T C 603A • Composition and Reading in World Literature
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
If the past is a foreign country, literature is a most illuminating tour guide. The fall semester will explore the theme of search and discovery in some works from ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and Renaissance Europe. We'll spend much of our time on three epic journeys: a struggle to return home in Homer's Odyssey, a voyage to found a new home in Vergil's Aeneid, and a quest to recover love by finding God in Dante's Divine Comedy. Along the way, we'll take some shorter excursions into the realm of the stage and also retrace a few other tales of travel. The focus will be on the process of searching: what different people seek, how and why they do so, and what we can learn from their endeavors-about others and about ourselves. We shall also consider questions of literary form and method: how writers guide and shape our responses to their work through their manipulation of language, character, plot, and various other factors. In the spring our readings will turn to a hearty and balanced diet of prose, poetry, and drama.
Grades will be based on four short papers-two of 2-4 pages, two of 4-6 pages-and perhaps two to three short response papers of 1-2 pages, all comprising 40% of the final grade; two exams comprising 40%; and participation in class comprising 20%. Late papers will receive lower grades; and since attendance is necessary for discussion, there will be similar penalties for unexcused absence.
Homer, Odyssey Sophocles, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus Euripides, Hippolytus and Medea Vergil, Aeneid Aristophanes, Birds Terence, Brothers Apuleius, Golden Ass Plato, Symposium Dante, Divine Comedy More, Utopia