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Undergraduate English Courses

358:436 Slow Reading Classics: Middlemarch and Our Mutual Friend

02  TTH4  CAC  14286  KUCICH  SC-115

Seminar: Slow Reading Classics: Middlemarch and Our Mutual Friend

This seminar will focus on two of the greatest classics of nineteenth-century English fiction: Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend (1865), and George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1872).  Both novels are long and complex, so we’ll read them slowly, devoting a great deal of class time to discussing particular passages and their contributions to the structure of each novel as a whole.  We’ll also read background essays of various kinds—historical, scientific, biographical, and literary—to deepen our sense of the cultural context that helped produce these masterpieces, and to better enable us to appreciate and understand them.  One or two of these readings will be assigned for nearly every class.  One short paper (5-6 pp.), one long paper (10-12 pp.), informal reading responses, and regular attendance required.