English 698, Autumn 2016
Go directly to:
Office: 501 Hill Hall, 973-353-5444
Hours: By appointment
E-mail: Jack.Lynch@rutgers.edu (the best way to reach
- Written Assignments: There will be two
argumentative and analytical papers, the first of around eight to
ten pages (2,500 words), the second either a
new paper of the same length, or an expansion
of your first paper to fifteen to twenty pages (3,500 to 5,000
- Presentations: Each student will be
particularly responsible for the readings on one day of the
semester, producing and distributing a short annotated
bibliography of relevant criticism and then beginning class with
an oral report of around ten minutes. The report should begin
with a very brief discussion of the day's annotated
bibliography, giving a quick overview of the major scholarship on
the topic. Thereafter, the topic is anything relevant to the
day's readings. Reports should not exceed ten minutes
and, while you're welcome to speak from notes, by no
means should you just read a written text aloud. A bad
report will get bogged down in birth dates and long
bibliographies; a good report will raise as many fruitful
questions as possible and get discussion rolling.
Anything that will help — handouts, short readings for the
rest of the class — is welcome and encouraged.
- Readings: I've done a good job, if I may
say so myself, keeping the readings affordable — all of
these can be had at the Rutgers Bookstore, and they're all easily
available in cheap secondhand copies:
Other materials will be available on-line, either linked from
this syllabus (when copyright permits) or through Blackboard.
- Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Robert Fables,
Penguin, ISBN: 978-0140268867
- James Joyce, Ulysses, ed. Walter Gabler,
Vintage, ISBN: 978-0394743127
- Derek Walcott, Omeros, FSG, ISBN: 978-0374523503
- Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad, Canongate,
Schedule of Class Meetings
- 7 Sept.
- Introduction: Class business,
- 14 Sept.
- The Thing Itself: Homer,
Odyssey (late eighth century BCE), books
- 21 Sept.
- Odyssey, books 9–16.
- 28 Sept.
- Odyssey, books 17–24; selections from
various English Odyssey translations; Matthew
Translating Homer (1861).
- 5 Oct.
- Roman Odysseys: Virgil, Aeneid
(c. 29–19 BCE), books 4
Ovid, Metamorphoses (first century CE), books 13–14;
Heroides 1 (“Penelope
- 12 Oct.
- Odysseus without the Odyssey: Selections
- Dante, Inferno, canto 26 (translations by Seth
Zimmerman and Clive
James) (early fourteenth century);
- Geoffrey Chaucer, translation of Boece, book
4, metrum 3 (1378–81?);
- John Lydgate, Troy Book, book
- Peter Colse,
Penelopes Complaint; or, A Mirrour for Wanton
- Claudio Monteverde, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in
- 19 Oct.
- Homeric Problems: Selections from:
- Thomas Blackwell, An Enquiry into the Life and Writings
of Homer (1735), sections 1 and 11;
- Robert Wood, Essay on the Original Genius and Writings
of Homer (1767);
- Friedrich August Wolf, Prolegomena ad Homerum
- Samuel Butler, The Authoress of the Odyssey
(1897), chapters 1,
- Albert B. Lord, The Singer of Tales (1960).
- 26 Oct.
- Realms of Gold:
- Charles Lamb, The Adventures of Ulysses (1808);
- John Keats, “On
First Looking into Chapman's Homer” (1816), “To
Homer” (1818), and “Ode
on a Grecian Urn” (1819);
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, selection from A Defence of
Poetry (1821, pub. 1840);
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, “The
Lotos-Eaters”; (1832) and “Ulysses”
(1833, pub. 1840);
- Ezra Pound, “Canto
I” (pub. 1920);
- W. H. Auden, “The
Shield of Achilles” (1952).
- 2 Nov.
- Ineluctable Modalities: James Joyce,
Ulysses (1922), books 1–6.
- 9 Nov.
- Ulysses, books 7–12.
- 16 Nov.
- Ulysses, books 13–18.
- 23 Nov.
- No Class: Rutgers is on a Friday
- 30 Nov.
- A Masochistic Odyssey through the Empire:
Derek Walcott, Omeros (1990).
- 7 Dec.
- Helped by Women at Every Turn: Margaret
Atwood, The Penelopiad (2005).
- 14 Dec.
- More Sweetly than Our Rhyme:
Final Paper Due.
krater showing Odysseus blinding Polyphemus (c. 520
Siren Vase (c. 470 BCE);
Weaving (first quarter of the fifteenth century)
Return to Penelope (c. 1474)
- Annibale Carracci, Mercury
Protecting Ulysses from the Charms of Circe (c.
- Jan Brueghel the Elder, Odysseus
and Calypso (1616)
- Pieter Lastman, Odysseus
and Nausicaa (1619)
- Angelica Kauffman, Ulysses
Conducted by Calypso to the Forest, Cuts the Trees to Build His
- Angelica Kauffman, Calypso
Calling Heaven and Earth to Witness Her Sincere Affection to
Ulysses, though She Assents to His Departure (1776)
- Joseph Wright of Derby, Penelope
Unravelling Her Web, by Lamp Light (1785)
- John Flaxman, illustrations to The Odyssey
- William Hamilton, Ulysses
Slaying the Suitors of Penelope (1803)
- William Fuseli, Odysseus
between Scylla and Charybdis (1806)
- J. M. W. Turner, Ulysses
Deriding Polyphemus (1829)
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Penelope
- Dora Wheeler, “Penelope Unraveling Her Work at
- John William Waterhouse, Ulysses
and the Sirens (1891)
- Arnold Böcklin, Odysseus
and Polyphemus (1896)
- John William Waterhouse, Penelope
and the Suitors (1912)
- Romare Bearden, A Black
- Coen Brothers, O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000).