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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: Literary Studies
Course Number: LLSW 2010
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
In this workshop class students will study and practice the art of the personal essay, with a particular emphasis on the role of subject matter. Students will research (via the library, as well direct observation) and develop selected topics into reflective essays. In order to deepen understanding of the relationship between authorial intention and reader response, they will also read work by established authors (as well as one another) and offer written and oral analyses that detail the mechanics of literary technique, as well at locate these readings in a larger literary-historical context. In our reading of canonical as well as contemporary authors (Montaigne, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, W.G. Sebald, John Jeremiah Sullivan), we will parse the literary process from inspiration through execution. The goal here is to refine our perceptual ability as readers so we can employ this heightened awareness as writers. This discussion—focusing on mastering a subject and discovering the appropriate narrative form and style—will inform each student’s essay writing project. It is also intended to provide the student with a methodology for textual interpretation and analysis that will be necessary and applicable in their study of all the liberal arts.
Course Open to: Degree Students