E 322 • Pathology and the Powers of Narrative
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
This course will deal with various forms of human experience in terms of their contributions to the pathological alteration of life. I use "pathological" to refer to forms of violence, excess or disorder arising from love, hate, war, crime, terrorism, torture, poverty, madness and physical disease. The phenomena in question will be studied in terms of their subversion or antagonism of authority--family, law, church, state--and their stimulus to forms of intellectual order narratively expressed in fiction and autobiography.
The program of work for the course will include three 1500-word papers, each worth 25% of the course grade, and class participation, itself worth 25% of the total grade. Students may if, they prefer, do one long paper of 4500 words worth 75% of the grade. If you choose to do this, you will submit two written progress reports due at appropriate moments of the semester. Class participation -- oral discussion of the various readings -- is a significant part of your grade.
Tristan and Iseult
Jean Racine, Phaedra
Charles Perault, Sleeping Beauty, Blue Beard, Tom Thumb, Donkey Skin
Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun (extracts)
The Philosopher and the Demon: Three Caresian Meditations
D.A.F. de Sade, "Eugenie de Franval"
Scenes from the Terror
Alexis de Tocqueville, Recollections (extracts)
Guy de Maupassaant, "The Horla," "Fear," and "The Hand"
Felix Youssoupoff: The Murder of Rasputin and its sequels
Blaise Cendrars, Lice (extracts)
Marguerite Duras, The War (extracts)
Henri Alleg, The Question
Paul Bowles, "The Delicate Prey"