we will read closely and write about markedly different kinds of literature � a novel, verse, a couple short stories, and one play in two different translations � with the aim of coming to some conclusions about what makes great literature great. The reading list is made up some of the war-horses of this culture�s literature. We will start with the presumption that these works are great and worth studying.

I�ve chosen not to organize this class around a single theme or what-have-you because I want students to resist the urge to compartmentalize experience. It�s common for people to like all different sorts of literature, but uncommon for students and teachers to think about what, for example, the experience of little poems and big novels have in common. In this class we will try to make such connections, not only between the works on the reading list, but also between the works on the reading list and contemporary popular art forms like country song lyrics, television sitcoms (and so on). The history of English literature is largely the history of popular English literature�a fact that will help us speculate about what kinds of things from the present are likely be taught in courses like this one years from now.

This course is designed to help students write clearly and honestly about the experience of reading. Students will write weekly 1 page papers and three longer essays of 4-6 pages. "

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