LHSP 228 - What is Writing?
Section: 001 Innocence, Experience, and Deceit
Term: WN 2009
Subject: Lloyd Hall Scholars Program (LHSP)
Department: LSA Lloyd Hall Scholars
Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
A maximum of 20 LHSP credits may be counted toward a degree.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In 1995 Binjamin Wilkomirski’s Holocaust “memoir” Fragments was published to rave reviews. Critics in Europe and the United States mentioned the author in the same breath as Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, and Anne Frank. Soon, however, reports circulated questioning the veracity of Wilkomirski’s account, and in the ensuing years, a Swiss historian found that Wilkomirski had fabricated the material: he was not, as his memoir claimed, a Holocaust survivor; nor, as he claimed, was he a Jew. Contained within the Wilkomirski Affair, as it came to be called, are knotty ideas about what we expect from writing and how we categorize it. Were Wilkomirski’s book billed, for example, as a novel (i.e., a work of fiction), how might the public reaction have differed? What does it mean for an author to falsely claim firsthand experience with an immense historical tragedy?

In this course we’ll explore the concept of truth and genre by examining our assumptions about why and how we read certain writings certain ways. Our wide-ranging readings include Genesis, Macbeth, the poetry of William Blake, Gayle Jones’ novel Corregidora, Plato, the western True Grit, Tolstoy’s essays on art, and short stories by Kafka and Borges. Students will write three essays and bi-weekly response papers.

LHSP 228 - What is Writing?
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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