Why are some books considered classics while others are hardly read at all? How is the idea of the classic linked to debates about history, representation, excellence, and taste? This unit answers these questions through in-depth, guided readings of a small number of major texts that have, at one time or another, been celebrated for their classic status. We consider whether literary classics must be difficult, innovative, representative, or popular; how they shape our judgements about literary tradition and value; and why they remain implicated in debates about sexuality, race, national identity, and class.
2x1hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week
1x750wd Close reading exercise (15%), 1x750wd Close reading exercise (20%), 1x750wd Classic Covers exercise (20%), 1x2250wd Final Essay (45%)