English R1B

Reading & Composition: Labyrinths of Language

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
12 Fall 2012 Moore, Stephanie Anne
TTh 5-6:30 223 Wheeler

Book List

Auster, Paul: The New York Trilogy; Borges, Jorge Luis: Labyrinths; Bunyan, John: Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners: Or Brief Faithful Relation Exceeding Mercy God Christ his Poor Servant John ; Conrad, Joseph: Typhoon and Other Tales; Satrapi, Marjane: The Sigh; Shakespeare, William: King Lear; Shakespeare, William: Othello; Sophocles: Sophocles I: Oedipus The King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone ; Toomer, Jean: Cane

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings--including lyric poetry, essays and short fiction--will be posted on bSpace. We'll also watch a film, Memento (dir. Christopher Nolan), and possibly some film adaptations of the plays we're reading.


Words, when they are well-behaved, are supposed to do our bidding. We trust them to contain our thoughts and mediate our relationships with each another without asserting their own agency or being. But Western literature is full of stories in which words control us. We’ll be reading a variety of works in which human beings are at the mercy of language in one way or another, and we’ll be using that (very loose) theme to think about the practice of interpretation and about our own writing. This class is designed to help you improve as a writer, critical thinker, and attentive reader; its other goal is to introduce you to basic research methods. We will talk a lot about how to situate our work inside larger conversations, so that you’ll not only be developing your own interpretations of the texts we read, but you’ll also be evaluating the interpretations of others.

(Note: not all of the works listed will end up on the syllabus.)

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