Life as Literature

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Fall 2017
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

literature, philosophy, and languages

This program’s goal is to help you become a more skillful and inventive interpreter, a better reader, and ultimately, a more adept writer. We will learn about outsider writing, and experiment with contemporary forms of creative self-publishing, such as zine making. We will read poetic, dramatic, and narrative works as well as essays. We will study and practice various methods of interpretation of literary texts, focusing on works of autobiography, self-portraiture, and self-creation as alter-ego.

The outsider philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once confided in a letter that his only home was between the lines of his writing on the page. What does it mean to write yourself into being? This program will investigate the complex relationships between an author, the reader, and her pages: who or what speaks in a literary work? What emerges through a reader’s work of interpretation—a new work, a translation? How does identity shape methods and forms of expression? Can the words of the individual inspire shifts in societal thought?

Readings will include, among others, Aimé Césaire’s Return to My Native Land ; Emily Dickinson’s poems; Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud; Audre Lorde's Zami A New Spelling of My Name ; Jean Genet’s The Miracle of the Rose ; Anaïs Nin’s Labyrinths ; Mary Wollstonecraft's Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark ; and Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. Students will engage in study of interpretive methodologies, and read critical essays in philosophical and psychological approaches to literature, while also practicing self-exploration through creative writing and other expressive formats. The program is preparatory for advanced study of world literature, creative writing, and expressive arts.

Fields of study: 

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in: literature and writing

Online learning:
  • No Required Online Learning - No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional.

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia

Advertised schedule:

First class meeting: Monday, September 25 at 9am (Lecture Hall 03)

2017-09-26This program now accepts Sophomore students.