Reading & Composition

Reading & Composition

Misfits, outcasts, strangers, foreigners, and bohemians – writers frequently are, or are preoccupied with, weird people. An absolutely singular personality, character, or appearance remains perpetually fecund material for narrative fixation; conversely, such figures lend themselves to being captivating narrators, providing us with the opportunity to inhabit a truly alien point of view.

Reading & Composition

Do poems take up truths? Can a novel be a way of thinking about something? What can you learn—about yourself, about others, about the world—from a film? This course considers the ways that literature, art, and film are not only a part of our creative imaginations but also central sources of insight into what is real and actual. How do fictional and imaginative works touch what is worldbound? How do they help us see, hear, and understand our world?

Reading & Composition

Many of the literary texts we study today come to us incomplete. Perhaps the author passed away before the work was finished, or perhaps we know the text only through scraps of parchment used in the binding of a different manuscript. Still other texts consciously position themselves as fragments, even if this move is but an artifice on the part of the author.

Reading & Composition

Reading & Composition

Reading and Composition

Our reliance on clocks to tell time tends to overshadow other, more porous categories of temporal experience: the cycles of day and night, the turn of the seasons, periods of rain and drought. In this course, we will turn our attention to both the imprecision and the possibilities of nocturnal rhythms. When does nighttime begin and end? What experiences become possible shrouded in darkness? Is nighttime for sleep, for moonlighting, or, perhaps, for partying? Why do we label periods of unrest “dark times” when the night sky makes its way back to us daily?

Reading & Composition

Reading & Composition

André Breton defined surrealism as “psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express—verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner—the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.” But to what extent can we begin to comprehend this mode of thinking? Can we actually uncouple reason from thought? And if we could—would it even be fruitful?

Reading and Composition

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