English | Literary Interpretation
L202 | 9076 | Richard Nash
L202 9076 LITERARY INTERPRETATION
11:15a-12:30p TR (25 students) 3 cr., A&H, IW.
TOPIC: “Truth and Beauty; Lying and Ugliness”
This course is a kind of interpretative bootcamp; by its close, you
will have tried your hand at a broad range of literary analysis
(formal, comparative, exegetical, typological, historical,
theoretical, etc.) and developed a clearer sense of the kind of
scholar you are. Inevitably, such an undertaking means grappling
with the perennial question, what makes good art good? Our texts for
this course will help us wrestle with this question by playing the
devil’s advocate with Keats’ famous injunction “Beauty is truth,
truth beauty,--that is all / Ye know on earth and all ye need to
know.” If truth is beauty, is fiction ugly? And isn’t sincerity
sometimes just lame? The challenge and the pleasure of this course
will be accounting for our artistic judgments on these matters in
the most persuasive, elegant and incisive way possible.
In addition to frequent short essays, this course will include
several exams, at least one in-class presentation, and a number of
in-class writing exercises.