EN 080.05, LITERARY FORMS
PAUL . C DOHERTY
As its title suggests, this course will consider the formal aspect of literature. That is, it will concentrate not just on what a book might mean, but how it means. The specific approach will be to consider how genre (the kind of work it is) alters the treatment of the same subject, and, more specifically, how prior literary works impinge upon present ones. The course will consider four clusters of texts. The first cluster will consider how genre affects narrative, and will include James Joyce's short story "The Dead," John Huston's film of that story, and the recent musical version of that story. (The class will attend a performance of that musical, James Joyce's The Dead, at the Huntington Theatre on Saturday afternoon, September 15.) A second cluster will center on a number of narrative explanations of the paradox of the omnipotence of God and the existence of evil. The texts will be The Book of Job, The Brother's Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevski), and essays by Annie Dillard and Cynthia Ozick. A third cluster will include the recent novel by Alan Lightman, The Diagnosis, and two earlier works from which it appears to derive, Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" and Plato's dialogues concerning the death of Socrates. A fourth cluster will include Virginia Woolf's novel, Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and Michael Cunningham's novel, The Hours (1998) which derives from it. A course calendar is on the reverse side of this sheet.
TEXTS (* ASTERISKED TITLES IN B.C. BOOKSTORE)
*Joyce Dubliners (Penguin)
Book of Job (Stephen Mitchell, trans.) (Harper)
*Lightman, The Diagnosis, Pantheon
*Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harvest)
The semester grade will be the average of the grades received on three written exercises (all of which must be completed with a passing grade) and a final examination. The dates of the graded exercises are indicated with asterisks on the calendar. The date of the final examination is Monday, December 17, 9 a.m.
You are expected to attend every class. If you are unable to attend,
please notify the instructor, by e-mail or voice-mail.
Sep 4 Introduction
Sep 11 Huston, "The Dead" (O'Neill Media Center, Room 211)
Sep 18 no class
Sep 25 Book of Job
Oct 2 "The Imperious Impatience of Job"
Oct 9 The Brothers Karamazov
Oct 16 The Brothers Karamazov
Oct 23 The Brothers Karamazov
Oct 30 The Brothers Karamazov
Nov 6 The Trial and Death of Socrates
Nov 13 Metamorphosis
Nov 20 The Diagnosis
Nov 27 Mrs, Dalloway
Dec 4 no class (Michael Cunningham at BC. (Gasson 100, 7:30)