HONORS 135 - Ideas in Honors
Section: 003 Redeeming the Best Seller
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Honors Program (HONORS)
Department: LSA Honors
Credits:
1
Other:
Honors
Class Misc Info:
Minicourse meeting Sept. 18-Nov. 20. (Drop/Add deadline=Oct. 2.)..
Advisory Prerequisites:
First-year standing in the Honors Program.
Grading:
Mandatory credit/no credit.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this minicourse, we will explore the function of the popular fiction novel in modern society. Questions for discussion include: What are the characteristics of a popular fiction novel (or can we name common characteristics)? Why are popular novels so popular anyway, in spite of being widely condemned by literary critics and scholars? Da Vinci Code spent over two years on the NY Times bestseller list despite, as one scholar puts it, “ever once distracting [the reader] with a well-turned phrase or a round character.” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows just completed the largest press run in history, to the disdain of literary critics such as Harold Bloom and William Safire.

We will then turn to the larger questions that underlie the ones above, including identifying what makes a given work ‘great’ or ‘classic’—what are the characteristics of works are worthy of our study and devotion? Can a novel be popular and still be ‘great’?

Potential Reading List

1. Excerpts from the works of J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Stephen King, JRR Tolkien

2. Excerpts from Ann Radcliffe’s Romance of the Forest

3. Bloom, Harold. “Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes.” Wall Street Journal 11 July 2000. A26

4. Excerpts from Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages (especially the Intro and chapter on the ‘Future Canon’)

5. William Safire’s essay “Besotted With Potter”

6. The Ivory Tower And Harry Potter: Perspectives On A Literary Phenomenon edited by Lana A. Whited. (collection of essays)

7. Averill, James. “The Rhetoric of Emotion, with a Note on What Makes Great Literature Great.” Empirical Studies of the Arts. 2001.

HONORS 135 - Ideas in Honors
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
20349
Closed
0
 
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: note: class starts meeting on Sept. 19
002 (SEM)
P
24158
Open
6
6LSA Hnrs Y1
-
Tu 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: note: class starts meeting on September 11
003 (SEM)
P
20350
Open
1
3LSA Hnrs Y1
-
Tu 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Note: note: class starts meeting on September 18
004 (SEM)
P
20351
Closed
0
1LSA Hnrs Y1
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: note: class starts meeting on September 12
005 (SEM)
P
21528
Closed
0
2LSA Hnrs Y1
-
M 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: note: class starts meeting on September 17
006 (SEM)
P
21537
Open
6
6LSA Hnrs Y1
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: note: class starts meeting on September 12
007 (SEM)
P
22823
Open
2
2LSA Hnrs Y1
-
Tu 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Note: note: class starts meeting on September 18
008 (SEM)
P
24159
Open
2
3LSA Hnrs Y1
-
M 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: note: class starts meeting on September 10
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