Brief description of the course
Students will be introduced to a selection of literary theoretical tools for the analysis of literary texts. Practice in applying analytical tools to selected prose and poetry texts. Students will critically analyse selected short stories (Margaret Atwood; A. S. Byatt; Charlotte P. Gilman), novels (Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Julian Barnes, England, England), and poetry (Simon Armitage; Alice Oswald). Analysis addresses historical and socio-cultural background; the individual work and the literary tradition; broad categories of genres, forms, and literary techniques. Weekly assignments comprise close reading to provide textual evidence in support of interpretation. Class discussion of analytical findings and the scope of different approaches. Guidelines are given on how to structure a critical analysis: setting a question, selecting evidence, developing an argument, and supporting findings.
Learning outcomes in the course
Upon completing the course the student:
- is aware of the basics of literary analysis and its metalanguage;
- is able to approach prose and poetry texts from different perspectives.