Literary Interpretation (LIT 001)

Half of Andrew’s work for this course was satisfactory, half very good. Andrew’s paper on virtue in Mother Courage–which was a very good first paper–was thoughtful and intelligent. His paper on Boccaccio offered some insightful reading, but it lacked focus, was not organized effectively, and contained some unnecessary plot summary. His revision was barely adequate; he made minor changes and added some new material at the end, but the paper was still incoherent. His paper on Neruda’s “Entrance to Wood” was very good. Andrew’s close reading of the poem was very insightful, and in the end he made some excellent observations about the poem as a whole. One of his short papers was excellent, one satisfactory. Andrew’s work for this course showed him to be a careful, intelligent, and inventive reader and thinker, yet he never managed to develop his insights into synthesized interpretive arguments. (TA: Kristen Brookes)


Course description:¬†Purpose: develop skills in close reading, contextual analysis, and the examination of generic conventions using texts in three literary genres. Meetings: two lectures and two sections weekly; Readings: Brecht’s Mother Courage; tales from Boccaccio’s Decameron; poems, medieval to contemporary, divided into three subgenres (love, landscape, and political poetry). Requirements: three 6-7 page papers, one extensively revised; two 2-3 page preparatory papers on poems; passing score on daily lecture quizzes.

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