9:30a-10:45a TR (30) 3 cr.)
TOPIC: PERSONAL BEST; OR, SPIKING THE CANON
This offering of L214 (Literary Masterpieces) will be somewhat different from the usual selection of post-Renaissance, acknowledged masterpieces such as Wuthering Heights, Don Juan, and Ulysses. Our aim here is to broaden the scope for judging excellence beyond the borders of Great Britain and the United States, to include works of great quality from other writers in English from Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, the West Indies, South America, and likely from some non-majority people from Britain and America. The reading list has not been established yet but some likely candidates include Ray's God of Small Things, Ondaatje's The English Patient, as well as works by such writers of international stature as Lessing, Borges, Naipul, Achebe, Bail, and Atwood. Books by these writers have been awarded such international literary honors as the Nobel, Booker, and Commonwealth Writers prizes, so there is little chance that the reading list will be of lesser quality than the canonical "masterpieces" of the usual English and American literature courses. The course will be conducted as an extended discussion—as much like a seminar as the size allows—and each of you will have the opportunity to lead the class at various times. There will be two or three papers (4-5 pages long), which you will be encouraged to revise and resubmit, a practice that will improve your writing, your understanding of the material and, not accidentally, your grade. There will also be a midterm and final.