English 1006B-- Introduction to Literature

Syllabus 2005-2006


Professor: Alan Bourassa
Office: Edmund Casey Hall (ECH) 121
e-mail: bourassa@stu.ca
Class Times: MWF 11:30-12:20
JDH G2

There is one thing to know about literature. Everything else you will ever learn about literature now and in the future is an offshoot of this one great piece of knowledge, which is simply that literature is interesting. If literature is not interesting to you, don't read it (and whatever you do, DON'T take this class!). You're not ready for it yet if you find it boring. Remember the old adage: "Interested people are interesting people." I will let you draw your own conclusions about bored people. In this course, we will read several works of fiction, drama and poetry that all have only one thing in common: they are interesting. They are interesting because they are about people, emotions, passions, human weaknesses, strengths, relationships, the working of the mind, the imagination. Have you ever had a problem? Done something you are ashamed of? Done something you are proud of? Surpassed your expectations? Had a fantasy? Used your imagination? Created something? Had a relationship? Felt jealous? Wondered about your good or bad luck? Lost something or someone important to you? If so, you are probably ready to read good and interesting literature. If you find literature interesting, you are on your way to understanding it. From contemporary Japanese novels and stories to the Book of Job and Greek Tragedy, we will explore the strange richness of the human experience and the diverse ways of telling stories about it.

Reading List

Fall 2005
The Unbearable Lightness of Being -- Milan Kundera
As I Lay Dying -- William Faulkner
Selected Short Stories - Guy DeMaupassant
The Importance of Being Ernest - Oscar Wilde
Poetry (Class handouts)

Winter 2006
Candide - Voltaire
Twelfth Night - William Shakespeare
Beowulf - trans. Seamus Heaney
Oedipus Rex (or King Oedipus) -- Sophocles
Genesis
Poetry (class handouts)

WEEK 1 Sept. 7-9 Introduction
WEEK 2 Sept. 12-16 The Unbearable Lightness of Being
WEEK 3 Sept 19-23 The Unbearable Lightness of Being
WEEK 4 Sept. 26-30 Poetry (Class Handouts)
WEEK 5 Oct. 3-7 As I Lay Dying
WEEK 6 10-14 As I Lay Dying
Monday Oct 10 - No Classes Thanksgiving
WEEK 7 Oct. 17-21 As I Lay Dying
Paper 1 Due
WEEK 8 Oct. 24-28
WEEK 9 Oct. 31-Nov. 4 The Importance of Being Ernest
WEEK 10 Nov. 7-11 The Importance of Being Ernest
Friday Nov. 11 - No Classes Remembrance Day
Paper 2 Due

WEEK 11 Nov. 14-18 Selected Short Stories - Guy DeMaupassant
WEEK 12 Nov. 21-25 Selected Short Stories - Guy DeMaupassant
WEEK 13 Nov. 28-Dec. 2 English Romantic Poetry (Class Handout)


Winter 2005
WEEK 1 Jan. 4-6 English Romantic Poetry (Class Handout)
WEEK 2 Jan. 9-13 Candide - Voltaire
WEEK 3 Jan. 16-20 Candide - Voltaire
WEEK 4 Jan. 23-27 Twelfth Night - William Shakespeare
WEEK 5 Jan. 30-Feb 3 Twelfth Night - William Shakespeare
Friday Feb 3 Chancellor's Day. No classes.
WEEK 6 Feb. 6-10 Twelfth Night - William Shakespeare
WEEK 7 Feb. 13-17 Beowulf - trans. Seamus Heaney
WEEK 8 Feb. 20-24 Beowulf - trans. Seamus Heaney
WEEK 9 Feb. 27-Mar. 3 Oedipus Rex (or King Oedipus) -- Sophocles
Paper 3 Due
WEEK 10 March 6-10 Mid-Term Break - No Classes
WEEK 11 March 13-17 Oedipus Rex (or King Oedipus) -- Sophocles

WEEK 12 March 20-24 Genesis
WEEK 13 March 27-31 Genesis
WEEK 14 April 3-5 Conclusion


Grading

Semester 1
(4) Quizzes --10%
Paper 1 -- 15%
Paper 2 -- 15%
Participation --10%

Semester 2
(4) Quizzes -- 10%
Paper 3 -- 30%
Participation --10%