ENGL379D - Special Topics in Literature: Ulysses
Syllabus:
Section(s):
The primary purpose of this course is to provide a thorough reading of *Ulysses,* probably the greatest and certainly the most influential twentieth century novel written in English. The course will provide an overview of Joyce's method(s) in fabricating this rich text; for this purpose there will be numerous close readings of central passages, identification of the major themes of the work, overviews of Homeric correspondences and other major antecedent texts (esp *Hamlet*), and basic accounts of the various ways in which the book is structured. The goals are twofold: for all students to have a good sense of what is going on (and why) at any given point, and to become skilled at close reading of a complex text that operates on several levels at once. During the course of the semester we will also pay significant attention to three other concerns: 1) *Ulysses*' role in the history of narrative literature (How was it categorized when it appeared? How does it consummate the experimental literature of the time and also prefigure radical forms in use today? What kind of reader does it construct and reward? 2) *Ulysses* as anti-imperial discourse (in what senses is this an anti- or postcolonial text? How does it expose the colonizers' language, ideology, and narratives)? And 3) How does the text imagine the self; and in particular, what role does gender play in the construction of the self? To better situate the book within Joyce's own development, we will begin with a careful reading of some of Joyce's stories from *Dubliners*, move on to selections from *Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man*, and do a sustained reading of *Ulysses*. Assignments: One short (4-5 pp) and one longer (8-9 pp) papers, several short response papers (one page), and a short parody.