It is the purpose of this course to survey the literature and culture of England from the beginning of the nineteenth through the late twentieth-century. We will read representative poets, novelists, memoir-writers, essayists, and playwrights from the Romantic and Victorian periods, and from the era of the Great Wars (WWI, between the acts (1919-39), WWII, and the "Cold War," 1946-89). As far as is possible, we will immmerse ourselves in the cultural milieu of each text we read and the general life experience of our writers. In order to do this we will also see a group of movies, and discuss changes in religious and social assumptions about the world as well as the economic and military politics of the governing class from 1800 to 1998. Our aim will be to understand, enjoy, and respond to what each of our imagined and real characters can tell ourselves and our world as well as about themselves and their worlds.
In this class you will be asked to read and to prove you have read the books you have bought. All of them. There will be no long individually researched paper and no on-the-spot midterm or final essay in which you will be asked to write on a text you have not planned to write upon. Instead you will be required to write four essays outside and three inside class in the form of journal entries on all the texts that we read. These are our "set journals" and are to be numbered (1, 2, 3, 4, and so on).
What is a book journal? See handout entitled "DIRECTED JOURNAL ENTRIES; or, how to write an essay with guidelines." You are asked to follow the guideliness religiously in order to explore on paper what you have thought and felt after reading a text or seeing a movie, using language that comes naturally to you communicate your ideas and feelings a genuine or sincere response of your own. The aim of the writing component in my course is to help you learn to read better and respond more thoughtfully to books and films in such a way as to communicate to others what you gained from such experiences. I invite you to learn how to weave information you gather from class or the introductory material in your books about the author's life and period, and words drawn from your text of film with your own thoughts. I require you to read or see nothing outside the-above cited texts and movies. However, if you do not adhere to the guidelines (for example, your plot summary must not be more than 1 paragraph; your analysis of text must be 2-3 pages) I will simply return your journal unread to you with an unpleasant "F."
If you would like to try to raise your grade, you are invited to do extra journals on texts or films you have not written upon. These cannot lower your grade. If you do not do well on them, I will ignore the grades. However, rest assured this hardly ever happens because it is improbable.
Due dates for the set journals: you are asked to hand your work in on the day specified in the calendar; if a journal or the story is a session late, I will take down the grade an element for every sessions it is late (a B+ becomes a B, then a B- and so on).
Assumptions behind this course: I believe something is to be gained by coming to class, and that we all can learn a great deal from one another. Thus, I expect everyone to attend class faithfully, to read all assigned books and essays, to see the films, and to participate in class discussions. I ask that you limit yourself to four excused absences; I regard eight absences, which here add up to more than one-fifth of the term, as a basis for a failing grade. I take attendance regularly by the second week of the term.
Method. I will try to generate class discussions as part of our period, but as the class may be too large and some of the material too unfamiliar or hard to try to include class participation of everyone, I will also often have simply to lecture or talk myself and read aloud a good deal. I welcome any comments or questions any students like to make, and try to follow up on anything anyone asks or remarks upon by asking what others think or thinking up a response by next class. This is how people learn. I expect everyone to complete the readings on time, if only because individuals who do not read the texts will not get much from the lectures or the movies we see and will not be able to understand class discussions or lectures. None of our books is superlong; I have been careful to lay out the readings in such a way as to enable you to keep up. However, even when you have not read a text or seen the movie, it is better to come than to cut cut class. You learn nothing when you stay away, and an extended absence is a road to bewilderment.
By the end of the term there should be a minimum of seven grades for each student on my roster. These I will average together to form the final grade. I should have four grades for the four essays written outside class and three for the essays written in class. If a student has done extra journals, he or she will have more grades to be averaged in.
Still the average of many students' grades will not fall neatly on a letter, but either be above or below a letter or perhaps just off a letter; that's when I remember and check 1) your attendance record; 2) your participation in class; 3) if you came for help if you needed it; and, 4) those journals which showed that you cared, that you really thought about your subject and made an effort to find something out about it or to explore it and to write something intelligent and coherent and complete. While I, of course, will not deny the genius his or her A, I always also take hard work into account and will reward someone who has journeyed from a lesser place to a better one through effort.
Thus please to remember the advantage of doing a number of journals and of my taking attendance and class participation into account. Your grade will not hinge on the final or any single journal; it will be a record of the visible work you have done over the course of the whole term.
To talk to me outside class:
Without an appointment:
Write to me by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; you can write me 24 hours a day; I look at my mail at least twice a day, and I write back. Be sure to type the e- mail address to which you wish me to send my reply at the end of your message.
You can call the phone in the office I use (993-1176) or the English office (993- 1160) or leave a message in my box in the English Office, which is in Robinson Hall on the fourth floor. It is, however, well to remember that I am on campus only 3 days a week from around 9:10 am to 1:30, and the secretaries don't call me; they simply place put the note in my box. Further, leaving essays in my box is a chancy business because materials get lost this way. No-one stands guard over the boxes. The safest speediest way to get a late essay to me is to bring it to the next class and give it to me warm hand to warm hand.
With an appointment:
Private conferences are available by appointment M/W/F from 11:30AM-12:20 PM in Robinson Hall A455. Sign up on the stenography pad which will be placed on the corner of my desk every time the class meets.
Assignments: Begin reading and finish for Week 3 (aim for Wed, Feb 4th) Jane Austen's Persuasion; read Roe's Introduction to Wordsworth, Selected Poems, and "The Baker's Cart," "The Ruined Cottage," "The Discharged Soldier," "The Brothers," "Michael."
Assignments: Wordsworth, Selected Poems, "Lines Written a Few miles above Tintern Abbey," Two-Part Prelude, selected lyrics, "The world is too much with us," "To Toussaint L'Ouverture," pp 194, 198, selections from The Prelude (1805, pp 215-34)
Assignments: BOOK JOURNAL #1 ON TWO LONGER POEMS IS DUE ON FRI, FEB 13TH; AN IN-CLASS BOOK JOURNAL #2 ON JANE AUSTEN'S PERSUASION IS TO BE WRITTEN IN CLASS ON MON, FEB 16TH. For this it is suggested you see the movie and compare it with the book.
Assignments: Read Day's Introduction to Tennyson, Selected Poems and "Supposed Confessions of a Second-Rate Mind," lyrics from pp 63-8 ("Hark! the dogs howl!" "This Nature is full of hints and hysteries," "over the dark world flies the wind," "Oh! that 'twere possible"), "Morte D'Arthur," "St Simeon Stylites."
Assignments: Tennyson: A Selection from In Memoriam A.H.H., "Ulysses." "Tithonus."
Assignment: read Sutherland's introduction to Trollope: Early Short Stories, "Aaron Trowe" and "Malachi's Cove," pp 297-320 and 458-75; "The Parson's Daughter of Oxney Colne" and "Journey to Panama," pp230-53 and 379-396; "A Ride Across Palestine" and "The Man Who Kept His Money in a Box," pp 178-209, 272-97.
Assignment: Read Trollope, "A Widow's Mite" and "The Two Generals," pp 397-439; "La Mere Bauche" and "Returning Home," pp 64-90 and 254-72; BOOK JOURNAL #3 ON TWO LONGER POEMS IS DUE ON WED, MAR 18TH; AN IN-CLASS BOOK JOURNAL #4 ON TWO SHORT STORIES BY TROLLOPE IS TO BE WRITTEN IN CLASS ON FRI, MAR 20TH.
Assignment: Begin reading and finish for Week 12 (aim for Mon, April 6th) Robert Graves's Goodbye to All That For Mon, Mar 30th: see Oh! What a Lovely War.
Assignment: Read Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas. See In Which We Serve for Mon, April 13th.
Assignments: BOOK JOURNAL #5 ON EITHER GRAVES'S GOODBYE TO ALL THAT OR WOOLF'S THREE GUINEAS IS DUE ON WED, APRIL 15TH; Begin reading and finish for Week 15 (aim for Wed, April 22nd) Elizabeth Bowen's Heat of the Day.
Assignments: Finish Bowen's Heat of the Day; Get hold of a copy of Hamlet, read and see Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by April 27th.
Assignments: You should be finishing either Bowen or Stoppard; AN IN-CLASS BOOK JOURNAL #6 ON ELIZABETH BOWEN'S THE HEAT OF THE DAY IS TO BE WRITTEN IN CLASS ON FRI, MAY 1ST. It is suggested you compare the novel with the movie.
Assignment: Write the Final, which is BOOK JOURNAL #7: you have a choice of reading and watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and writing upon that; reading and watching The Third Man and writing upon these; or seeing both Oh! What a Lovely War and In Which We Serve and writing upon these.
BOOK JOURNAL #7 for 252.002 due on Mon, May 11th, between 10:30 and 11:30 in this room. Three choices outlined above.