L381 2092 ROLLINS
Recent Writing

12:20p-1:10p MWF (30) 3 CR.

Since 1942 The New York Times has published a “Best Seller” List. Yet it is amazing how few literate people in many educated circles seem not to have ever heard of these books. Why should this be so? Who does buy these best sellers and why? This course will take nine books from The New York Times Best Seller List, books including romance novel, Nora Roberts’s Key of Light, the speculative theological work, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, the magical Harry Potter, and others, to try to find some common ground. During the semester we will consider the ideas of many who have tried to unravel the mystery of the best seller. Does it somehow express the American dream? A world made safe? Is it the story of an American hero who illustrates myths and mores of the “golden multitudes”? Or perhaps as Geoffrey Bocca suggests, the best seller is “a nostalgic celebration of the less-than-great-books you have been afraid to admit you loved.”

Students will be evaluated on both class participation and their mastery of the materials in the class as evidenced in two essays.