L202 9077 LITERARY INTERPRETATION
Michael Adams

9:05a-9:55a MWF (25 students) 3 cr., A&H, IW.

Literary Interpretation is (supposed to be) the beginning of your career as an English major, one in which you practice attentive reading and thoughtful interpretation, pushing beyond what’s said literally or what happens in a poem or story to problems of literary value and purpose. The course serves as an introduction to several genres of literature and should help you to read works in those genres proficiently (perhaps even with pleasure) throughout your college career and, perhaps, throughout life. We will range widely over poetry in English (our earliest poem dates from about 1400, the latest from 2008), read a play (Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), a number of short stories, and two short novels (Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides). Throughout the term, members of the class will “present” poems of their own choosing (that is, poems not on the syllabus), reading them and commenting on them for a few minutes. English 202 is an intensive writing course, an opportunity to cultivate good writing as well as good reading and especially to discover the relationship between the two. Members of this class will write three short essays (5-6 pages), each of which will undergo revision, and a few very short (1-2 page) papers, as well as a final examination.