Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Course Outline

Instructor: S. OGDEN FALL 2008
Occasional Prose: Non-fiction of the Moment Everlasting .
Writing Intensive

Not everyone - alas, some say - reads fiction or poetry or drama uncompelled. But there is all-but universal enjoyment in reading non-fiction prose that captivates, provokes, or informs: writing that is whimsical, or witty, or sobering or activating. In this course we will read and study a collection of occasional prose - writing inspired by specific moments - by essayists of an ability which has reached the literary, and thus present the moments that inspire them in their eternal aspect. We will begin with historical greats that effectively defined the essay, such as Bacon, Donne, and Johnson, and learn the classical form and qualities of the prose genre. We will then be ready to appreciate and learn the power and effectiveness of modern prose essays from a very wide range of authors on topics and occasions as diverse as life, and use them as models and inspiration for our own writing. By the end of the course, with practical written and revised work on essays occasioned by our own individual experiences, we will, it can confidently be said, have improved, just for a start, the literary quality of our discursive e-mail.

Peterson, et al, eds. The Norton Reader, Shorter 12th ed.

10% -- Productive participation
10% -- Individual essay presentation
20% -- Group writing project
25% -- Five short occasional essays (500 words each)
35% -- Final examination