ENGL 4850

ENGL 4850

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2019-2020.

Reading for Writers examines literary works through the eyes of a writer, focusing on the craft of literature. Topics vary with each section and semester and may focus on fiction, poetry, or both. For Fall 2019, the topic will be: Pleasure and Complexity. Please see the class roster for a description.

When Offered Fall.

Distribution Category (LA-AS)

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Combined with: ENGL 7850

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Pleasure and Complexity

  • 17385ENGL 4850  SEM 101

  • In this seminar, we’ll read poetry and fiction with attention to aspects that recount or impart the experience of pleasure. We might venture into Epicurean philosophy, “happiness studies,” the aesthetics of complexity theory. How do emergent structures contribute to a reader’s satisfaction? How do difficult works create a vertiginous sublime or resonant ambiguity? Why do elegies or stories of suffering afford pleasure? When reading poetry, we’ll consider the immanence created by excess, near non sequitur, emotional valances. Reading fiction, we’ll think about tension, characterization, language, closure, cultural relevance. Though pleasure is a variable, we’ll explore elements that create it. In addition to assigned texts, students will offer works that give them joy. Not limited to writers; all advanced undergraduates and graduate students are welcome.