Sep 27, 2010

Self-Reflection: On the Problem of Memory and Memoir

Only a few spots left in my next reading course at Hugo House:

Even the finest memories are incomplete. Fittingly, in this class we will examine the attempts of various authors to fathom memory and self-reflection by reviewing those attempts in bits and pieces. Readings will include short selections from Plato’s Republic, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Wordsworth’s The Prelude (and Dorothy’s journals), Nietzsche’s “On Truth and Lying in the Nonmoral Sense,” Ashbery’s “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,” Borges’ Ficciones, and Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu. Alongside these authors, or what they left of themselves on the page, we will explore the nature of individual and shared memory and its representation—a problem that sits at the center of all literary writing.

Meets: Saturday, October 09, 2010 – Saturday, November 13, 2010
Saturday, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Richard Hugo House
General: $230.00
Members of Hugo House: $207.00

Click here for information on registration and financial aid.

Required Readings

Week 1
Plato, Phaedrus and Book VII of The Republic
Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 3, “The Story of Echo and Narcissus”

Week 2
William Wordsworth, The Prelude (Books I, II, and XI)

Week 3
Jorge Luis Borges, “Funes the Memorious,” “The Library of Babel,” and “The Secret Miracle”

Week 4
Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu, selection from Swann’s Way (pages 1-64 in the Modern Library edition)

Week 5
Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lying in the Nonmoral Sense”
John Ashbery, “The Painter” and “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror”

Week 6
Selections from Memory, Brain, and Belief, including “Introduction” (Daniel L. Schacter and Elaine Scarry), “Mining the Past to Construct the Future” (Chris Westbury and Daniel C. Dennett), and “Autobiography, Identity, and the Fictions of Memory” (Paul John Eakin)

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