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Madness & Literature

ENGL 102.401
instructor(s):
MWF 1

Note: This course fulfills the General Requirement within the Arts &
Letters sector. It is one of only four courses offered by English that
does so.

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with primary
works that deal with insanity over much of the last two centuries and
with scholarly commentary--both literary and medical--about problems that
we encounter in the reading.  The primary works include Shelley,
Frankenstein; De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater;
Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights; Charlotte Bronte, Villette; a number
of short works by Poe, Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Wilde, The
Picture of Dorian Gray; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Kafka, The Castle;
Celine,  Journey to the End of the Night; a selection of stories by
Sartre; Mann, Dr. Faustus; and Lagerkvist, The Dwarf.  The
psychological-medical backgrounds are extensive, and include topics such
as substance abuse, schizophrenia, and the mental asylum.
I encourage people with a pre-professional interest in this area to read
widely beyond the list for the course.  There are two papers, one a brief
review of the literature, the other a critical-research paper and--in
lieu of examinations--two overnight snap-papers.