Introduction to the Study of Literature
Graveyard, Gothic, and the Decadence

Prof. Dawn Morgan
Office: ECH 122.
Hrs:MW 3:30 - 4:50 p.m.
ECH G12 MTW 1:30-2:30 p.m. or by appointment.
Dept. of English Language and Literature
Tel: 452-0431
Fall/Winter Term 2005-2006
Email: dmorgan@stu.ca


This course will focus on attitudes and perspectives that run counter to the general optimism and faith in human progress that dominated the periods of the Enlightenment (late 17th century, 18th century) and scientific positivism (19th century). The texts selected emphasise the generic modes of poetry, prose fiction, and the essay. Many are "canonical" in that they are central to current conceptions of what constitutes good literature and criticism. Others are non-canonical, or only marginally so, such as the "Graveyard School" of poetry, which was widely read in the 18th and 19th centuries but has since been relegated to historical footnote status. The Graveyard School was an important but now little-known antecedent of "gothic" and "decadence," literary forms that have a remarkably sustained and compelling afterlife in western cultures and that are perhaps surprisingly linked - despite their rot and decay - to the high status of "originality" in literature and art.

The concept of genre and the place of each text in the ever-shifting genre matrix will receive sustained attention. In particular, we examine the ode and the elegy, kinds of lyric poetry that originated in ancient Greek and Latin culture but that have been readily adapted to the needs of English writers and readers. Prose works on the course include Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Required texts:
David Damrosch, et al., eds. Longman Anthology of British Literature. Volumes 2A and 2B. Second Edition.
Brontë, Charlotte, Jane Eyre
Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Young, Edward, Night Thoughts: Or, The Complaint and the Consolation (1742)

Course Pack Contents:
Marvell, Andrew. "An Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland." (1681)
Milton, John. "Lycidas." (1638, 1645)
Dryden, John. "Alexander's Feast." (1697)
Morgan, Dawn. "Common Elements of Poetry of the Graveyard School."
Blair, Robert. "The Grave" (1743)
Parnell, Thomas, "Night-Piece on Death" (1721)
Young, Edward, Conjectures on Original Composition (1759)

Attendance and Participation:
Students are expected to attend every class on time, with the assignment read, and thoughtful comments or questions in mind. Recurrent absence, late arrival, and early departure from class will diminish the 10% participation grade. Six absences without a doctor's note or equivalent may, at the discretion of the Instructor, result in failure in the course.

Assignments and Evaluation:
Students will be required to write one essay (1000-1200 words) per term, a December exam on the first term's work, and a final April exam that will emphasize work from the second term but may require students to draw on work done throughout the year. Essay topics will be provided in class well in advance of due dates. Exams will be open book and will consist of short and long essay questions.
The breakdown of marks for assignments is as follows:

Participation: 10 %
Midterm Essay #1: 20 %
December First Term Exam (scheduled Dec 10 at 2 p.m.): 20 %
Midterm Essay #2: 20 %
Final Exam (scheduled April 19 at 2 p.m.): 30 %

Submission of assignments:
A paper will not be considered late as long as it is turned in by 5 p.m. on the day it is due, provided that the student comes to class that day. A paper's point total will be reduced by one point for each day it is late. Extensions may be granted provided that arrangements are made outside of class time and before the paper is due. Papers over one week late or submitted after the last day of classes may not be accepted.

Papers must be typed in 12-point font size and double-spaced with one-inch margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Pages must be numbered and stapled. These and other specifications are outlined in the MLA style manual.

No papers will be accepted by fax or email. Please do not bind essays in plastic.

Plagiarism and Cheating:
Consult the St. Thomas University calendar, pages 244 and following, for definitions and consequences.

Email correspondence:
Please reserve email correspondence with the Instructor to emergency or otherwise pressing circumstances. Let's try to use class time and my office hours to communicate in person as much as possible. Due to the volume of email I receive, if you do send me an email, please put the course number, "2006B," in the subject line. A response may take up to two days.

Please Note: All course assignments must be submitted in order to receive a final grade.

Provisional Schedule of Readings and Lectures
Term I:

M Sept 12 Introduction to course and course materials.
W Sept 14 Horatian ode: Andrew Marvell, "An Horatian Ode Upon
Cromwell's Return from Ireland"
M Sept 19 Pastoral elegy: Milton, "Lycidas"
W Sept 21 Pindaric ode: Dryden, "Alexander's Feast"
M Sept 26 Graveyard: Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in
a Country Churchyard" (hand-out). Morgan, "Common Elements."
W Sept 28 Robert Blair, "The Grave"
M Oct 3 cont'd
W Oct 5 Thomas Parnell, "Night-Piece on Death"
M Oct 10 Thanksgiving. No class.
W Oct 12 Edward Young, Night Thoughts (Nights the First to Fourth)
M Oct 17 cont'd
W Oct 19 cont'd. Young, "Conjectures on Original Composition."
M Oct 24 cont'd
W Oct 26 Professor on research. No class. Make-up class on Nov 21. See below.
M Oct 31 Gothic: Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
W Nov 2 cont'd
M Nov 7 Edmund Burke, "Reflections on the Revolution in France"; from Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry (1756) "Sir Patrick Spence," and Walter Scott, "Lord Randal."
W Nov 9 Mid-term Essay #1 due. Thomas Paine, from The Rights of Man; Wollstonecraft, from The Rights of Men and from Maria: or The Wrongs of Woman. Blake, "The Little Black Boy" and "The Chimney Sweeper." Hannah More, "Village Politics."
M Nov 14 SLIDE SHOW: Salvatore Rosa et al. Ruins and Natural History.
"Perspectives" section on The Sublime, the Beautiful, and the
Picturesque.
W Nov 16 Wordsworth and Coleridge, Preface, Lyrical Ballads; Wordsworth,
"The Thorn."
M Nov 21 Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere" (1798), "Frost
at Midnight," and "Kubla Khan."
    Evening Film Screening (make-up class for Oct 26): Pandaemonium. Julien
Temple, dir. 2000. Screening Room tba.
W Nov 23 Coleridge cont'd, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1817).
M Nov 28 Wordsworth, "Tintern Abbey."
W Nov 30 Review and preparation for first term examination.
    December exam: Saturday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m.
Term II:
W Jan 4 Wordsworth, "Intimations of Immortality. Coleridge, "Dejection: An Ode." Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journals.
M Jan 9 [Read the "Perspectives" section on the Wollstonecraft Controversy and the Rights of Women] and Byron, "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage." Read also "The Byronic Hero" selections.
W Jan 11 Shelley, "Ozymandias" and "Ode to the West Wind."
M Jan 16 Keats, "Ode on Melancholy," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "La Belle Dame sans Mercy," and Letters ("Intensity" and "Negative Capability," "Wordsworth, Milton, and "dark passages").
W Jan 18 Carlyle, from Past and Present; [read also the "Perspectives" section on "The Industrial Landscape."]
M Jan 23 Mill, from On Liberty and The Subjection of Women; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, sonnets "To George Sand" and "A Year's Spinning."
W Jan 25 John Ruskin, from Modern Painters and "The Nature of Gothic"
M Jan 30 Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
W Feb 1 cont'd
M Feb 6 cont'd
W Feb 8 cont'd
M Feb 13 cont'd
W Feb 15 cont'd
M Feb 20 Mid-term Essay #2 due. Browning, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"
W Feb 22 Tennyson, "The Lady of Shalott" and "The Lotos-Eaters"
M Feb 27 Christina Rosetti, "Goblin Market" and "No, Thank You, John."
W Mar 1 Arnold, "The Buried Life," "Dover Beach," "The Scholar-Gipsy," and "Thyrsis"
M Mar 6 Mid-term break. No class.
W Mar 8 Mid-term break. No class.
M Mar 13 Arnold cont'd. Morris, from "The Beauty of Life." Decadence: "Perspectives" section and Walter Pater, The Renaissance. Swinburne, "The Leper"
W Mar 15 St. Thomas Student Research Fair. No class.
M Mar 20 Wilde, from The Decay of Lying and Aphorisms
W Mar 22 Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
M Mar 27 cont'd
W Mar 29 Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
M Apr 3 cont'd
W Apr 5 Review and preparation for second term exam.
    Final Exam: Wednesday, April 19 at 2:00 p.m.