On the Road: Quests, Trips, and Inner Journeys

R1A :  English Composition through French Literature in Translation (Section 2)
Spring 2020
S. Rogghe



Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica ISBN-13: 978-0140440850

Jack Kerouac, On the Road ISBN-13: 978-0143105466


Course Reader:

Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (selections)
Chrétien de Troyes, Perceval

Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night (selections)

Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil (selections)

Baudelaire, “The Artificial Paradises”

Rimbaud, selected poems

Jim Morrison, Wilderness & The American Night (selections)

Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

Course Description:

From errant knights, visionary poets, and compulsive travelers to psychedelic rock musicians, this course will examine the phenomenon of “the journey” throughout various literary representations. More than a linear route from A to B, this course will focus on those journeys that have no set destination, those whose goal is perpetually just beyond reach, or those that wander to the “edge of the night.”

In the first part of the course, we will look at depictions of “The Hero’s Journey” in texts from Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the second part, we will read two novels, different in tone, that consider the journey’s transformative potential. In the last part of the course, we will look at inner journeys in relation to the notion of “Voyance,” first developed by the 19th-century visionary poet Arthur Rimbaud, and taken up by figures such as Jim Morrison and Aldous Huxley during the counterculture of the 1960s.

Through a close reading of texts ranging from Antiquity to the present, as well as by drawing parallels and making comparisons between these different texts, this course will sharpen critical reading skills as well as promote clear, argumentative writing. To this goal, there will be a variety of writing exercises and essays in response to the texts read.

Additional Information:

Attendance is mandatory the first two weeks of classes.  This includes all enrolled and wait listed students.  Students who do not attend all classes during the first two weeks may be dropped. Students attempting to add this class during weeks 1 and 2 who did not attend the first day will be expected to add themselves to the wait list and attend all class meetings thereafter.  If space permits,  they may be enrolled from the wait list.

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