The Art of Satire
English 313, Spring 2009
Go directly to:
Office: (973) 353-5204; 516 Hill Hall.
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:304:00, and by
appointment (appointments are best).
Home: (609) 882-4642 (before 10:00 p.m.!).
(the best way to reach me).
Listserv: ArtOfSatire @
andromeda.rutgers.edu (for the whole class).
- Written Assignments: There will be one argumentative
paper of around 2,500 words
(ten pages). There are also several short exercises and an
in-class debate, all of which will be explained as they get
closer. There is no final exam.
- Attendance: Almost any excuse, given in
advance (in person, by phone, or by E-mail), will receive my
blessing. Absences not excused in advance will be frowned upon,
and your final grade will be lowered by half a grade for each
unexcused absence. The same policy applies to late papers: I'll
grant extensions, but only if you talk to me before
the due date.
- Computing: Some essential information will be
available only electronically. All students therefore
must have an E-mail account by the end of the first
week of classes, and must be able to use the World
- Plagiarism: It should go without saying, but
all work in this class must be your own. Handing in
someone else's work as your own will result in an F for the
course with no second chance, and may result in disciplinary
action. I encourage you to use outside sources, but you
have to cite anything you didn't write yourself. If you have even
an inkling of a doubt about what's legitimate or how to cite
something, see me before handing in the paper.
Five books Utopia, Gulliver's
Travels, Candide, The Crying of Lot
49, and Welcome to the Nerd Farm! are
available from New Jersey Books. The remainder of the readings
are available on-line.
Schedule of Class Meetings
- Tuesday, 20 January
- Introduction: Satire, irony, comedy, parody,
lampoon, invective, burlesque, travesty, jeremiad.
Ridentem Dicere Verum
- Thursday, 22 January
- Horace, Satires
2.1 and 2.2.
- Tuesday, 27 January
- Juvenal, Satires 3 and 10.
- Thursday, 29 January
- Alexander Pope, "The
First Satire of the Second Book of Horace, Imitated," and "The
Second Satire of the Second Book of Horace,
- Tuesday, 3 February
- John Dryden, selections from Discourse
concerning the Original and Progress of Satire.
- Thursday, 5 February
- Dryden, Juvenal's
- Tuesday, 10 February
- Samuel Johnson, London.
Exercise: Produce your own imitation of part of
a satire by Horace or Juvenal in about 500 words. Rhyme and meter
Who Breaks a Butterfly upon a
Lampoon and Invective
- Thursday, 12 February
- John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "A
Satyr on Charles II."
- Tuesday, 17 February
- Dryden, Mac
- Thursday, 19 February
- Pope, Epistle
to Arbuthnot; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, "Verses
Addressed to the Imitator of Horace."
Exercise: Break a butterfly on a wheel with a
personal lampoon directed at a public figure in about 500 words.
Examples: "A Satyr on George II," "Mac Cain."
The Best of All Possible
Social and Political Satire
- Tuesday, 24 February
- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's
Travels, part 1.
- Thursday, 26 February
Travels, part 3.
- Tuesday, 3 March
- Voltaire, Candide,
- Thursday, 5 March
- Tuesday, 10 March
- Swift, A
- Thursday, 12 March
- Garry Trudeau, Welcome to the Nerd
Farm! Exercise: Produce your own
"modest proposal" on the topic of your choice in about 500
- Tuesday, 17 March
- No Class: Spring Break.
- Thursday, 19 March
- No Class: Spring Break.
Utopias and Dystopias
- Tuesday, 24 March
- Thomas More, Utopia,
- Thursday, 26 March
- No Class: I'll be away at a
- Tuesday, 31 March
- Thursday, 2 April
Travels, part 4. Debate: "Resolved,
Swift's Houyhnhnmland is a utopia."
Satire as Apocalypse
- Tuesday, 7 April
- Rochester, A
Satyr against Mankind; Pope, The
Dunciad, book 4.
- Thursday, 9 April
Dunciad, book 4 (continued).
- Tuesday, 14 April
- George Gordon, Lord Byron, A
Vision of Judgment.
- Thursday, 16 April
Vision of Judgment (continued).
- Tuesday, 21 April
- Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, chapters
- Thursday, 23 April
- The Crying of Lot 49, chapters
- Tuesday, 28 April
- The Crying of Lot 49, chapters 56.
- Thursday, 30 April
- Conclusion. Final Paper Due.