English | Literary Interpretation
L202 | 1986 | Martinez


2:30p-3:20p MWF (25) 3 cr

COAS INTENSIVE WRITING SECTION. OPEN TO MAJORS ONLY.  DECLARED MINORS
OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION FROM BH402.

We are convening to explore the idea of literary interpretation.  The
practice is fundamental to literary criticism and encompasses two
fundamental practices: reading and writing.  We will read  a number of
texts this semester each of which deals with the act of creating meaning
from experience.  This involves a series of different paradigms for
constructing and deconstructing narrative structures. We will find that
literary interpretation is not limited to what is on the page, but that
this act deploys a number of strategies, as well as fields of inquiry and
experience.  It is a subjective practice, but one which strives to create
an objective result: deeper, clearer understanding.  We will begin by
examining the crisis of meaning in the twentieth century and the way in
which the uncertainty of modernity has affected the way in which we strive
to understand ourselves via our literature.  We will start by asking the
question "what is a text?"  and answering by looking to the New Critics,
structuralists, poststructuralists, and socio-cultural critics for
examples of reading practices.

This is fundamentally a course in translation:  how do we make sense of
what we read and then transfer that understanding to others.  How can we
become better and more precise readers.  How do we begin to participate
within the field of literary criticism?  It will be a process which seeks
to transform each of you into a critical reader and perspicacious writer.