English R1A

Reading and Composition: Mocked with Art

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
13 Fall 2005 Dori Takata
TTh 2:00-3:30 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Hwang, D. H.: M. Butterfly

Wilde, O.: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Marlowe, C.: Doctor Faustus

Kyd, T.: The Spanish Tragedy

Shakespeare, W.: The Winter's Tale

Strunk Jr., W. and E. B. White: Elements of Style

A course reader

Recommended Text:

Hacker, D.: A Writer's Reference "


"In Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Leontes, astonished by the seemingly lifelike rendering of his wife, exclaims, ?The fixure of her eye has motion in 't, / As we are mocked with art? (V.iii.67). Leontes's words provide the thematic prompt for our course. He expresses our enduring fascination with the ways in which art challenges our powers of perception, uncannily mirrors our lives, and vivifies static forms. This course is an introduction to critical reading and writing as a kind of art?an art of interpretation which at times seems to taunt us, provoke or perhaps frustrate even as it entrances and delights. Through our readings of texts which depict characters in uncomfortable confrontations with art, we will approach writing with a corresponding awareness that essays are not spontaneous nor entirely natural forms but are carefully wrought revisions of our own engagement with these works.

The aim of this course is to develop critical readers who are able to present rigorous argumentation in lively, clear prose. We will begin with shorter exercises and writing assignments to focus on close reading, smooth incorporation of evidence, sentence construction, and paragraph development. We will also work on developing a thesis, structuring your argument, drafting, and revising of your work. Over the course of the semester, you will produce about 30 pages of writing in the form of a three-page diagnostic essay, informal reading responses, and about five formal essays of increasing length. At least three of the formal essays will undergo revision. "

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