|Module Title||WRITING LIVES|
|Co-ordinator||Mr Noyes K Grovier|
|Semester||Intended for use in future years|
|Next year offered||N/A|
|Next semester offered||N/A|
|Other staff||Dr Matthew C Francis|
|Course delivery||Seminars / Tutorials||2 Hours.|
Accessing historical and biographical sources; analysing letters, diaries, and journals. Students will be asked to keep a journal throughout the course. Indicative bibliography would include selections from a wide range of authors, including excerpts of diaries from Samuel Pepys, letters from John Keats, journal entries from Dorothy Wordsworth and notebook entries from S. T. Coleridge.
Writing tasks for weeks 1 and 2: given a small dossier of extracts from the letters, diaries, and/or journals from a particular historical figure over a short period of days or weeks, students will be asked to write a two-page excerpt for a hypothetical biography incorporating that raw material.
Weeks 3 and 4
Life into Art: reading and writing biography
Biography as literary form; relationship between biography and fiction. Indicative bibliography would include extracts from Dr Johnson'r Life of Savage, Richard Holmes'r Dr Johnson and Mr Savage, and/or Claire Tomalin'r The Invisible Woman: Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens.
Writing tasks for weeks 2 and 3: given a factual representation of an event from a given life, students will be asked to construct a livelier, novelized version of the incident. Especial focus will be placed on problems of embellishment and verisimilitude.
Weeks 5 and 6
Art into Life: reading and writing autobiography
Changing ideas about subjectivity; autobiography and race / gender. Indicative bibliography would include extracts from The Autobiography of Frederick Douglas and Wordsworth'r Two-Part Prelude;
Writing tasks for weeks 5 and 6: bearing in mind concepts of autobiographical framing discussed in seminar, students will be asked to retrieve an incident from childhood or adolescence and to present it as an episode from a hypothetical autobiography.
Weeks 7 and 8
A Constructive Life: the rise of inventive non-fiction and creative biography
What constitutes a `life??; creating fiction from fact/fact from fiction. Indicative bibliography would include Edward Platt'r Leadville: A Biography of the A40 (Picador, 2000) and Charles Seife'r Zero: the Biography of a Dangerous Idea (Penguin, 2000);
Writing tasks for weeks 7 and 8: swerving from conventional anthropomorphic notions of what constitutes a life, students will be asked creatively to select a unique subject ? an idea perhaps, such as `evolution?, an event, such as `the Battle of Trafalgar?, or a painting, such as `Guernica?, etc. ? about which they will briefly plot, or outline a hypothetical biography.
Weeks 9 and 10
Matters of Life and Death: reading and writing elegies and epitaphs
Relationship between literature and loss / literature and memory. Indicative bibliography would include leading examples from the genre including Milton'r Lycidas, as well as significant discussions of it, such as Wordsworth'r Essay on Epitaphs.
Writing tasks for weeks 9 and 10: bearing in mind concepts linking death, memory, and literature introduced in seminar, students will be asked to write either a verse elegy or prose obituary/tribute resonating relevant themes discussed.
This module is at CQFW Level 6