Weeks 1 and 2. 3 through 12 September. A. Defining Genre or Mode -- What is nonfiction? B. The Modern Sage as Exegete of the Real Reading: Joan Didion, The White Album. [reading questions]; Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal" [text -- reading questions]
Week 3. 15-19 September. Wisdom Speakers: Montaigne and Johnson
Reading: Michel de Montaigne, "Of Cannibals" [text -- reading questions]; Samuel Johnson, selected essays: Rambler 172, 180, 182, 184, 196, Adventurer 50, 84, 108. See the reading and discussion questions plus genre and style section.
Suggested readings: relevant section of Elegant Jeremiahs; Carlyle on Johnson (from Heroes and Hero-Worship) [text].
Week 4. 22-26 September. Victorian Sages (I): Thomas Carlyle. Carlyle, "Signs of the Times" (text) "Hudson's Statue" (annotated text and commentary), Past and Present; Carlyle on Johnson (from Heroes and Hero-Worship) [text].
Week 5. 29 September-3 October. Victorian Sage (II): John Ruskin. Unto This Last, "Traffic," and selections from Praeterita.
Week 6. 6-10 October. [October 13: Columbus Day holiday]. Victorian Sages (III): Thoreau. "Civil Disobedience" [text], "Slavery in Massachusetts," "A Plea for John Brown" [text], "The Last days of John Brown," "Life without Principle." [Reading and discussion questions]
Week 7. 15-17 October. The Sage and Wisdom Speaker Parodied: Max Beerbohm, "A Defence of Cosmetics" [text], "Diminuendo" [text]; Richard La Gallienne, "The Boom in Yellow" [text]; Oscar Wilde, "The Decay of Lying" [text]; Walter Pater, "The Preface," "Conclusion," and section on La Giocanda (Mona Lisa) from The Renaissance [text].
Week 8. 20-24 October. The Sage as Traveler, the Traveler as Sage: D. H. Lawrence, Twilight in Italy and Etruscan Places. [Reading and discussion questions]
Week 9. 27-31 October. The Sage in Search of Heroism in a Technological Age: Tom Wolfe. Reading: The Right Stuff. Reading and discussion questions]
Week 10. 3-7 November. The Sage as Traveler, the Traveler as Sage: John McPhee, The Crofter and the Laird. [Reading and discussion questions]
Week 11. 10-14 November. The Sage as Traveler, the Traveler as Sage: Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia.[Reading and discussion questions]
Week 12. 17-21 November. The Sage as (Mental) Traveler, the Traveler as Sage: Annie Dillard. A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. [Reading and discussion questions]
Weeks 13, 14. 24 November, 2-6 December. The Autobiographer as Sage: Sara Suleri, Meatless Days.
Thanksgiving recess: 26-30 November.
7-10 December: Reading period; 12-20 December: Final Exam Period
Final Essays and Projects, 2003
Last modified 2 October 2003