"True” Stories, Opinionated Narrators, and Other Complications -- Approaches to Narrative Form

R1A (Section 2) :  English Composition through French Literature in Translation
Spring 2016
K. Levine


Letters from a Peruvian Woman, Françoise de Graffigny

A Lost Lady, Willa Cather

“Prologue,” “Yonec,” “Chievrefeuille,” Marie de France

Oxford Tristan folie, anonymous

“A Hundred Ballads of a Lover and a Lady,” Christine de Pizan (excerpt)

“A&P,” John Updike

“Snow,” John Crowley

“The Empties,” Jess Row

“The Function of Literature,” Umberto Eco

Portrait of a Lady, Henry James (excerpt)

Other readings:

Writing Analytically, David Rosenwasser and Jill Stephen

Course Description:

In this course, we will read a variety of fictional texts in order to explore the ways in which stories can be told.  Our starting point will be the whys and hows of writing and reading: why would an author decide to withhold information from the reader?  How does a reader perceive a first-person narrator vs. a third-person one?  We’ll analyze many forms – short narratives, some poetry, an epistolary novel, a novella, and several short stories – from many different times, places, and traditions, starting with texts from medieval France and ending with a short story set in futuristic America.  As we look at how authors choose to convey their stories and how those choices affect our understanding of their narratives, we will also consider strategies for presenting our own arguments about literature.

This course is an R1A, the first part of two courses intended to introduce students to literary analysis, critical reading, and analytical writing.  Writing assignments will include posting to bCourses and formulating discussion questions as well as brainstorming, peer-editing, drafting, revising, and re-writing formal essays.

Additional information:

French R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes