Introduction to Literature 1006A
MWF 10:30 – 11:20
GMH 205
Andrew Titus

Course Outline
In The Gossip Game, one person whispers something in their neighbour's ear, the message – as heard – is then passed along around the room until it reaches the last person who says aloud what they have heard. The joke is that it is never what was originally said; however, this certainly does not make it untrue, but moreso just a new variation, a new interpretation, of the original utterance. This class will introduce students to various genres and periods of English Literature with a focus on narrative as story and the underlying truth-claims of those stories. Individuals in the class will be exposed to a variety of mediums (text, film, performance, and image) and will explore a number of different kinds of reading and writing in the broadest sense. Particular attention will be paid to critical approaches to reading and how culture is affected/ infected by the narratives we live with.

Term 1
Photocopies provided
Selections from:
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Don McKay, Apparatus
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Margaret Atwood, The Journals of Suzanna Moodie
Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

To be purchased
Jean Giraudoux, The Mad Woman of Chaillot

Term 2
To be purchased
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Paul Quarrington, Whale Music
William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus

Term 1
Students will be required to submit 5 short (200 word) papers and 1 larger (750 word) paper throughout the term.

Term 2
Students will be required to submit 2 long (750 word) papers and one term paper (1500 word) critical essay.

*NOTE: If students wish to submit alternative projects (ex: films, creative writing, performance, visual interpretation etc), consideration will most definitely be given for one assignment per term.

There will be a three hour Christmas exam, and another at year's end in April. Each exam will consist of one long essay and several short answer questions.

Class mark
Class mark (worth 10% of final grade each term) will be based on how much students participate in class discussions and their attendance. No unexcused absences will be accepted, with each causing a decrease in the final mark. Five unexcused absences will result in the awarding of a Golden "F".

Term 1
Assignments 50% (10% each)
Long essay 15%
Exam 25%
Class mark 10%

Term 2
Assignments 60% (20% each)
Exam 30%
Class mark 10%

Tentative Schedule
Term 1

Sept. 9 Introduction
Sept. 12 – 16 Annie Dillard: Creative non-fiction and the narrative position, voice and the multiplicity of truths
Sept. 19 – 30 Don McKay: Poetry and "that capacity of all things to elude the mind's appropriations."
Oct. 3 – 7 William Blake: Mythology, culture, and how "one thought fills immensity."
Oct. 12 – 17 Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Myth-making then and now
Oct. 19 – Nov. 9 Edgar Allan Poe: Introduction of the Short Story/ True Goth
Nov. 14 – 23 Margaret Atwood: Redefining the wilderness, Canadian culture, and geography as poetry
Nov. 25 – Dec. 2 Jean Giraudoux: From text to stage – plays on words and plays in performance (Attending the play in performance in Memorial Hall, November 29)

Term 2

Jan. 4 – Feb. 1 Arundhati Roy: Post-colonial literature and the depths of narrative and memory
Feb. 3 – March 10 Paul Quarrington: Music, film and text – genre bending and the polyphony of fiction
March 13. – April 5 William Shakespeare: Madness, tragedy and narrative perception in text and film