Syllabus -- The Modern Novel -- Fall 2007

Toni Morrison

Instructor: John Rickard

Class meets in Vaughan Lit 103

MWF 11:00 – 11:52 am

Office: 231 Vaughan Literature Building

Office Hours: M 2:30 - 3:30 pm; W 2:00 - 4:00 pm, and by appointment

Email: rickard@bucknell.edu

Homepage: http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/rickard


TEXTS

Textbooks should be available in the Bucknell Bookstore; it is very important that you obtain the editions listed below, so that we can all work with the same texts and pagination.  If you have a problem obtaining any of these texts, please let me know.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899). Norton Critical Edition. ISBN: 0393926362. [HOD]

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). Penguin. ISBN: 0141182660.

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927). Harcourt Brace. ISBN: 0156907399.

William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929). Norton Critical Edition. ISBN: 0679732241.

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952).  Vintage. ISBN: 0679732764.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five (1969). Dell. ISBN: 0385333846.

Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger (1987). Grove Press. ISBN: 0802135331.

Toni Morrison, Sula (1973). Vintage. ISBN: 1400033438.


SYLLABUS

This is a provisional syllabus; changes will be discussed and announced in class.  We may decide we need to spend more time on some things and less on others.  You are responsible for learning of and responding to syllabus changes during the semester.  I expect you to have the works read by the second day they are listed on the syllabus.

Date            Subject

W  22 Aug     Business matters; introduction to course

F   24 Aug     Introduction to the novel

READ: Samuel Beckett, "Ping"; Margaret Atwood, "Happy Endings"; and J. G. Ballard, Excerpts from "Introduction to the French Edition of Crash" (in "Readings folder in "Course Materials" section of Blackboard)

 

M  27 Aug     Introduction to Joseph Conrad

READ:  Section I, pages 3 - 31 and "Conrad in the Congo," HOD pages 250-271

W  29 Aug     Conrad, Heart of Darkness
READ:  Section II, pages 31-54 and Virginia Woolf, "Joseph Conrad, HOD pages 323-325

F   31 Aug     Conrad, Heart of Darkness
READ:  Section III, pages 54-77 and Achebe, "An Image of Africa," HOD 336-349


M  3 Sep     Conrad, Heart of Darkness
READ: Hawkins, "Heart of Darkness and Racism," HOD 365-375 and Rickard, "Eating Like a White Man"

W  5 Sep    Finish Conrad and begin Joyce
READ: "A Portrait of the Artist" (Joyce's first draft -- read first three paragraphs in detail and skim the rest) and Chapter I of POA

F   7 Sep    Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
READ: "A Portrait of the Artist" (Joyce's first draft -- read first three paragraphs in detail and skim the rest) and Chapter I of POA


M 10 Sep    Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

READ: Chapters II and III

W 12 Sep    Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
READ: Chapter IV

F  14 Sep     Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

READ: Chapter V


M 17 Sep    Finish Joyce

READ: "Telemachus" (first chapter of Ulysses)

W 19 Sep     Woolf, Excerpts from A Room of One's Own, "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown,""Modern Novels" and Chapter I of To the Lighthouse

F  21 Sep     Woolf, To the Lighthouse

READ: "The Window," Chapters I - X and Erich Auerbach, "The Brown Stocking"


M 24 Sep     Woolf, To the Lighthouse

READ: "The Window," Chapters XI - XIX

Paper 1 due

W 26 Sep    Woolf, To the Lighthouse
READ: "Time Passes" (all)

F  28 Sep    Woolf, To the Lighthouse
READ: "The Lighthouse" (all)



M  1 Oct     Woolf, To the Lighthouse

W  3 Oct     Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

READ: "April Seventh, 1928"

F   5 Oct    Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

READ: "June Second, 1910"

 

M  8 Oct    Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

READ: "April Sixth, 1928"

W 10 Oct   Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

READ: "April Eighth, 1928"

F  12 Oct   Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

READ: Ralph Ellison, "Faulkner and the Black Mask of Humanity" pages 275-278 (Blackboard "Course Materials" Folder)

 

M 15 Oct -- FALL BREAK

W 17 Oct     Ellison, Invisible Man

READ: Prologue and Chapters 1 and 2

F 19 Oct     Ellison, Invisible Man

READ: Up to page 150 (end of Chapter 6)

 

M 22 Oct     Ellison, Invisible Man

READ: Up to page 250 (end of Chapter 11)

W 24 Oct   Ellison, Invisible Man

READ: Up to page 408 (end of Chapter 18)

F 26 Oct     Ellison, Invisible Man

READ: Up to page 512 (end of Chapter 23)

 

M 29 Oct    Ellison, Invisible Man

READ: To the End

W 31 Oct   Finish Ellison and begin Vonnegut

Paper 2 due by midnight via e-mail

F  2 Nov     Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five


M  5 Nov    Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

READ: To page 135

W 7 Nov    Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

READ: To the End

F 9 Nov     Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five


M 12 Nov    Lively, Moon Tiger

READ: pages 1-65

W 14 Nov    Lively, Moon Tiger

READ: pages 66-132

F 16 Nov     Lively, Moon Tiger

READ: pages 133-208

 

 

M  19 Nov   Lively, Moon Tiger

THANKSGIVING

 

M 26 Nov    Morrison, Sula

W 28 Nov    Morrison, Sula

F  30 Nov    Morrison, Sula

 

M 3 Dec     LAST CLASS--Closing Comments and Course Evaluations


Paper 3 due by midnight on Wednesday, December 5


THERE WILL BE NO FINAL EXAMINATION FOR ENGLISH 286


COURSE OBJECTIVES:  If we can assume that art reflects the culture from which it arises, then the modern novel – in both its form and content – provides revealing perspectives on the stresses and pressures that the twentieth century has placed on us. This course will investigate fictions by some of the twentieth century's leading writers in an attempt to reach some conclusions about the changes the modern period has wrought on the novel.

We will read and discuss representative modern novels by American, English, and Irish novelists such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, Penelope Lively and others. Our discussions will investigate the different strategies novelists have used to represent modernity.

An important part of my job is making sure that you know how to use sources carefully and correctly in academic writing and that you understand the university's policies concerning plagiarism, which I define as the unacknowledged use, either intentional or unintentional, of material first expressed by another person.  We'll discuss plagiarism and proper methods of documentation during the semester, but if, at any time, you have questions about plagiarism problems in this or any other class, please come and ask me about them.

CLASS FORMAT:  Although at times I will lecture in order to present background information, class participation in discussion and in other in-class activities is very important and will certainly be part of your grade.  I will occasionally ask you to do in-class writing, to work in small groups, or to prepare for class by responding in writing to questions I assign.  I expect you to keep up with the reading and to prepare for class; it will be your responsibility to find out what we covered in any classes you missed and whether any extra out-of-class work was assigned.  I will often begin class with a short in-class writing that will serve to focus discussion.  You should also expect a short quiz on each novel; missed quizzes cannot be made up after the quiz date unless you have consulted me prior to the quiz.  My expectation for this course is that you keep up with the reading and be prepared for class and for workshops.

Excessive absences (or tardiness) will hurt your grade in English 286.  After three absences your participation grade will begin to drop.  More than six absences will guarantee an "F" for the class.  If you do not feel that you are willing or able to keep up with the reading, attend class daily, and participate in discussion, you should drop the course before the end of the drop-add period.


ASSIGNMENTS:

Papers:  (1) two mid-length (approximately 7-page) papers analyzing individual novels; and (2) a final essay, approximately ten pages in length, incorporating researched sources to support an argument about one or more of the works we've read.  As noted above, I will also ask you to perform additional graded and ungraded writing exercises in class or overnight.


EVALUATION:

Assignment
Due Date
Percentage
Paper 1
September 24
20%
Paper 2
October 29
25%
Paper 3
December 5
35%
Attendance, participation, and in-class writing

20%


LATE PAPERS:  I will at times allow students an extra day to work on finishing a late paper, but only if you have an acceptable reason for turning the essay in late and only if you ask me for an extension before the paper is due.  Many students who get their essays in on time consider it unfair for a professor to allow other students extra time to finish assignments; therefore, unexcused late papers will go down one plus or minus grade for every day they are late.

FINALLY . . .  As noted above, my office is Vaughan Lit 231.  I am available during my normally-scheduled office hours to meet with you, but if you need to speak with me outside of my scheduled office hours, you can e-mail me (rickard@bucknell.edu) or call me at 577-1424; if it's really important, you can call me at home, but please try the office first.