L202 2082 JOHNSTON
Literary Interpretation

9:30a-10:45a TR (25) 3 cr.

COAS INTENSIVE WRITING SECTION. OPEN TO HONORS STUDENTS ONLY. OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION FROM THE HONORS COLLEGE, 324 N. JORDAN AVENUE.

This course aims at establishing, maintaining, and improving students' competence (and enjoyment!) in writing interpretations of all types of literary works: poetry, fiction, or drama. After completing the course, you should be able to approach confidently almost any literary work written in English with a basic set of useful skills and tools, including pertinent questions to address to the text, and a variety of forms for framing your interpretation: analytical essays, impressionistic appreciations, contextual studies, and the like. The appreciation of art (literature, music, films) doesn't necessarily require written interpretation; but if you're going to major in English, it does. The course teaches you some ways to do it successfully. Since this is an Honors section, I will assess students' initial competence and we will start at whatever level of sophistication seems appropriate. We'll be using a standard Introduction to Literature, such as the Norton, plus a writer's manual of style and usage that you can use throughout your college career. We'll be alert to extra-curricular opportunities for interpretive discussion provided by local and university film and drama productions, and poetry and fiction readings. Most assignments will be short papers, from one-page responses to 3-5 pp. developed interpretations. A good deal of our concentration will be on poetry, since attention to its "language under pressure" is easily transferrable to longer prose works.