English R1B

Reading and Composition: "One Fine Day": Diurnal Narratives of the 20th Century

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2016 Fleishman, Kathryn
MWF 11-12 225 Dwinelle

Book List

Baker, Nicholson: The Mezzanine; Isherwood, Christopher: A Single Man; Pinter, Harold: The Birthday Party; Solzhenitsyn, Aleskandr: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway


Some of the most powerful stories we tell are constrained within the temporal limits of a single day. This course embraces "the day" as a significant unit of narrative time, exploring diurnal fictions as vital sites of personal reflection, dull routine, social change, self-identity, anticipation, and surprise. Focusing on the textures and sensations of everyday life (as well as their disruption), the theoretical basis of the course will lie in some canonical studies of time, consciousness, and the everyday, such as the writings of Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Michel de Certeau. Fictional texts will include excerpts from James Joyce's Ulysses, novels by Virginia Woolf, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Christopher Isherwood, and Nicholson Baker, the poetry of T.S. Eliot and Frank O'Hara, short stories by Raymond Carver and John Updike, the drama of Harold Pinter, and films like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Roman Holiday, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Goundhog Day, Jeanne Dielman, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and The Hours.

In R1B, students build on the techniques of both reading and rhetoric introduced in R1A. As such, we will engage a variety of texts across genres (novels, nonfiction, short stories, poetry, film, and criticism). We will also practice responding to such texts variously, writing and rewriting an analytical paper, a film review, and a research esay on a related topic of your choice over the course of the term.

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