E 320L • Major Writers of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This class provides an introductory survey of the great variety of genres and works produced in England during the eighteenth century. This period is characterized by an insatiable curiosity and desire for the new from the emergence of a genre named the novel to the exploration and rebellion of the new world. Because change naturally evokes fear as well as delight, many writers resisted the taste for novelty by upholding traditional views. This class explores the resulting tension between the desire for novelty and the invocation of literary tradition. This class will emphasize in its methodological approach the rubric of print culture. We will ask questions about the roles of printers, consumers, and booksellers in the making of literature; the relationship between image and text in works as varied as Swifts Gullivers Travels, Hogarths progresses, and Blakes poetry; and the interpretive impact of the rambunctious materiality of eighteenth-century books.
3 close-reading essays (2pp.) 10% each
Research essay (10 pp.) 30%
Class presentation 20%
Class participation 20%
John Gay, The Beggars Opera (Penguin)
Jonathan Swift, Gullivers Travels (Norton)
Samuel Richardson, Pamela (Oxford)
Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews and Shamela (2-texts-in-one, Oxford)
Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (Oxford)
William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience (Oxford).
There will also be a course packet with selections from, among others, Pope, Swift, Johnson, Hogarth, Addison and Steele.