Senior English

Senior English

Bruce A. McMenomy, Ph.D. for Scholars Online
2023-24: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00-2:30 PM Eastern

Schedule of Assignments

In all cases, reading is to be completed by the date listed. You are expected to have read it thoughtfully and to be ready to discuss it openly and courteously.

All assigned written work is required. There are no optional assignments (whether you are planning to take the AP Exam or not), and there is no extra credit. A piece of written work is deemed to be late if it’s not there when I go to retrieve it from the forum for the assignment. I will not accept it afterward for any reason whatever. Late work will receive a zero (actually, a score of -150, which in the larger scheme of things rounds out to a zero. Ask me about it and I’ll explain). I am not going to check date-stamps fastidiously, so it’s possible that you can get in under the wire a bit late, but I offer no guarantees on that score. I absolutely will not chase down overdue assignments or revisit the forum in hopes of collecting stragglers. This is a college-level course, and I can only afford to teach it at this level of intensity on the assumption that you bring to it a corresponding level of maturity.

Tue, Sep 5, 2023:
Introduction to method (most of which should be familiar to you by now), special policy and procedure relating to Senior English. I would like you to read the course outline thoroughly — it discusses the scope and intention of the course, and some peculiar rules that I have not enforced with any regularity in other English courses, but which need to be observed here. I want to make sure that none of them takes anyone by surprise.

By the first class, please have read at least the first half of C. S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism. This is a small but chewy book. I don’t require that you agree with him here (or anywhere else in particular) but his position deserves careful consideration, and if you don’t agree, you should be ready with an answering argument of your own. Determine how you are dealing with literature — are you “using” or “receiving”? It’s likely that you do some of each, and that it varies from occasion to occasion — but it’s also probably useful to determine where the boundaries are.

Thu, Sep 7, 2023:
Please have finished C. S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism; we’ll discuss the remainder of the book. Bring with you your ideas on overall approaches to literature. Most (if not all) of you have been with me for a number of years now. What new ways do you have of thinking about literature? What is the nature of the literary experience? What are the purposes of literature?

1: What is an educated person?

This is a pretty open-ended question, but I’d like to see what you do with it. I offer it partly because it will direct our thinking for the rest of this course, and partly honoris causa, because Mr. George H. Ward assigned it as the first essay for my AP English class back in 1970. Actually, I think he asked it in the pre-PC version, “What is an educated man?”, but he apparently intended no particular gender restriction, and the question remains valid.

Fri, Sep 8, 2023


Tue, Sep 12, 2023:
Please have read Perrine’s Sound and Sense, ch. 1-2. I’ll entertain any questions you have on the reading first, and then we’ll get into a free discussion about poetry, approaches and suppositions about poetry, and so on. You will of course recall that we’ve discussed such things on and off over the last several years; but the big questions don’t really go away. You’ll get to write about it next week.

Thu, Sep 14, 2023:
Please read Perrine’s Sound and Sense, ch. 3-4. Bring any questions you may have, and then we’ll get down to a discussion of these chapters’ materials and examples.

2: What are the limits of literature in translation?

This is a question we have taken up in World Literature and Western Literature to Dante, but not much elsewhere. Some of you may have encountered it several times; others may not have confronted it at all. Still, it remains an important question, and will be important on and off for the rest of this year, since some of the things we’ll be reading are indeed works in translation. It’s worthwhile to consider these matters here.

Fri, Sep 15, 2023

Tue, Sep 19, 2023:
Please read Perrine’s Sound and Sense, ch. 5-6. Questions, free discussion on poetry in general.

Thu, Sep 21, 2023:
Please read Perrine’s Sound and Sense, ch. 7-8. Again bring your questions, and we’ll follow more or less the same approach. Make sure you’re really grasping this material, since the writing assignment requires you to use it. No questions are dumb. Whatever time is left we’ll devote to discussion of particular poems.

3: What is poetry?

This is your chance to take on the large theoretical question. We aired these questions last week — now it’s time to make your own summation and deliver your own thoughts in a coherent package. Having a definition you believe in and can defend will make the task of measuring other poetry against it much more rational and practical, so this will arm you for the AP Exam as well, but it’s also the kind of thing you should be thinking about.

Fri, Sep 22, 2023

Tue, Sep 26, 2023:
Please read Perrine’s Sound and Sense, ch. 9-10. After dealing with your questions, we’ll turn once again to discussion of particular poems.

Thu, Sep 28, 2023:
Please read Perrine’s Sound and Sense, ch. 11-12. We’ll follow the same general procedure as before: come ready to discuss any issues raised by the text, and to ask any questions that leave you unsatisfied. After dealing with the general material, we’ll turn once again to discussion of particular poems. We may also devote some time to a discussion of writing strategies.

4: Close reading of a particular poem.

Select a poem and write a close analysis of it — its meaning, its structure, and in general its interplay of sound and sense. You last did this, or something like it, in English Literature, I suspect. Now I’d like you to take another shot at it, and give it all you’ve got. Use the tools you’ve gained from Perrine’s discussion, and dig as deeply as you can. Choose a poem worthy of your attention, but not something so long that you can’t give it the close scrutiny the exercise requires. Twenty lines is probably sufficient.

Fri, Sep 29, 2023

Tue, Oct 3, 2023:
Please read T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land” This was one of the most difficult and problematic poems of the early twentieth century. Eliot has been by turns praised and blamed for this work, but it deserves a sober look. Using the tools you should now have acquired from your reading of Perrine, read it and think about it carefully. Expect it to take some time. We will also assign articles from the Norton edition of “The Waste Land” for your essays, and to discuss in class next week.

Thu, Oct 5, 2023:
Please read Perrine’s Sound and Sense, ch. 13-16. Questions, free discussion, etc. — wrapping up poetry in isolation. Perrine’s last chapters deal with some very particular issues, and a few technical questions. It’s worth weighing his approach against that of C. S. Lewis, which we have already had a chance to view. Which of them seems to you to be correct? How about Eliot (whom Lewis disliked, but whom Lewis’ friend Charles Williams liked a lot)? First of the presentations on ”The Waste Land.”

5: Write and post to the forum your assigned discussion on the article from the Norton edition of “The Waste Land”.

I would like each of you to read all the posted discussions, and begin the discussion we’ll continue in class next week. Don’t worry about producing a critique of the forms here: try to follow the ideas and see what you make of them.

In writing material to be posted in the class forum, do be cognizant of the fact that it is also a weekly essay, and should follow the formal standards of appropriate diction, clear usage, and correct mechanics that I’d expect from any other paper you have submitted. Refrain from “<g>” and “/me” insertions, and write good clean academic prose.

Fri, Oct 6, 2023

Tue, Oct 10, 2023:
“The Waste Land”. Individual presentations.


Thu, Oct 12, 2023:
General introduction to drama. The first drama was of course poetical, so the transition is not completely arbitrary. Please read Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, and the first chapter of Bentley’s The Life of the Drama. This is one of the most sensible and thorough guides to drama I have ever encountered, by a real theater man with one foot in academe — he knows what he’s talking about, and he’s familiar with the literature of the theater from Aeschylus to Pirandello. He avoids doctrinaire snap judgments in favor of real penetration. There will be a lot of references here you don’t catch, but be willing to pursue them somewhat, and bring questions to class. If you could handle Auerbach, this should be easy.

Most of you have read Greek drama in Western Literature to Dante, and so this is not altogether new ground. The Prometheus Bound is one of the earliest pieces we have surviving. What’s there? What’s missing? What do you expect that you don’t find? Bring any questions you have on either the Aeschylus or the Bentley, and we’ll discuss what we can.

6: Evaluation of a poem. Select a poem from the ancillary materials in Perrine/Arp and write an evaluation of it.

There’s no single set of criteria here — but you should have picked up a lot from Lewis, Perrine, and Eliot by now. Bear in mind that here your job is to evaluate it — i.e., determine how good it is in various ways. Use your own methods and ideas, but be rigorous. You’re a poetry reviewer: assess the poem. How well does it use its materials? Is its imagery fresh? Its thematic material? Does it have interesting ideas? Does it use the language well or badly? Does the poem work for you, or not? If so, how? If not, why not?

Fri, Oct 13, 2023

Tue, Oct 17, 2023:
Please read Sophocles, Philoctetes, and the second chapter of Bentley’s The Life of the Drama. This time I’d like to talk about your presuppositions about ancient drama as opposed to modern drama, etc. What are the formal constraints of ancient drama? What does the presence of chorus, song and dance, and so on, do to the shape of the play? Does it have some consequences for the actual shape of the plotting? Does it limit or extend the options for characterization? Be ready also to discuss what Bentley has to say. This will serve you throughout our unit on drama.

Thu, Oct 19, 2023:
Please read Euripides, Medea, and chapter 3 of Bentley. Along with the Bacchae, which you probably met in Western Literature to Dante, this is one of the most horrific of Euripides’ plays. Does the lurid aspect of the play add to its drama? Detract from it? Does Euripides create a believable set of characters here? How do his characters compare with those of Aeschylus and Sophocles? In what ways does Euripides’ subjectivism affect his work?

7: Is there a single protagonist or hero in the Philoctetes? If so, who is it? If not, does the play allow us to identify or sympathize with any of the characters?

This question will require you to do some definition of terms before you go too far, I suspect. Give those terms some thought. Opinions will almost certainly differ in this matter — they have typically done so for as long as the play has been studied. I really don’t care what position you take as long as you support it with sound argumentation.

Fri, Oct 20, 2023

Tue, Oct 24, 2023:
Please read Euripides, Hippolytus, and chapter 4 of Bentley. Free discussion: Transformation of character in Euripides.

Thu, Oct 26, 2023:
Please read Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, and chapter 5 of Bentley. We’ll talk a bit about some introductory material on Shakespeare; free discussion on Shakespeare’s plot construction.

Here we take an enormous leap forward to the modern world — the early modern world, to be sure, but about 2000 years after Euripides. It’s worth consciously evaluating the drama to try to ascertain for yourself just how it has changed. Are its purposes the same? Is its function the same?

8: Aristotle argues that the function of (Greek) tragedy is to evoke pity and fear in the audience, and to achieve a “catharsis” or purgation of emotion. Defend or attack this position.

You’re welcome to affirm or deny Aristotle’s theory. Either way, however, you should thoughtfully address some of the limitations of the approach. Is this what Greek tragedy really accomplishes? Is this true of what we would call tragedy generally? What makes tragedy tragedy, after all?

You have now read several Greek dramas recently, and many of you will remember six others at least somewhat from Western Literature to Dante. That’s more than most college students have run into. You may draw on any of this as evidence, and, for that matter, on any other Greek tragedy you may have read.

Fri, Oct 27, 2023

Tue, Oct 31, 2023:
Please read Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Erich Auerbach, Mimesis, ”The Weary Prince” Discussion: Casts of thousands: Shakespeare’s histories as history; their social and political function.

Thu, Nov 2, 2023:
Please read Shakespeare, Henry V and ch. 6 of Bentley. Free discussion: transformation of character in Shakespeare; history, continuity, and agenda in Shakespeare.

9: How do Shakespeare’s history plays merge the tasks of dramatist and historian?

The three Henry IV and Henry V plays are part of a great sequence of history plays that stretches from the end of the reign of Richard II (ob. 1399) to the fall of Richard III (ob. 1485). Obviously some of these have propagandistic value in political terms, but that is unlikely to have been Shakespeare’s sole motivation in writing them. What is Shakepeare’s point here? Does it reflect more on the persons of the kings or the identity of the nation? What kind of understanding of history do they convey? Does this add to or detract from their dramatic force?

Fri, Nov 3, 2023

Tue, Nov 7, 2023:
Please read Shakespeare, Measure for Measure. Free discussion of the play: possible topics — character, plot, and melodrama.

Thu, Nov 9, 2023:
Please read Chapter 7 of Bentley. Continuing discussion of Measure for Measure; we’ll talk about deception and genuineness in comedy and tragedy. I strongly suggest also that you begin reading Hamlet over the weekend. We will assign Hamlet presentations from the Norton Critical Edition articles today.

10: Discuss and assess the peculiar mixture of comic and tragic in Measure for Measure.

Measure for Measure is one of the darkest and most menacing of all Shakespeare’s comedies. We have already discussed something about what makes a tragedy tragedy in Greek terms: what prevents these comedies from being tragedies? Does skirting close to the boundaries of tragic territory enhance or weaken the comic experience?

Fri, Nov 10, 2023

Tue, Nov 14, 2023:
Please read Shakespeare, Hamlet. Free discussion: deception and genuineness in Hamlet vs. Measure for Measure.

Hamlet is rightly considered to be one of the most difficult and challenging of Shakespeare’s plays, and it has more than enough meat on it to keep us going for some time to come. I’m hoping that the critical readings in the Norton edition will give us material to start with, and that from there you will be able to develop your own discussion on the forum.

Thu, Nov 16, 2023:
Please read Chapter 8 of Bentley. Problems in Hamlet; Hamlet as a character: complexities, ambiguities.

11: Write and post to the forum your presentations on Hamlet.

I would like each of you to read all the posted discussions, though obviously the timing makes it difficult for us to progress very far in discussion prior to class.

Fri, Nov 17, 2023

Tue, Nov 21, 2023:
Hamlet, individual presentations.


Happy Thanksgiving. You’ve earned it.

Tue, Nov 28, 2023:
Please read Molière, The Miser. Introduction to French drama; questions and free discussion. Free discussion: Molière’s characters vs. Shakespeare’s.

Thu, Nov 30, 2023:
Molière, The Would-Be Gentleman. How does this differ from The Miser? Are the sources of humor the same?

12: Select one of Molière’s characters and compare him or her with a similar character from one of Shakespeare’s comedies.

There are a lot of directions to go with this question. Which is better rounded? Which serves the comic impulse more successfully? What are the respective strengths and weaknesses of each of the characterizations? (I am not, of course, asking about the personal strengths and weaknesses of the characters!)

Fri, Dec 1, 2023

Tue, Dec 5, 2023:
Corneille, Le Cid, Chapter 9 of Bentley. Free discussion: Type and formula in classical French tragedy.

Thu, Dec 7, 2023:
Racine, Phèdre. Free discussion: Referential drama in classical French Tragedy. Racine’s characters vs. Euripides’.

13: How much of the French classical drama of Corneille and Racine relies on the exercise of choice, and how much is the passive exploration of feeling for its own sake? What does this mean for you as a viewer/reader of the drama?

The extremely focused plot and characterization in Corneille’s Le Cid leaves almost nothing without motivation; the situation in Racine is not markedly different. Indeed, the problem by its nature leaves very little actual opportunity for characters to exert any kind of practical freedom of choice about what they will do. One can argue that this generally reactive situation produces a sense of inevitability in the plot, and a dramatic economy that is primarily centered around mining situations for their emotional force. Some find that compelling; others find it annoying or tiresome. We are coming close to the end of our dramatic unit, and so it seems worth reflecting on this question: to what extent do the other dramas you have read (here or anywhere else) follow the same strategy? You may want to consider the Shakespeare you have read, as well as the ancient tragedy, such things as Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, which we covered last year, and so on. Just to get you thinking — you don’t have to answer these: Is this a kind of ploy that can be carried off in comedy? What is its purpose? How does such a static model of drama intersect with Bentley’s arguments that violence at some level is essential to drama?

Fri, Dec 8, 2023

Tue, Dec 12, 2023:
Please read Ibsen, The Wild Duck, and Chapter 10 of Bentley.

Thu, Dec 14, 2023:
Chekhov, Uncle Vanya: Chekhov’s vs. Ibsen’s realism. (You may want to consider renting and viewing Vanya on 42nd St., a reasonably successful recent film adaptation of the play.)

14: Pick two of the plays we’ve read and compare and contrast their use of realism.

We’ve read quite a number of plays now, ranging from one extreme to another. All of them are concerned to present something or some things in a way that’s faithful to human experience: that’s why the works resonate with us. At the same time, not all of them are aimed at the same kinds of things, and the kinds of realism they involve can be very different. Consider: what are the limitations of realism? What does it buy the author — and what does it cost? Is realism always desirable in all respects? Is it even possible in every respect?

This is a fairly open-ended question, and I’ll be interested in what you come up with. However you set your course, however, make sure that you follow through on your premises and explore the implications.

Fri, Dec 15, 2023

Best Wishes to you and to your families and loved ones for a blessed celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord.

Tue, Dec 19, 2023:
Please read Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Free discussion: referential literature and drama: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in relation to Hamlet.

Thu, Dec 21, 2023:
Please read and come prepared to discuss Michael Frayn, Copenhagen. This play is only a few years old. How is it of a piece with the larger dramatic tradition we’ve been examining? What questions does it raise?

We have one major housekeeping task to accomplish today, as well: we will assign romanticism themes to report on from The Sorrows of Young Werther. Consider the following list of general attributes of romantic thought. I’d like to get all of these covered, but if we have more takers, we can double up (or come up with some more obscure ones).

Select one of these particularly to keep track of in your reading of The Sorrows of Young Werther. Claim it in the general forum for the class.

15: Write and post to the forum your presentation on romantic themes in The Sorrows of Young Werther.

Fri, Jan 5, 2024

The Novel

Tue, Jan 9, 2024:
Please have finished Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, and Ch. 1 of Booth. Introduction to German romanticism in reference to English and American romanticism and transcendentalism.

This is not a very long book, and it’s really fairly easy to read. When it hit Europe, it was considered earth-shaking stuff, and it still packs a wallop. It’s not, on many accounts (including my own) a very pleasant book, and it deals with some rather distasteful material (I’ll let you find out in due course — I don’t want to give anything away), and some fabulously self-absorbed and self-pitying thinking. At the same time, though, it is remarkable in the way in which it, in 1775, prefigures almost every major impulse of the Romantic movement, which did not really get its published manifesto in England until Wordsworth and Coleridge published the second edition of Lyrical Ballads in 1800.

It’s easy to go through a list of romantic “hallmarks” of the sort I’ve listed above — and I’m far from denying that they are useful, either. At the same time, what I’d like you to try to perceive and identify is the underlying thing that makes romanticism what it is — what is the impulse? What is it saying? We’ve studied this in English literature and in American literature, and you certainly should be drawing comparisons as you can here. But is there some irreducible romantic quiddity, so to speak?

You should be starting right away on Jane Austen’s Emma. It will have two advantages: it will give you the time you require to read it, and it will also clear some of the strange thoughts out of your head from Werther.

Thu, Jan 11, 2024:
Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, individual presentations: analyzing the topics of the romantic in Werther; synthesis and evaluation.

You should be making substantial progress with Emma, so that you can write your paper with some clear points of reference.

16: Select a section of a few paragraphs of Emma, and analyze it closely for style and the use of language specifically in dialogue.

This is a fairly straightforward question, calling for disciplined thought. I’m looking more for depth than for breadth. How does Austen control the characterization and the imaginative space in the novel through her language, and how does she use these to create humor? Pick a reasonably short passage and dig into it.

Fri, Jan 12, 2024

Tue, Jan 16, 2024:
Have read at least the first half of Austen, Emma, and Ch. 2 of Booth. Discussion: background; Austen as an anti-Romantic author. Assign special topics from the Norton Emma edition for discussion and analysis.

Emma is regarded by some as Jane Austen’s best novel. It may be — though there are a couple of other claimants as well, chiefly Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Be that as it may, this one is challenging and intriguing for its placement of characters, and its rigorous point-of-view writing.

Thu, Jan 18, 2024:
Please finish reading Austen, Emma. Plot structure and organization in Emma. Austen’s technique of characterization: Emma Woodhouse as a kind of multiple character; character and dialogue technique in Emma. Free discussion if time remains.

17: Write and post to the forum your presentation on the assigned article from the Norton Critical Emma.

I would like each of you to read all the posted presentations; you can also begin the discussion we’ll continue in class next week. As before, don’t worry about producing a critique of forms here: follow the ideas and see what you make of them. Please note the due date.

Fri, Jan 19, 2024

Tue, Jan 23, 2024:
Please begin Brontë, Wuthering Heights, and Ch. 3 of Booth. Individual presentations on Emma. If there’s any time left over we’ll talk about Austen’s use of style and narrative voice.

Thu, Jan 25, 2024:
Please have read at least the first half of Brontë, Wuthering Heights, and Ch. 4 of Booth. Discussion: The gothic novel as romantic or post-romantic form.

Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is a moderately difficult book to read, requiring physical and emotional stamina — there are long stretches that seem unrelievedly gloomy, populated with characters whose chief aim seems to be mutual torment. All in all, it is a curious and hard-to-interpret product — one that can be analyzed as romantic, as gothic (something of a romantic extreme) or as anti-romantic. However you take it, though, it is a strangely disciplined piece of writing, and constructed with a meticulous care that bears close examination. It also raises issues of character development and tonality that will resonate throughout the subsequent history of the novel.

18: Write your presentation on the article from Wuthering Heights. Each presentation should include both a description of the critical school represented, and a discussion of the specific application of that material to the novel. I hope everyone will have read all the other assignments by class time.

Fri, Jan 26, 2024

Tue, Jan 30, 2024:
Please have finished Brontë, Wuthering Heights. Free discussion: Hero and anti-hero. Comparison of Brontë’s characters with Austen’s and those of other characters we’ve met. Begin presentations.

Thu, Feb 1, 2024:
Today in class, we’ll go through the individual presentations on Wuthering Heights and Ch. 5 of Booth. Please begin reading Turgenev, Fathers and Sons.

19: Post your discussion of the assigned articles on Fathers and Sons.

Fri, Feb 2, 2024

Tue, Feb 6, 2024:
Finish Turgenev, Fathers and Sons. Begin discussion of Fathers and Sons.

Thu, Feb 8, 2024:
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons, individual presentations.

A: I am sending you a sample AP exam question by e-mail. You should not take more than forty minutes completing it.

Fri, Feb 9, 2024

Tue, Feb 13, 2024:
Please have read Hawthorne, House of the Seven Gables, and Ch. 6 of Booth. General discussion; perhaps begin individual presentations.

Thu, Feb 15, 2024:
Have completed Hawthorne, House of the Seven Gables. Review and free discussion of the so-called American Renaissance, Romanticism, Symbolism. If you haven’t recently reviewed Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, too, you should revisit it. It will provide exceptionally good leverage against almost every other form of fiction, and can also (for what it’s worth) be used to answer at least half the AP Free-response questions ever written.

20: Post your assigned discussion of the Hawthorne novel to the forum.

Fri, Feb 16, 2024

Tue, Feb 20, 2024:
Please have read Ch. 7 of Booth. Hawthorne, House of the Seven Gables, individual presentations.

Thu, Feb 22, 2024:
Please have read Melville, Billy Budd. General discussion.

B: I am sending you a sample AP exam question by e-mail. You should not take more than forty minutes completing it..

Fri, Feb 9, 2024

Tue, Feb 27, 2024:
Begin Tolstoy, War and Peace; and Ch. 8 of Booth. We may continue anything that needs to be wrapped up with Billy Budd, depending on how things work out.

Thu, Feb 29, 2024:
Tolstoy, War and Peace.

C: I am sending you a sample AP exam question by e-mail. You should not take more than forty minutes completing it.

Fri, Mar 1, 2024

Tue, Mar 5, 2024:
Tolstoy, War and Peace, and Ch. 9 of Booth.

Thu, Mar 7, 2024:
Tolstoy, War and Peace.

D: I am sending you a sample AP exam question by e-mail. You should not take more than forty minutes completing it.

Fri, Mar 8, 2024

Tue, Mar 12, 2024:
Have finished Tolstoy, War and Peace, and Ch. 10 of Booth. Free discussion: theme in War and Peace. Assign presentation topics on Heart of Darkness: these are to be chosen from among the various critical schools mentioned there.

Thu, Mar 14, 2024:
War and Peace — wrap-ups and leftovers.

E: I am sending you a sample AP exam question by e-mail. You should not take more than forty minutes completing it.

Fri, Mar 15, 2024

Tue, Mar 19, 2024:
Have read Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

Thu, Mar 21, 2024:
Heart of Darkness, and Ch. 11 of Booth.

21: Write your seminar presentation on Heart of Darkness from the Murfin edition.

Fri, Mar 22, 2024

Best Wishes to you and to your families and loved ones for a blessed celebration of Holy Week and the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord.

Tue, Apr 2, 2024:
Heart of Darkness presentations. You should have begun your reading of Ethan Frome.

Thu, Apr 4, 2024:
Discussion of Ethan Frome.

22: Post your Ethan Frome presentations to the forum.

Fri, Apr 5, 2024

Tue, Apr 9, 2024:
Discussion of Ethan Frome..

Thu, Apr 11, 2024:
Please read Ch. 12 of Booth. In class we’ll go over Ethan Frome, individual presentations.

F: I am sending you a sample AP exam question by e-mail. You should not take more than forty minutes completing it.

Fri, Apr 12, 2024

Tue, Apr 16, 2024:
Please have read Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, and Ch. 13 of Booth. General discussion of The Great Gatsby.

Thu, Apr 18, 2024:
The Great Gatsby, concluded.

G: I am sending you a sample AP exam question by e-mail. You should not take more than forty minutes completing it.

Fri, Apr 19, 2024

Tue, Apr 23, 2024:
Have read C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces, and Booth’s Afterword.

This novel is the last Lewis wrote, and it is one of his most thoughtful and challenging. I hope you will find it as thought-provoking as I have.

Thu, Apr 25, 2024:
C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces, general discussion and conclusion.

H: I am sending you a sample AP exam question by e-mail. You should not take more than forty minutes completing it.

Fri, Apr 26, 2024

Tue, Apr 30, 2024:
Have read entire, Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day.

This remarkable novel is written by a Japanese author, but is virtually pitch-perfect in the way it resonates with English social life of the period between the World Wars. At the same time, it is a structurally fascinating novel, governed by an overall metaphor of the journey. It probably indicates something about where the novel (at its best) is headed in the twenty-first century — an international English voice seems to be prevailing for now.

Thu, May 2, 2024:
Finish discussing Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day.

I: I am sending you one last sample AP exam question by e-mail. You should not take more than forty minutes completing it.

Fri, May 3, 2024

Tue, May 7, 2024:
Overall discussion; review of Booth, Perrine, and Bentley; exam-taking strategies for later occasions.

Thu, May 9, 2024:
Exam debriefing: we’ll look over the questions, even if nobody took it. Retrospective and assessment; party. We’ll determine whether there are to be any further meetings after this.

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