English R1B

Reading and Composition: Wisdom Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Fall 2004 Mark Allison
TTh 8-9:30 109 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Course Reader

Coleridge, S.T. and W. Wordsworth The Lyrical Ballads

Eliot, G. Adam Bede

Hacker, D. Rules for Writers

Hong Kingston, M. The Fifth Book of Peace

Johnson, S. Rasselas


Crews, F. The Random House Handbook 6th edition. "


"In this course we will read a variety of works that have been?or might be?construed as offering ?wisdom? to their readers. We will examine sacred texts from several religious traditions, classical forms of wisdom writing (fables, aphorisms, dialogues), and, finally, modern and contemporary literary works written in a variety of genres.

We will want to consider several interrelated questions in our discussions: How does wisdom differ from other kinds of information? Is wisdom a single entity, or a descriptive term that is applied indiscriminately to many discrete kinds of learning? Should we value wisdom more (or, perhaps, less) than other kinds of knowledge? Finally, what is the relationship of wisdom writing to the category of ?literature? itself? Are all literary works examples of wisdom literature? If not, than what do we learn by reading a literary text? If so, why do teachers of literature?including this one?protest when you try to state what the ?message? of a literary work is?

The assignments for this course are designed to improve your writing and research skills. To that end, there will be several substantial papers, as well as exercises in pre-writing, revision, and library research. "

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