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Syllabus

October 2: Introduction to the course

Reading

October 4: Manuscripts and metafictions
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (Introduction and Chapters I-IV, pp. xi-40; look at exhibits and appendices)

October 9: Reading and detection
Danielewski, House of Leaves (Chapters V-VIII, pp. 41-106)

October 11: Textuality and authorship
Danielewski, House of Leaves (Chapters IX-X and XX, pp. 107-245, 423-489)

October 16: Copying and the author function
Jorge Luis Borges, “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote”; Jonathan Lethem, “The Ecstasy of Influence

October 18: Semiotics
Selections from Roland Barthes, Mythologies (“The World of Wrestling”; “The Romans in Films”; “Dominici, or the Triumph of Literature”; “Ornamental Cookery”; “Photography and Electoral Appeal”)

October 23: Barthes, semiotics, symptomatic reading (continued)

Literary forms

October 25: Poetry & poetic form
–!> Some readings from this lecture have been moved to other dates in order to make space for continued discussion of the semiotic assignment. For example, Ben Lerner is now on the schedule for November 8.
–!> Recommended reading: “Preface” and “The ‘Blue Blood’ Cruise,” Mythologies
–!> Remnants of old schedule: William Shakespeare, Sonnet 130; Pentametron (browse)

October 30: Consciousness, interiority, tone
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (pp. 3-29); Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”; Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias”; Linton Kwesi Johnson, “Five Nights of Bleeding

November 1: Literature & society
Manjula Padmanabhan, Harvest

November 6: Character
Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener” [in-class writing assignment]

November 8: Speculative & weird fiction
HP Lovecraft, “Temple”; Arundhati Roy, “The Briefing”; China Miéville, “Polynia”; Ben Lerner, The Hatred of Poetry (excerpts)

November 13: Graphic narrative
Alison Bechdel, Are You My Mother? (excerpt); Guy Delisle, Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea (excerpt); Joe Sacco, “Trauma on Loan”; Chris Ware, Building Stories (excerpt)

Institutions: past, present, future

November 15: Schooling & the humanities
Charles Dickens, Hard Times (Book I)

November 20: Dickens, Hard Times (Book II)

November 22: no class (university closed)

November 27: Dickens, Hard Times (Book I-II)
–!> Recommended reading: Mohsin Hamid, “Living in the Age of Permawar

November 29: New methodologies: text analysis, distant reading, digital bibliography
–!> Conclude: Dickens, Hard Times (Book III)
Geoffrey Rockwell, “What is Text Analysis?”; Emily Dickinson, “I dwell in Possibility
Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, and Trees (Chapter 1)

December 4: Attention & distraction
David Mitchell, “The Right Sort”; Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, “Rain on the Sea”; Donna Leishman, RedRidinghood; Jason Nelson, “Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise”; Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al, Screen
–!> Video documentation: Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen

December 6: Writing for the future
Future Library & Margaret Atwood, “Future Library

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