E 376L • Swift and Pope
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
In the literary world of the early 18th century, Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope were easily the most dangerous men alive. Dauntingly witty, with pens as sharp as rapiers, the two close friends did not shy away from any literary quarrel, acquiring countless enemies among churchmen, writers, would-be wits, and politicians. They were at the center of more than one paper war, the most notable among these being the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns and the War of the Dunces.
This course wants to give an introduction to the works of Swift and Pope, but also, through discussions of the major literary feuds both were engaged in, to the period and its concerns and anxieties as well. Thus, we will be dealing with questions of religion, economical development (especially as it relates to the book market), colonialism, politics, the body, and aesthetics. Also, students will get an introduction to satirical, parodistic, and utopian writing.
Writing assignments (two essays, 5 pp and 10 pp respectively, the first to be revised; weekly 1-page postings to electronic blackboard) 80%
Class participation 20%
Jonathan Swift. The Major Works (Oxford)
Alexander Pope. The Major Works (Oxford)