In this introductory course, we will study and explore the ways in which literary creativity and the practice of writing are motivated and shaped by the reading of other texts. With close attention to texts from different times and places, we will identify some of the major acts of rewriting by which authors have sought to distinguish themselves throughout the centuries. Distinguishing between different strategies of rewriting such as allusion, adaptation, prequel, parody, and pastiche, we will examine their role in specific contexts of literary production. In addition to considering the importance of rewriting in the formation and critique of a literary canon, we will also examine how different responses to a ‘source’ text reflect the changing landscape of critical approaches to literature, from cultural, political, and gender perspectives to modernist, postmodern and post-colonial re-imaginings.
- Influence and forms of rewriting
- Tradition and innovation
- Genre and text
- Authorship, ownership and community
This course aims to expose and explore reading and writing as historical activities and the role of their interplay in the shaping of traditions. It will provide students with a critical vocabulary for the analysis and discussion of different forms of rewriting and offer them opportunities to understand the rewriting process as a reflection of various key literary movements and periods.
There will be three contact hours per week on Thursdays from 1.30pm-4.20pm. Formal lectures in the first hour will be supplemented by presentations/smaller group discussions in the second hour. Two small tutorial groups will alternate in the third hour to discuss approaches to critical reading and writing.
Assessment for the course is 100% coursework. This is made up of one short creative writing assignment (20%), one in-class writing exam (25%), research, outline and conference for final essay (15%), final essay (25%), as well as class participation and presentation (15%)
Most of the excerpts and short stories will be available on Moodle, but please purchase the following texts: Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground (trans by Pevear and Volokhonsky, Vintage); David Henry Hwang, M. Butterfly (Plume or Dramatists Play Service, but NOT the Broadway Revial Edition). I highly encourage you to purchase these texts EARLY and start reading them before the course if possible.
Other primary readings may include:
David Belasco, Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan (1900)
Excerpts from Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)
Carol Ann Duffy, The World’s Wife )1999)
Nikolai Gogol, ‘Memoirs of a Madman’ (1835)
John Luther Long, ‘Madame Butterfly’ (1898)
Lu Xun, 'Diary of a Madman’ (1918)
Richard Wright, ‘The Man Who Lived Underground (1961)
Secondary Texts/Additional Reading:
Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin. The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial Literatures. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2002.
Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. New York: Oxford UP, 1973
-----. A Map of Misreading. New York: Oxford UP, 1975.
Cartmell, Deborah and Imelda Whelehan, Adaptations: From Text to Screen, Screen to Text. New York: Routledge, 1999.
Ricks, Christopher B. Allusion to the Poets. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002.
Graham, Allen. Intertextuality. London: Routledge, 2000.
Orr, Mary. Intertextuality: Debates and Contexts. Cambridge: Polity, 2003.
Madsen, Deborah. Rereading Allegory: A Narrative Approach to Genre. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994.
Knox, Bernard. Backing into the Future: The Classical Tradition and Its Renewal. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994.
Cousins, A.D., and Peter Howarth, eds. The Cambridge Companion to the Sonnet. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011.
Burke, Sean, ed. Authorship: From Plato to the Postmodern: A Reader. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1995.
Eisner, Caroline, and Martha Vicinus, eds. Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2008.
Posner, Richard A. The Little Book on Plagiarism. New York: Pantheon Books, 2007.