English | Literary Interpretation
L202 | 2037 | Martinez

L202 2037 MARTINEZ
Literary Interpretation

2:30p-3:45p TR (25) 3 CR.

College intensive writing section.  Open to majors only.  Declared
minors obtain authorization from BH442.

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 that deal 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 existing critical practices and applying them to the
genres of fiction and poetry.

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.

Requirements:  Weekly position paper/portfolio; final essay (ten
pages), group presentation; class participation.