ENGL 321 Spring 2013 Samuel Johnson and the Literary Tradition

Johnson has been exceptionally influential not only because he was a distinguished writer of poems, essays, criticism, and biographies, but also because he was the first true historian of English literature, the first who sought to define its "tradition." We will read Johnson's own works and Boswell's Life of Johnson to discover Johnson's talents, tastes, and standards as an artist, as a moral and literary critic, and as a man. We next will use Johnson's Preface to Shakespeare and Lives of the Poets to examine how this great intelligence assessed writers from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century. While reading his commentary on Shakespeare and his critical biographies of Milton, Dryden, Pope, Swift, and Gray, we will analyze selected works by these writers so as to evaluate Johnson's views and to sharpen our understanding of the relationships between his standards and our own.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: midterm and final papers, and a final exam
Additional Info:
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: a 100-level English course, or a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement examination in English Literature or a 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate
Enrollment Preference: English majors
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Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses,ENGL Literary Histories A
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 22
Class Number: 3613
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
ENGL321-01(S) SEM Samuel Johnson & Lit Tradition Division 1: Languages and the Arts Stephen Fix
TF 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Hopkins Hall 002 3613
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