English 666 / FLL 639

Fall 2006

Charles Ross




This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of Comparative Literature. Since the class is an international and diverse group, we will use texts suggested by you, reflecting your interests. The theme of the course is that Comparative Literature is necessary, because by studying literature, we learn how to read a great fiction, the world.


Required text (available at Von’s)

  • Lewis, C. S. An Experiment in Criticism.

Suggested text:

  • Leitch, Vincent. ed.. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism,
  • You can use any edition of the other texts.



August 24: Introduction to Comparative Literature

August 31: First Lines: A Project in Global Diversity

September 7: Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Buffy Turner

September 14: Ariostotle’s Poetics and Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex (Jason Lotz)

September 21: Euripedes, Bacchae (Lu Liang)

September 28: Class trip to see The Black Dahlia

October 5: Matthew, and Pier Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew

October 12: C. S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism


October 19: no class (papers due): Pretend you are writing a Comparative Literature M.A. exam that wants to cover all the works we have covered so far. Compose a question and answer it, 5-10 pages, touching each of the works we have read.


October 26: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (Ed Plough) (Acts 1-4, Act 5)

November 2: Stephen Greenblatt, Chapter 3, “Marvelous Possessions” and Greenblatt’s prose style

November 9: [Marjory Garber: Bartlett’s Shakespeare]

November 16: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, A Hundred Years of Solitude (Carolina Andrade)

November 23: Thanksgiving

November 30: Old Liu by Lao She (Yin Cong), an overview of theory approaches to literature, and Elder Olson on Empson’s Seven Types of Ambguity

December 7: James Ellroy, The Black Dahlia (Anna Fluegge) and Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”