Honors | Literary Interpretation (ENG)
L202 | 4869 | Lee Sterrenburg


L202 provides an introduction to reading, studying, writing about,
and appreciating the major kinds of literature, including fiction,
drama, and poetry. Our section for spring 2004 will have a mode and
theme focus upon humor, comedy, and parody. As I now foresee them,
the course readings will probably include selections from the Oxford
Book of Comic Verse, the Penguin Book of Nonsense Verse, and perhaps
the CD Classic Comic Verse. Drama may include Shaw’s Pygmalion and
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fiction may include
readings from Mark Twain, including such short fiction pieces as
the “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” and “The Man That
Corrupted Hadleyburg,” and his mock epic narrative of heaven and the
afterlife. “Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven.” We’ll also read
Mark Twain’s retellings of the Adam and Eve and the invention of
language and naming stories in The Bible According to Mark Twain.
Another reading will probably be Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventure in
Wonderland. There may be one comic film, as yet undecided. We’ll
think about such things as voice, irony, word play, comedy, and
parodies of other genres or kinds of writing.

The class meetings will be mostly discussion. Students will write a
series of brief (circa one paragraph to one page) informal working
papers, plus a series of four (circa five to six page) literary
critical essays. Regular attendance is required. No mid-term or
final exam. In-class quizzes and other exercises are a possibility.