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An American Tragedy cancelled

ENGL 305.301
instructor(s):
T 1:30-4:30

A study of the creative process as exemplified by Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy (1925). Special Collections in Van Pelt Library holds the original papers, with extensive revisions, from manuscript, through typescripts, to author's galleys and revised page proof. The class will read the published novel and discuss it in literary, historical, and social context. We will also read Sister Carrie. Each student will transcribe a unique chapter of the first complete manuscript of An American Tragedy, analyze the revisions, and subsequently also interpret as much as possible the substantive changes in the stages that followed. Students will report to the seminar on work in progress and finally, present an oral and written summary of the evolution of the particular chapter from manuscript to published text. Methods of transcription and manuscript analysis will be introduced at the first seminar meetings. The instructor will furnish model transcriptions of the manuscript (her own) and other pages for class exercises. We will also analyze revisions and multiple versions of other works, chiefly 19th and 20th century poems. The student will be guided throughout in wholly original research in a literary manuscript which has not yet been reconstructed professionally. Seminar limited to twelve students.