The Pen and the Sword: Representations of the Heroic Brian W. Gastle ENGL E110.081 Memorial 319 MWF 1:30-2:20 X6597 COURSE DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES We will explore and examine representations of heroes classical and modern, focusing primarily on what "heroic" means and how that category has changed. For example, could Beowulf cleave Indiana Jones from his nave to his chops? What happens when a woman is holding the sword or wielding the pen? In what ways does Martin Luther King or other "non-violent" activists fit our idea of the heroic? This class is first and foremost a "critical reading and writing" class. I expect you to come to class not only having read the material but having also spent some modicum of time and energy thinking about the material, especially in light of what we have discussed previously in the semester. TEXTS Beowulf: A Norton Critical Edition Tolkien, J.R.R. Fellowship of the Ring Le Guin, Ursula K. The Dispossessed. ---. The Hobbit Levi, Primo. Survival in Auschwitz ---. The Return of the King Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ---. The Tolkien Reader Photocopy Package: Campbell, Joseph. "The Monomyth" King, M.L. Jr. "Letter from Birmingham City Jail" Le Guin, Ursula K. "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction" ---. "Is Gender Necessary" ---. "Heroes" ---. "Myth and Archetype in Science Fiction" ---. "Prospects for Women in Writing ---. "Why Americans are Afraid of Dragons" Russ, Joanna. "What Can A Heroine Do? or Why Women Can't Write" Spenser, Edmund. from Faerie Queene III Woolf, Virginia. from "A Room of One's Own" REQUIREMENTS First Essay (@ 4-6 pgs)............................ 15% Second Essay (@ 4-6 pgs)........................ 20% Third Essay (@ 5-8 pgs)........................... 25% 1 Research Project (@ 7-12 pgs).................. 30% Discussion, Quizzes, etc. ......................... 10% The grade you receive in this class will be based primarily upon the quality of the essays that you write. But that grade may be affected by other factors such as class participation, unscheduled assignments and quizzes. You will have ample opportunity to edit and revise drafts of your papers through both peer editing sessions and individual consultation with me. Therefore, unless there are extenuating circumstances of epic proportions, I will not accept rewrites of previously graded papers. In order to pass the class you must turn in all assignments. Note the logic of that phrase; turning in all the assignments does not guarantee a passing grade, but you will most certainly not pass if you fail to turn in an assignment. All assignments are due at the beginning of each due-date class. I reserve the right to penalize late papers, usually reducing the grade 2/3 per day late. Please do not sacrifice class time for last minute revisions. All assignments must be typed or word-processed. SCHEDULE (subject to change at your whim or mine) September Fri 1 Introduction & Diagnostic Essay Mon 5 NO CLASS - Labor Day 1. HERO AND SOCIETY In this first section of the course we will attempt to produce working definitions of terms such as "hero" and "heroic." We will come to these terms both through theoretical discussions and through literature attempting to portray these issues. Wed 7 "I want a Hero, an uncommon want. . ." Read: Beowulf Fri 9 The "Heroic Culture" Read: Beowulf Mon 12 Heroic Archetypes Read: Campbell "The Monomyth" Wed 14 Writing About Writing Within The Profession Read: Tolkien "The Monster and the Critics" Fri 16 Writing About Writing "Without" The Profession Read: Le Guin "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction" Mon 19 Cultural Differences Read: Le Guin The Dispossessed Wed 21 Can Heroes Survive? Read: The Dispossessed Fri 28 How Universal Is All This Anyway? Read: Le Guin "Myth and Archetype in Science Fiction" Mon 26 Peer Editing of Paper #1 Wed 28 Conferences of Paper #1 Fri 30 Continued Conferences? 2. WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? This second section of the course will be devoted to how relationships are figured in discussions of the heroic. Discussions will often therefore be devoted, more so than usual, to how the heroic is gendered. October Mon 3 The "Romance Hero" And The Arthurian Tradition PAPER #1 DUE Read: SGGK Wed 5 Is This For Real? Read: SGGK Fri 7 Must They Really Bash In All Those Heads? Read: Le Guin "Heroes" Mon 10 Gender And Hero--Or Is That Heroine? Read: Russ "What Can a Heroine Do? or Why Women Can't Write" Wed 12 "I Know What I Am--I'm A Man; I'm A Man, And So Is Lola" Read: from FQ III.i-iii Fri 14 Watch Where You're Pointing That Thing--It Might Go Off Read: from FQ III.xi-xii Mon 17 Peer Edit of Paper #2 Wed 19 Conference on Paper #2 Fri 21 What Does "Writing" Mean? Film: "Roger and Me" 3. HEROES WRITING This third section of the course will examine those writers for whom it was heroic merely to write or witness. We will explore the extent to which literary representations of the heroic can be distinguished from an author's own life. Mon 24 How Hard Can It Be? The dream of equality (if all people are equal, who are the heroes?) PAPER #2 DUE Read: M.L.K. JR. "Letter From Birmingham City Jail" Wed 26 Is Survival Heroic? Read: Primo Levi Survival in Auschwitz Fri 28 Is Death Heroic? Read: Primo Levi Survival in Auschwitz Mon 31 Counter-Culture Then And Now Read: Virginia Woolf "A Room of One's Own" November Wed 2 "Bourgeois This And Bourgeois That" Read: Virginia Woolf "A Room of One's Own" Fri 4 Writing, Rewriting, And Gendered Conscience Read: Le Guin "Is Gender Necessary? Redux" ---. " Prospects for Women Writing" Mon 7 Conferences on paper #3 4. THE GENERIC HERO This fourth and final section of the course will be devoted to exploring the heroic figure within one specific genre--namely fantasy. We will discuss how this genre has developed in the twentieth century and how that development has affected the heroic figure. Wed 9 Researching the Research Paper Fri 11 Fantasy: Theory And Practice Read: Tolkien "Tree and Leaf" & "Leaf by Niggle" Mon 14 First Research Paper Conferences: Options and possible references PAPER #3 DUE AT CONFERENCE TIME Wed 16 "Hurry Up Please, Its Time" Read: The Hobbit Fri 18 Big Swords and Little People Read: The Hobbit Mon 21 Second Research Paper Conference: Thesis outline; several scholarly references & copies; preferably a working draft. Wed 23 NO CLASS - Thanksgiving Fri 25 NO CLASS - Thanksgiving Mon 28 Who's The Hero Anyway? Read: The Fellowship of the Ring & The Return of the King WARNING!! 800 pages Wed 30 What's So Heroic About. . .? Read: The Fellowship of the Ring & The Return of the King December Fri 2 How Have Things Changed? Read: The Fellowship of the Ring & The Return of the King Mon 5 Not Her Again! Read: Le Guin. "Why Americans are Afraid of Dragons" Wed 7 Research Paper Due ACADEMIC INTEGRITY Any work you submit must be your own; in addition, any words, ideas, or data that you borrow from another person(s) and include in your work must be properly documented. Failure to do either of these things is considered plagiarism. . . . I encourage you to acquaint yourself . . .with the University's policy on Academic Dishonesty (in the Student Guide to Policies). I hope to have some fun in this class, but this is one area in which you will fail to find me complacent or humorous. I find academic dishonesty not only professionally appalling but personally insulting as well. Please see me if you have any questions regarding documentation or reference material. UNIVERSITY WRITING CENTER Please feel free to avail yourself of the Writing Center (015 Memorial Hall 831-1168). The Writing Center provides individual consultation to students wishing to become better writers and editors of their own work. They will not write your paper for you, but they most certainly will offer various kinds of advice for rewriting your work and developing your argument more fully. Appointments are advisable (call or stop by). PHOTOCOPY PACKAGE CONTENTS PAGES 1-24 Campbell, Joseph. "The Monomyth." Hero With a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1968. 3-51. 25-32 King, M.L. Jr. "Letter from Birmingham City Jail." The Dolphin Reader. Ed. Douglas Hunt and Carolyn Perry. 3rd ed. Princeton: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. 295-308. 33-38 Le Guin, Ursula K. "Is Gender Necessary? Redux." Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. Philadelphia: Harper & row, 1990. 7-16. 39-43 ---. "Some Thoughts on Narrative." Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. Philadelphia: Harper & row, 1990. 37-45. 44-47 ---. "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction." Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. Philadelphia: Harper & row, 1990. 165-70. 47-49 ---. "Heroes" Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. Philadelphia: Harper & row, 1990. 171-75. 50-51 ---. "Prospects for Women in Writing." Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. Philadelphia: Harper & row, 1990. 176-78. 52-55 ---. "Why Americans are Afraid of Dragons." Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction. Ed. Susan Wood. New York: Perigee Books, 1979. 52-55. 56-60 ---. "Myth and Archetype in Science Fiction" Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction. Ed. Susan Wood. New York: Perigee Books, 1979. 56-60. 61-66 Russ, Joanna. "What Can A Heroine Do? or Why Women Can't Write." 67-100 Spenser, Edmund. Faerie Queene III.i-iii,xi-xii. Edmund Spenser's Poetry: Authoritative Texts and Criticism. Ed. Hugh Maclean. New York: Norton, 1968. 197-350. 101-114 Woolf, Virginia. from "A Room of One's Own." Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. Ed David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. 3rd ed. Boston: St. Martin's P., 1993. 731-762.