ENGL 227
Elegies Fall 2018 Division I; Writing-Intensive;

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This tutorial–intended primarily for sophomores–explores elegies as a literary genre. In their most familiar form, elegies honor and memorialize the dead. More broadly conceived, the genre includes works lamenting other kinds of loss as well: the loss of a lover, place, country, or cherished version of one’s past. We’ll consider the special challenges and opportunities of the elegiac voice: how it manages to give public expression to private grief; negotiates problems of tone and perspective; worries about and celebrates the capacity of language to generate hope and consolation; and seeks a kind of solace in the literary effort to evoke, preserve, or rewrite a lost life or an absent past. This course focuses primarily on poetry, English and American, across a broad historical range. We’ll first read poems from 1600-1900–including works by Jonson, Milton, Donne, Dryden, Gray, Shelley, Tennyson, and Whitman, and then turn to some of the twentieth-century’s great poetic elegists–Owen, Yeats, Auden, Lowell, and Heaney. Finally, we’ll consider how the elegiac voice works in fiction, especially in stories by Joyce (“The Dead”) and Nabokov (“Spring in Fialta”).
The Class: Type: tutorial; weekly meetings with instructor, 60-75 minutes
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1664
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation in tutorial meetings, students will write a 5- to 6-page paper every other week (five in all), and comment on their partners' papers in alternate weeks
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preference: sophomores; not open to first-year students
Distributions: Division I; Writing-Intensive;
Distribution Notes: WI: English tutorials are writing-intensive
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories B;

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