Joann L Kelly
Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.
This course will help students develop practices in reading and enjoying literature. The dominant mode of fiction in Britain during the 19th century was realism. However, there existed alongside the classics other forms of writing, which questioned the very tenets of a realism that claimed to transparently represent life and the world - in these stories, nothing is quite as it seems. We'll start with appreciating the genre of realism by looking at the works of Jane Austen and George Eliot. Then, we'll turn to the sensational fiction of Wilkie Collins, as well as the late gothic work of Oscar Wilde. Sensational fiction was considered dangerous in Victorian England, as the stories were so shocking that critics were afraid people would react in unseemly ways. Therefore one point of departure in understanding the relationship between realism and these other genres will be to consider the kinds of responses these texts produce in readers - whether the original 19th-century audience or, importantly, ourselves. Texts will likely include: Persuasion, The Mill on the Floss, The Moonstone, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as selections of critical work in a course packet. Course requirements will include group presentations, reading quizzes and active class participation. Students will be asked to write, and revise, two five to seven page papers.
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