English R1A

Reading and Composition: The Language of Authorship

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Spring 2005 Sophia Wang
MWF 11:00-12:00 109 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"DeLillo, Don: Mao II

Markson, David: Wittgenstein's Mistress

Nabokov, Vladimir : Lolita

Strunk, William, Jr: The Elements of Style

Woolf, Virginia : Orlando

Course Reader (short stories, essays, and writing guidelines) "


"This course will focus on the language and craft of writing through our examination of the themes of authorship and narration in experimental, twentieth century literature. We will read, discuss and write about literature and critical essays that challenge traditional notions of the relationship between author, narrator and text. Woolf's gender-shifting narrator, Nabokov's unreliable Humbert Humbert, and Kate, the elliptical diarist of Markson's novel, are some of the voices we will analyze as we look at the ways our authors have conceived of narrative obligation and identity. By attending to the kinds of voices that literary language produces and the manipulations that define or destabilize our narrators, we will become attuned to the assumptions we make as readers, enabling us to become more sensitive writers.

The expository writing you will produce in this class requires your close attention to the language and themes of our texts, which in turn depends on your timely completion of all reading assignments and active contributions to class discussion, in-class exercises, oral presentations and peer revision. There will be short, weekly writing assignments, as well as longer essay assignments that will emphasize each stage of the writing process including outlining, drafting, revision and rewriting. We will focus as much on becoming comfortable with literary analysis as with developing the skills of exposition and argumentation central to a productive exchange of ideas. "

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