|Semester and Year||FA 2010|
|Time||3:30 PM - 4:45 PM|
George Orwell named four reasons for writing: “egoism,” “aesthetic enthusiasm,” “historical impulse” and “political purpose.” Franz Kafka stressed the emotional power of words in describing writing as “an ax for the frozen sea within us.” Mario Vargas Llosa claimed the secret reason for the literary vocation is the questioning of real life. Gustave Flaubert emphasized the limitations of language, as “a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when all the while we long to move the stars to pity.” In this course, students write critical essays that are inspired by writing about writing. Our texts, exemplary works in various genres, include essays by Orwell and Joan Didion; a speech by Toni Morrison; selections from the diaries of Virginia Woolf; Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet , Vargas Llosa’s Letters to a Young Novelist ; Lillian Ross’s New Yorker “profile” of Ernest Hemingway; short stories about the writing life by E.L. Doctorow, Alice Munro and Lorrie Moore; and James Joyce’s novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man . Student writing will culminate in a literary-critical essay.
First-Year Program: Writing Seminars (FIRST-UG)