This is an introduction to the study of literature. It will begin by raising very basic and exciting questions: What is literature? What has been and is its function? What is the nature of literary value? After these and similar questions have been raised, students will read a variety of literary genres and critical texts, and will be introduced to a wide range of interpretive approaches and methods. The course combines lecture and discusssion; students will write a series of short interpretive papers. It is also intended to serve as a foundational course for some students who go on to become English majors.