SUNY Oneonta

COMP 315 Early Literary Criticism

3 s.h.

A composition "clinicum practicum" in which students will submit weekly exercises in imitation of seminal figures in the early history of literary theory and parctice. We will begin with the achievements of the Greek and Roman masters of the literary and critical arts, then focus on the allegorical analyses and constructions of the late classical Neoplatonists and the medieval schoolmen, and end with the literary conventions and excesses of the Renaissance period. Models for imitation will be drawn from the works of such authors as Gorgias, Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Longinus, Quintilian, Augustine of Hippo, Boethius, Geoffrey of Vinsauf, Robert of Basevorn, Christine de Pizan, Desiderius Erasmus, Peter Ramus, Thomas Wilson, Margaret Fell, and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Theorists’ works will be read in conjunction with literary works exemplifying or defying the prescriptions of the theorists. Like classical, medieval and Renaissance scholars, the students in this class will hone their own composition and critical skills first by imitating the exemplars we will read, and then by developing their own styles and voices. Offered irregularly. (LA)

Prerequisites: COMP 100; LITR 100 or LITR 150.

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