The Art of Satire
English 313, Autumn 1999
Go directly to:
Office: (973) 353-5279x516; 516 Hill Hall.
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30-11:30, and by appointment
(appointments are best).
Home: (609) 750-1263 (before 11 p.m.!).
(the best way to reach me).
Listserv: firstname.lastname@example.org (for the whole class).
English 313 involves the following responsibilities on your part:
- Written Assignments: There will be one final paper of
roughly ten pages, along with several smaller writing assignments
and your daily reading journal (see below, "Class
Participation"). There will be no 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 (which means
a lower final grade).
- Class Participation: Regular and active class
participation (including doing the readings) is essential, and
counts for a large part of your grade. In each class
meeting, you'll be expected to bring in your reading journal
-- a set of written observations or questions on the day's
readings -- and be prepared to use it to start the day's
discussion. Class participation obviously includes class
attendance; if you're not there, you're not participating. (If
you miss a class, you'll be expected to E-mail your observations
and questions to the class listserv.)
- E-Mail Participation: All students will be
required to have an E-mail account by the end of the
second week of classes; E-mail participation will count
toward the class participation grade, and some essential
information will be available only electronically. I'll
provide any computing help you need.
Six books -- Utopia, Gulliver's Travels,
Candide, Lucky Jim, The Crying of Lot 49,
and Planet Doonesbury -- are available from the Rutgers
Newark Bookstore in Bradley Hall. The remainder of the
readings are available in a photocopy pack from Affordable Copies
(68 Halsey St.); many are also on-line.
This class has a mailing list called
email@example.com; all students are required to have
an E-mail account by the end of the second week of classes and to
participate in the discussions on the list. Although I have the
greatest sympathy for those suffering from technological
nightmares, don't expect to use computer problems as an excuse
for not doing the reading or writing. If you have a computer
problem, contact me as soon as possible.
Schedule of Class Meetings
- Thursday, 2 Sept.
- Introduction: Satire, irony, comedy, parody, lampoon,
invective, burlesque, travesty, jeremiad.
Ridentem Dicere Verum
- Tuesday, 7 Sept.
- Horace, Satires 2.1 and 2.2.
- Thursday, 9 Sept.
- Juvenal, Satires 3 and 10.
- Tuesday, 14 Sept.
- Alexander Pope, "The First Satire of the Second Book of
Horace, Imitated," and "The Second Satire of the Second Book of
- Thursday, 16 Sept.
- John Dryden, Juvenal's "Third Satyr"; Samuel Johnson, London.
- Tuesday, 21 Sept.
- Dryden, selections from Discourse concerning the Original
and Progress of Satire. Exercise: Produce your own
imitation of part of a satire by Horace or Juvenal in about 500
words. Rhyme and meter are optional.
Who Breaks a Butterfly upon a Wheel?
Lampoon and Invective
- Thursday, 23 Sept.
- Rochester, "A
Satyr on Charles II"; Dryden, Mac
- Tuesday, 28 Sept.
- Pope, Epistle
to Arbuthnot; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, "Verses
Addressed to the Imitator of Horace."
The Best of All Possible Worlds?
Social and Political Satire
- Thursday, 30 Sept.
- Garry Trudeau, Planet
- Tuesday, 5 Oct.
- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's
Travels, part 1.
- Thursday, 7 Oct.
Travels, part 3.
- Tuesday, 12 Oct.
- Swift, A
- Thursday, 14 Oct.
- Voltaire, Candide,
chapters 1-16. Exercise: Produce your own "modest
proposal" on the topic of your choice in about 500 words.
- Tuesday, 19 Oct.
- Thursday, 21 Oct.
- Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim, chapters 1-12.
- Tuesday, 26 Oct.
- Lucky Jim, chapters 13-25.
- Thursday, 28 Oct.
- The Simpsons, "Homerphobia."
Utopias and Dystopias
- Tuesday, 2 Nov.
- Thomas More, Utopia,
- Thursday, 4 Nov.
- Tuesday, 9 Nov.
Travels, part 4. Debate: "Resolved, Swift's
Houyhnhnmland is a utopia."
Satire as Apocalypse
- Thursday, 11 Nov.
- Rochester, A
Satyr against Mankind; Pope, The
Dunciad, book 4.
- Tuesday, 16 Nov.
Dunciad, book 4. E-mail assignment: Send at least
three possible theses for your final paper to the class listserv
by midnight on Tuesday.
- Thursday, 18 Nov.
- Byron, A Vision of Judgment. E-mail assignment:
Comment on at least three possible theses by other members of the
class on the listserv by midnight on Thursday.
- Tuesday, 23 Nov.
- A Vision of Judgment.
- Thursday, 25 Nov.
- No class -- Thanksgiving.
- Tuesday, 30 Nov.
- Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, chapters 1-2.
- Thursday, 2 Dec.
- The Crying of Lot 49, chapters 3-4.
- Tuesday, 7 Dec.
- The Crying of Lot 49, chapters 5-6. Final paper
- Thursday, 9 Dec.