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Mary Neuburger, Chair BUR 452, 2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3607

Spring 2007

RUS 391 • The Creative History of the Literary Text

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45815 MW
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
PAR 210

Course Description

This course is designed to open up the perception of commonly read texts by returning to the process of their creation. In the Russian tradition this is called creative history; the French call it genetic criticism. This may involve comparison of various "final" versions of a text as well as the exploration of drafts, notebooks and predecessor works. It is to be expected that individual authors working in different genres or periods will use their creative laboratories differently. Often the text that we are accustomed to read is less definitive and involves more changes of direction than it would appear from the finished product. Factors like audience expectations and censorship may play a role. Any literary material is of interest from the fluid construction of books of verse or cycles of stories to the shaping of the play on the stage and the novel in print. Romantic and modernist authors may explicitly stress the elusive and open nature of the work as fragment or sketch. The course will be designed around case studies with theoretical works as secondary aids. Interested students, please consult about the syllabus with the instructor, either in person or by e-mail: We will proceed by reading each final text and then building it up as much as possible from the beginning.

Grading Policy

Active participation in seminar 30% Two short papers (2-3 pages) 20% Oral presentation 20% Final seminar paper (15-20 pages) 30%


To Be Announced


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