Don Quixote: How to Read the Ultimate Novel|
COL 236, MDST 236, WLIT 247|
No novel is more celebrated than "Don Quixote," albeit in often contrary ways: touchstone at once of the modern and the post-modern; of prosaic and magical realism; of Romantic idealism and skepticism, relativism, or materialism; of a truth-telling folly; and of the competing claims of books and "life" or history and fiction. Sample superlatives: the one text that can challenge Shakespeare in the Western canon (Harold Bloom), all prose fiction is a variation on its theme (Lionel Trilling), one of the four great myths of modern individualism (Ian Watt). Each generation recognizes itself differently in it and every major literary tradition has made it its own. One secret of its lasting appeal is that, brilliantly improvisatory and encyclopedic, it resists being pinned down. Nothing quite prepares us for the hallucinatory thing itself. There is something for every taste: self-invention; the biology of personality; humor, pathos, and tragicomedy; high and low culture; prose, poetry, and theatrics; episodic variety in a long narrative arc; probing examination of the ambiguities of heroism with a parade of spirited and resourceful heroines who rival and often upstage the heroes; and the disruptive transformations of a new world order (the print, educational, and military revolutions; early modern globalization; incipient capitalism; the explosive growth of profit-driven entertainments). A celebration of the transformative power of imagination even as it casts a gimlet eye on how fantasies can go awry, what passes for "the real world" is often as nutty as the hero himself. We will read, discuss, and write about "Don Quixote" in English, together with key examples of the critical, philosophical, literary, and artistic responses it has inspired. The course assumes no familiarity with literature, history, or Spanish; it does call for an interest in grappling with this wonderful text closely, imaginatively, and historically.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(MDST)(MDST-Art/Arch)(MDST-History)(MDST-Lang/Lit)(MDST-Phil/Reli)
||Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Cervantes, Miguel de. DON QUIXOTE. Eds. John Ormsby, Joseph Ramon Jones, Kenneth Douglas. Norton Critical Edition, 1981 [IMPORTANT: IT IS IMPORTANT TO PURCHASE THE REVISED ORMSBY NORTON CRITICAL EDITION, STILL AVAILABLE IN USED COPIES, AND NOT THE MORE RECENT RAFFEL NORTON CRITICAL EDITION]. ISBN 9780393090185.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Two short (3-5 pp.) papers, one short oral presentation (3-5pp. or 5-10 minutes), and one longer final paper (7-10 pp.) constitute 70% of the grade. Preparation for class (including regular short response papers), attendance, and informed participation count for the other 30%.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Readings, written assignments, and class discussion will be in English. Only COL students may take this course CR/U. Although the required parts of the course will be handled on-line, depending on the consent of enrolled students and epidemiological conditions we will organize in-person activities: I will facilitate and/or organize informal, small-group gatherings outside and study groups among students, if safe and desired by students, to cut down on isolation. I would make a point of finding ways for us to get to know one another informally in smaller groups, either on-line or in-person before the start of the term as well as during it. I would want to build in previous one-on-one chats (on-line) before the start of the term: so we can start to get to know each other, so I can learn what students' particular needs and interests are, and so I can explain what I find most valuable about the course.
CONDITIONS FOR CR/U STUDENT OPTION
The Department of Romance Languages & Literatures normally does not recognize CR/U except for COL students. The reason is that learning effectively in a reading- , writing-, and discussion-intensive course calls for regular completion of multiple activities over the course of the term, including faithful attendance and informed participation. In our experience students have counted on grades to determine where to focus their efforts. Because of the pandemic we have made the CR/U option available, but it should be chosen only as a measure of last resort. Since a full university credit is involved no matter what the grading option, bear in mind that CR/U assumes students will complete all graded activities including attendance and participation satisfactorily. If you are having difficulties of any kind, we urge you to contact your professor immediately to see what can be done to address them.
|Instructor(s): Armstrong Roche,Michael Times: .M.W... 02:50PM-04:10PM; Location: ONLINE; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 16||SR major: 3||JR major: 3|| || |
|Seats Available: 11||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 3||JR non-major: 3||SO: 2||FR: 2|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 0||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 0|