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Childhood and Youth in Autobiography and Fiction

ENGL 276.601
W 4:30-7:10

The study of literary issues and techniques in works about the growth of an individual toward maturity, from the most private, through the thinly concealed, to fiction. A varied cluster around the Irish experience in the twentieth century includes Sean O'Casey, "I Knock at the Door," James Joyce, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," Roddy Doyle, "Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha," and if the class wishes, Frank McCourt, "Angela's Ashes." Sylvia Plath's "Journal" and her novel, "The Bell Jar," provide a model of transformation from the private to the public. We shall also study a Victorian classic, Edmund Gosse's "Father and Son," and at least one African or African American author.

There will be one short critical paper (4-6 pp.), an occasional quiz, and a final examination. Students will be encouraged to keep a journal for six weeks (which the instructor will neither grade nor read). They may choose for the final written assignment between a long critical paper (10-15 pp.) and a memoir or short story of similar length. Drafts of the paper may be submitted for comment in reasonable time and, if the student wishes, read to the class for discussion.

fulfills requirements