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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2005

T C E603B • Composition and Reading in World Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31315 MWF
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
CRD 007B

Course Description

As in the first semester, when we traveled “paths” through creation narratives, epics and myth in several traditions, a modern Indian novel, and the Nobel Prize winner for 2004, Elfriede Jelinek, we again travel paths. The Western tradition will be read through the likes of Rabelais, Cervantes, and Shakespeare. I hope to have time in the modern age to look at a short piece which will help define terms of Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, and Postmodernism (though the last may very well be read in an international perspective). We will also use the anthologies carried over from the first semester to explore the backgrounds of Chinese literary culture on the way to reading some modern works (short stories of Lu Xun and Wang Meng, a play by Gao Xingjian). We will explore early Japanese writings such as The Tale of the Heike, The Tale of Genji, and The Pillow Book Anthology, and part of our postmodern foray will include a novel by Haruki Murakami. In a similar vein, we’ll look at some early writing from the Middle East, especially The Thousand and One Nights, before reading a modern novel by the Turkish writer Orhan Pahmuk. We have vowed to celebrate the feast of St.Patrick with a nod to Ireland (the class will decide between James Joyce, Joyce’s favorite comic writer Flann O’Brien, or Roddy Doyle). Time permitting, we will follow our desires to read that which we desire to read. (We note the sparcity of women authors in the above list and the neglect of sub-saharan Africa. Perhaps the great novel Nervous Conditions by the Zimbabwean Tsitsi Dangarembga can help lessen both shortcomings).

About the Professor Brian Doherty is working on interdisciplinary teaching of world literature. His doctoral dissertation, which may yet evolve into a book, was a reading of prison literature from an international perspective (South Africa, France, Germany, and the U.S.).

Grading Policy

Participation in seminar discussions. Short research and presentation assignments. Short response papers, including in-class writing and creative responses. A prospectus for the longer literary analysis paper. Literary Analysis paper (around 10 pages).


The Longman Anthology of World Literature (already purchased for fall) for early readings in European, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic classic texts. Orhan Pahmuk, My Name is Red. Flann O’Brien, The Poor Mouth. Haruki Murakami, The Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. A reader of short selections from Enlightenment through Modernist writers. Also included will be writers such as Wang Meng, Gao Xingjian, Banana Yoshimoto, Maguibn Mahfouz, Alifaa Rifcaat, etc.


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