The full syllabus is available here: syllabus.pdf.


When commonplace-book entries are due, they are to be posted by 5 p.m. on Monday.

Tuesday, September 6.

  • Introduction.

Thursday, September 8.

  • James, “The Art of Fiction.”
  • Wilde, “The Decay of Lying.”

(Monday, September 12.)

  • Make a first commonplace book entry by 5 p.m.

Tuesday, September 13.

  • James, “The Beast in the Jungle.”

Thursday, September 15.

  • Woolf, “Modern Fiction.”
  • Bürger, Theory of the Avant-Garde, 47–54.
  • Casanova, The World Republic of Letters, 91–96.

Tuesday, September 20. Commonplace.

  • Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 103–160 (pts. 1–2 of the novella). Neither “Youth” nor other Conrad stories are required.

Thursday, September 22.

  • Conrad, Heart of Darkness.
  • Paper 1 topics distributed: James, Conrad, or Joyce.

Tuesday, September 27. Commonplace.

  • Joyce, Portrait, chaps. 1–2.

Thursday, September 29.

  • Joyce, Portrait, chaps. 1–3.

Tuesday, October 4. Commonplace and analyze.

  • Joyce, Portrait, complete.

Thursday, October 6.

  • Joyce, Portrait.

Tuesday, October 11. Paper 1 due. No commonplacing.

  • Sayers, Whose Body?, complete.

Thursday, October 13.

  • Sayers, Whose Body?
  • Toomer, Cane, up through “Bona and Paul.”

Tuesday, October 18. Commonplace.

  • Toomer, Cane, complete.

Thursday, October 20.

  • Hemingway, In Our Time, selections:
    • “On the Quai at Smyrna.”
    • All the interchapters and “L’Envoi.”
    • “Big Two-Hearted River” (both parts).
    • Optional: the rest of the collection.

Tuesday, October 25. Commonplace.

  • Hemingway, In Our Time, selections, as above.
  • Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, through 94 (twelve o’clock).

Thursday, October 27.

  • Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, complete.

(Monday, October 31.)

  • Last day to withdraw from the course with a “W.”

Tuesday, November 1. Commonplace and mind-read.

  • Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway.
  • Zwerdling, “Mrs. Dalloway and the Social System.”

Thursday, November 3.

  • Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway.
  • Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, chap. 3.

Tuesday, November 8. Commonplace.

  • Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, through 152 (Tull’s chapter beginning “When I told Cora how Darl jumped out of the wagon.”

Thursday, November 10.

  • Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, complete.
  • Paper 2 topics distributed: Sayers through Hurston.

Tuesday, November 15. Commonplace.

  • Anand, Untouchable, complete.

Thursday, November 17.

  • Anand, Untouchable.

Tuesday, November 22. (Thursday schedule.) Commonplace.

  • Hurston, Their Eyes, through 99.

(Thursday, November 24. Thanksgiving recess.)

Tuesday, November 29. Paper 2 due. No commonplacing.

  • Hurston, Their Eyes, complete.

Thursday, December 1.

  • Barnes, Nightwood, 3-83 (through “‘The Squatter’”).

Tuesday, December 6. Commonplace: historical line.

  • Barnes, Nightwood, complete.

Thursday, December 8.

  • Narayan, Malgudi Days, selections. Please read in the following order, which tracks the order of publication rather than the order Narayan chose much later for the collection:

    • “Father’s Help” (66–72) (1942)
    • “Out of Business” (91–96) (1942)
    • “Attila” (97–101) (1942)
    • “The Axe” (102–7) (1942)
    • “Forty-five a Month” (85–90) (1943)
    • “Engine Trouble” (78–84) (1943)
    • “Iswaran” (53–60) (1944)
    • “Fellow-Feeling” (40–46) (1944)
    • “Gateman’s Gift” (26–33) (1944)
    • “An Astrologer’s Day” (9–13) (1944)
    • “The Doctor’s Word” (21–25) (1944)
    • “The Missing Mail” (14–20) (1944)
    • “Lawley Road” (111–17) (1956)

Tuesday, December 13. Commonplace.

  • Narayan, Malgudi Days, selections, as above.

(Thursday, December 15. Reading day; no class.)

  • Last day to make arrangements to submit the take-home final electronically.

(December 16–23. Exam period.)

Saturday, December 17. Take-home final distributed.

  • The exam is designed to be completed in three hours. Spend no more than four hours.

Monday, December 19. Take-home final due by 3 p.m.

  • Submit in person in our regular classroom between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Earlier or electronic submission by arrangement only.


  • Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London: Penguin, 1935. isbn: 9780140183955.

  • Auerbach, Erich. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Translated by Willard R. Trask. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953. Excerpt on Sakai.

  • Barnes, Djuna. Nightwood. New York: Norton, 2006. isbn: 9780811216715.

  • Bone, Martyn. “The (Extended) South of Black Folk: Intraregional and Transnational Migrant Labor in Jonah’s Gourd Vine and Their Eyes Were Watching God.” American Literature 79, no. 4 (December 2007): 753–79. Recommended.

  • Bürger, Peter. Theory of the Avant-Garde. Translated by Michael Shaw. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984. Excerpt on Sakai.

  • Casanova, Pascale. The World Republic of Letters. Translated by M. B. DeBevoise. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004. Excerpt on Sakai.

  • Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. In Youth: A Narrative; and Two Other Stories. The Oxford paperback is preferable.

  • _________. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. Rev. ed. Edited by Cedric Watts. Oxford University Press, 2002. isbn: 9780199536016. Recommended. Online alternative available.

  • Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Vintage, 1990. isbn: 9780679732259.

  • _________. As I Lay Dying. New York: Norton, 2009. isbn: 9780393931389. Alternate edition with notes.

  • Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner, 1996. isbn: 9780684822761. There is no acceptable online alternative.

  • Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. 1937. New York: Harper Perennial, 2013. isbn: 9780060838676.

  • James, Henry. Major Stories & Essays. New York: Library of America, 1999. isbn: 9781883011758. Recommended.

  • _________. “The Art of Fiction.” In Partial Portraits. New York: Macmillan, 1894. Internet Archive. Print alternative recommended.

  • _________. “The Art of Fiction.” In Major Stories & Essays. Online alternative available.

  • _________. “The Beast in the Jungle.” In The Better Sort. New York: Scribner, 1903. Internet Archive. Print alternative recommended.

  • _________. “The Beast in the Jungle.” In Major Stories & Essays. Online alternative available.

  • Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Huebsch, 1918. Internet Archive. This terrible online text is a last resort for your studies.

  • _________. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Edited by Jeri Johnson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. isbn: 9780199536443. Strongly recommended. Online texts are bad.

  • Narayan, R.K. Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin, 2006. isbn: 9780143039655. Recommended. Alternate text, lacking one story, on Sakai.

  • Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. Reprint, New York: Dover, 2009. isbn: 9780486473628. There is also a Harper edition (same text, different pagination).

  • Toomer, Jean. Cane. 1923. New York: Liveright, 2011. isbn: 9780871402103.

  • Wilde, Oscar. “The Decay of Lying.” In Intentions. New York: Brentano’s, 1905. Internet Archive. One of two online versions.

  • _________. “The Decay of Lying.” In Intentions. London: James McIlvaine, 1891. Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, 1999. One of two online versions.

  • Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. In “A Room of One’s Own” and “Three Guineas.” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Excerpt on Sakai.

  • _________. “Modern Fiction.” In The Common Reader, 146–54. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, 1925. Excerpt on Sakai.

  • _________. Mrs. Dalloway. Edited by Bonnie Kime Scott. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2005. isbn: 9780156030359. This annotated edition is preferred, but the edition from Harcourt without annotations is fine. Online texts of this title are not acceptable.

  • Zwerdling, Alex. “Mrs. Dalloway and the Social System.” PMLA 92, no. 1 (January 1977): 69–82.