Tu/Th 02:00-03:30 233 Dwinelle Instructor: Howard Fisher

If literature contains forms of language that seem not to fit in everyday speech, how is it that even literary works that minimize the representation of speech remain deeply interested in language as a social phenomenon? This course approaches the question by presenting students with a group of texts that allow them to explore the aspects of language that receive emphasis when literary works place readers at a distance from speech. The course proceeds from the tentative claim that as long as we dwell in the realm of literature, silence does not refer to the absence of language; it rather denotes a range of viewpoints onto language as a social behavior.

Focusing on works of lyric, short prose, novels, silent film, and criticism, this course will explore these questions as a way to develop students’ critical reading, thinking, and writing skills. With these goals in mind, members of this course will illustrate the development of their thinking on course topics through regular expository writing assignments, re-writes, frequent free-writing exercises, periodic posts to a bcourses forum, and in-class discussion.

Reading and viewing assignments will include works by

Charles Baudelaire

Michel Hazanavicius

E.T.A. Hoffmann

Heinrich von Kleist

Nella Larsen

Robert Musil

G.W. Pabst

Gertrude Stein

Richard Wright