Teaching Brit Lit II

In the spring I will be teaching Brit Lit II for the first time ever in my life.

alice-drink-meI am allowed to do a novel, perhaps two novels. My first choice is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. My second choice is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Both I think would be good choices.

Despite their widespread popularity, I am not a big Austen or Bronte fan. Yes, I know. Heresy. Can you see why I am a medievalist?

Despite that, there are plenty of works and authors in this period whom I love.

In fact, sitting here now, I am thinking maybe we should read Animal Farm as the final text in the class. It is easy reading and interesting. It offers a different view of the world and is definitely at the time period where we stop. (We don’t do modern Brit lit in the course.)

My favorite play of all the English language is The Importance of Being Earnest, which I will rent to watch with the students. The older version is the better one of the DVDs, since the modern one has the main character lying, again, about his name.

I was a big Shaw fan as a youngster, but I am less a Shaw fan now. However, if Saint Joan is in the anthology or on DVD in a reasonable facsimile, I may do it.

Lord Byron
Shelley? (I find him personally offensive, but the students love the tales of his predations.)


20th C

frankenstein-comic-styleApparently I would prefer to make this a novels course, with a sprinkling of poetry thrown in. The more I think about it, the more I want to read novels.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
The Vampyre (Do I want to do that? The first page is one paragraph, single spaced, long. But it is the first vampire novel. It would be cool to do a version where you do all fantasy style novels.)
It would work with Frankenstein, too.

But I don’t want to do a lot of Dickens, though I loved his works in high school, or Austen or Bronte or Hardy…. Maybe I could require them to watch Tess of the Durbervilles on their own.

It’s my course and since we can’t reasonably expected to do every work out there, I think it is reasonable to do works which I enjoy.

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