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All regular class sessions meet in Eisenhower 224. Section B meets at 10:30 MWF, and Section C at 11:30 MWF. The Final Examination takes place in the same room, but at the time indicated at the end of Part 3 this schedule (and on the general page on examinations).
Writing assignments are due on the date cited at the beginning of class. For an explanation of the purpose of these assignments and the format in which they are to be submitted, see the instructions for Writing Assignments. Even when you elect not to write on a given assignment, you should read the writing assignment carefully and reflect upon it before coming to class discussion.
|Class sessions cannot be productive
- or even intelligible - unless students bring
to them a genuine familiarity with the readings under
Unless otherwise noted (for example, by blue highlighting, indicating a web link), readings listed in the following schedule are to be found in our text, Ann Charter's The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction (Bedford/St. Martin's), 5th Edition.
Schedule of Assignments for the first 2 weeks
15 Jan (F): Introduction to the course.
18 Jan (M): NO CLASS -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
20 Jan (W): Print off a copy of each of the following mini-stories (except for item 5, all are on the web). Give them some thought. Don't forget to bring them with you to class.
(1) Aesop (legendary: 6th C. BC?), "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse", "The Man and the Serpent", and "The Ass and the Lapdog";
(2) Jean de La Fontaine (1621-95),"The Donkey and the Lapdog" and "The Oak and the Reed" (from Fables choisis mises en vers [Selected Fables Set into Verse], 12 volumes, 1668-94);
(3) Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), "The Moral Principle and the Material Interest" (from Fantastic Fables);
(4) the Brothers Grimm, "The Turnip" (transcribed, mid-19th Century in Hesse, Germany);
(4) an English tale: "Tattercoats";
(4) a story from Haiti: "The Story of Owl";
(5) James Thurber (1894-1961), "The Owl Who Was God" (handout).
[As a sidepath, here's a riddle: "What do owls mean?" (Why is that a weird question?) The German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) once said, "When philosophy paints its gray in gray, then has an age grown old.... The Owl of Minerva takes flight only at the close of day." (What would we need to know in order to be able to make sense out of this cryptic remark?)]
(6) Franz Kafka, "Couriers".
22 Jan (F): Review the the fables and fairy tales we read for Wednesday. Then work through the lead entry in our on-line glossary of critical concepts on the concept of psychological repression. (Follow up by tracing out Freud's analogy for explaining his concept of repression, and his parable on alternatives to it.) Be sure to print these off and bring them with you to class. What similarities do you notice between the way Freud's illustrative stories "mean" and the ways that some of the stories we read for Wednesday go about "meaning" what they do?
25 Jan (M): Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour". (If you already have our textbook, you'll find this story in it, on p. 333. [Don't forget to read the biographical sketch on p. 328.] Otherwise you'll need to print it off from the web link just given.) Work through the story in the light of our Study Guide for it.
27 Jan (W): Work through the description of the Goals and Methods of the course, and reflected on whether this is a course that suits your needs and interests, and proceeds from assumptions you are willing to grant.
29 Jan (F): Have read the remarks on Reason and Objectivity in Interpretation. Writing Assignment #1 (5 points) is due at the beginning of class. (This Writing Assignment is required of everyone.)
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Contents copyright © 1999 by Lyman A. Baker.
This page last updated 27 January 1999.