Course Description and Requirements:

This course will focus on writing, mourning, and cryptograpy in Poe's works, including hieroglyphics, alphabets, slips of paper, foolscap paper, and so on. Although our focus will be primarily on the American Poe, not the French Poe. But the unconscious of this course will be the German Poe. That sentence will become clear as we move through the semester.

Email all work for the course to me at richardburt33@gmail.com

Discussion Questions (DQs) and BIG WORDS are always due by Sundays and Tuesdays by 5:00 p.m. Email all work for the course to me at richardburt33@gmail.com. We will discuss your DQs in class the day after they are due: Mondays and Wednesdays. Nothing is due on Thursdays, with the exceptions of Thursday, September 4, Thursday, September 10, and Thursday, November 12. We will continue our M and W discussion on Fridays. I have posted due dates for the first assignments but I will no longer give due dates after September 13. You'll know the drill by then.

BIG WORDS: For each assigned reading of Poe, I will ask you to look up three of Poe's Big Words (and include them with your DQs) ; that is, words that are rarely used, and words that are now obsolete (he has quite an extensive vocabulary and was fond of inventing neologisms.) Here are a few examples (without their definitions):

chacinnatory, ratiocination, egression, ingression, tarn, dropsy, scarabaeus, fool's cap, masque, catalepsy, galvanic battery (pp. 153; 364; etc in Tales of Mystery and Imagination), cerements, dégagé, asseveration . . .

Some of them are glossed at PoeStories.com, so can skip those.

Now and then, Poe writes a word or a sentence in French, German, Italian, Latin and even Greek. Don't worry.

Go to Google translate

We will build a Poe lexicon that will include Poe's most frequently used adjectives. Like "gloomy."

Poe, "The Power of Words"

Burton R. Pollin, Poe, Creator of Words

Allen Tate, "The Angelic Imagination: Poe and the Power of Words," The Kenyon Review Vol. 14, No. 3 (Summer, 1952), pp. 455-475

I'll ask you to co-lead classes two times during the semester and perhaps perform a dramatic reading of a poem or part of a tale.

The books below are the only books required for this course. You may either get 1 and 2 or just get 3.

1. Edgar Allan Poe and Kevin J. Hayes, Ed. The Annotated Poe (All pages number given on the schedule page are to this edition. I have provided links to any assigned tales and poems not in this edition.)

2. Edgar Allan Poe and J. Gerald Kennedy, Ed. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, and Related Tales (Oxford World's Classics) 

3. Or you may order the Norton Critical Edition of Edgar Allan Poe's writings. (This book includes Pym. But he font size is quite small)

You will also find Poe's stories and novel on this website (click). There is a digital facsimile of a print collection of Poe's tales here (click), but you can check it out for an hour at a time. There are also many auiorecordings of Poe's tales and poems. This is the first edition (posthumously published) of Poe's works: The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe  (1850)  by Edgar Allan Poe, edited by Rufus Wilmot Griswold

Requirements: TOTAL ATTENDANCE; no computers or iphones in class (the text will be available on the screen in the front of the classroom); co-lead class discussion twice, once on a Tuesday and once on a Thursday; two discussion questions; and three or more "BIG WORDS" for each class; student formulated quizzes each class; three 700 word papers; and a willingness to reflect, think, respond, by paying very, VERY, VERY close formal attention to texts and films.  All assigned work for the course must be completed, turned in on time, and be of passing quality to pass the course. 

You may miss two classes without excuse. I will reserve the right to lower your final grade for the curse as I see fit shoud you miss more than two classes without documentation. If you miss more than four classes, you will faial the class.

Please read the Class Policies page now.

All assigned work for the course must be completed and be of passing quality to pass the course. We will learn collaboratively. I will not lecture at you while you try to stay awake. Therefore, you and your fellow students must all participate in class discussion. This is a new and somewhat experimental course I have designed myself. It is not a course where you can do 70 percent of the work and expect to get a C in the course. To get a C in the course, you need to do 100 percent of the work at a C level. Because of the large number of students in the class, I may not notice if you have not been completing the work until the end of the term. In that case, you will receive an E. To get above a C, you must participate in class discussion.

Please read the Class Policies page now.

Requirements (I repeat): Co-lead class discussion twice, once on a Tuesday and once on a Thursday; two discussion questions and three or more "BIG WORDS" for each class; student formulated quizzes each class; and three 500 word papers; willingness to reflect, think, respond, by paying very, VERY, VERY close formal attention to texts and films.

If you want to be in this class, you have to be in it.

Therefore:

If you are late to class, or if you leave during class, or if you leave class early, you will fail the class. You are allowed two absences without excuse or penalty. Rather than arrive late or leave early, use one of your allowed absence. I strongly recommend that you wake up early and plan to arrive by 8:25 a.m.

I take silent roll for each class. If you don't turn in the discussion questions and "big words" (when they are due), I will count you as absent. For more details, see the class policies here.

To repeat: If you want to be in this class, you have to be in it. In short, if your ambition is only to get a "C" in this course, you should not take it.

Two students will co-lead class discussion each class once on a Tuesday and once on a Thursday.

Students who co-lead class will also give a quiz (two questions) at the beginning of the class they co-lead.

Missed quizzes may be not be made up.

Late work may not be made up.

Assignment (two-parts) for each class:

A. Two discussion questions, numbered 1 and 2 and with your name at the bottom of the document, on each assigned reading or film are due by 5 p.m. on Mondays. And two discussion questions, numbered 1 and 2, on each assigned reading or film are due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email your questions in one word document (as an attachment) to me atat richardburt33@gmail.com.

B. BIG WORDS (at least 3) defined :

Many of the readings will be difficult, partly because the vocabularies the writers use contain technical terms you probably won't know as well as "big words" you may not know. Since you can easily go to wiktionary to look up the meanings and etymologies of words you don't know, I ask that you include at least three words you had to look up with your discussion questions. That will help everyone in the class. And since this is an English class, you should want to expand your vocabulary, no? :) Words also have histories. You may want to consult the Oxford English Dictionary online through UF

Why do I have these policies?

IGNORE EVERYTHING BELOW

extensive reference the French reception of Edgar Allen Poe, the primary focus being on The Case of M. Valdemar and The Purloined Letter Poe's two other Dupin Stories.

Derrida on Baudelaire, Given Time: Counterfeit Money

Arthur Conan Doyle, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

John T. Irwin, The Mystery to a Solution. Poe, Borges, and the Analytic Detective Story.

Lacan Seminar on the Purloined Letter in Ecrits

Jacques Derrida, "Le facteur de la vérité" ("The Factor / Purveyor of Truth"; "facteur" can mean both "postman" and "factor" in French) in The Post Card, pp. 412-96. (Read this translation by Alan Bass, not the translation by Jeffrey Mehlman in Yale French Studies). Bring a copy of the book in print or a print out a copy on paper and bring it with you to class (Kindles, iphones, lap top computers, etc., will not be allowed).

Derrida, For the Love of Lacan in Resistances

Juan Luis Borges, "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote"

Carlo Ginzburg, Clues


KEVIN MCLAUGHLIN, Chapter 1 Distraction in America: Paper, Money, Poe (pp. 29-49) in Paperwork: Fiction and Mass Mediacy in the Paper Age

Sigmund Freud,The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Chapter Nine, "Symptomatic and Chance Actions" and Chapter Ten, "Errors."

Required Reading: Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Sections 1-IV (1 though IV, including IV). Bring a copy of the book in print or a print out on paper to class (Kindles, iphones, lap top computers, etc., will not be allowed.

Required Reading: Edgar Allen Poe, "The Purloined Letter"

Required Reading: Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Sections V-VI (the rest of the book). Bring a copy of the book in print or a print out on paper to class (Kindles, iphones, lap top computers, etc will not be allowed). Recommended: Sigmund Freud, "A Note upon the Mystic Writing Pad"

Required Reading: Jacques Derrida, "To Speculate--On 'Freud'" in The Post Card, 257-291 ("1. Notices (Warnings"). Bring a copy of the book in print or a print out a copy on paper and bring it with you to class (Kindles, iphones, lap top computers, etc., will not be allowed).

Recommended: Jacques Derrida, "Differance"; Jacques Derrida, "The Parergon"

Required Reading: Jacques Lacan, "Seminar on the Purloined Letter" (click on link to left for pdf)

Sigmund Freud, "The Uncanny"

Recommended Readings: (T.B.R.S.,P.) Wilhelm Jentsch, "The Uncanny" ; E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Sandman; Ernst Mach, Analyse der Empfindungen (The Analysis of Sensationsand the Relation of the Physical to the Psychical), cited

Quiz in class on Basic Terms of Film Analysis

The apparent permanency of the ego consists chiefly in the single fact of its continuity, in the slowness of its changes. The many thoughts and plans of yesterday that are continued today, and of which our environment in waking hours incessantly reminds us (whence in dreams the ego can be very indistinct, doubled, or entirely wanting), and the little habits that are unconsciously and involuntarily kept up for long periods of time, constitute the groundwork of the ego. There can hardly be greater differences in the egos of different people, than occur in the course of years in one person. When I recall today my early youth, I should take the boy that I then was, with the exception of a few individual features, for a different person, were it not for the existence of the chain of memories. Many an article that I myself penned twenty years ago impresses me now as something quite foreign to myself. The very gradual character of the changes of the body also contributes to the stability of the ego, but in a much less degree than people imagine. Such things are much less analysed and noticed than the intellectual and the moral ego. Personally, people know themselves very poorly. When I wrote these lines in 1886, Ribot's admirable little book, The Diseases of Personality (second edition, Paris, 1888, Chicago, 1895), was unknown to me. Ribot ascribes the principal role in preserving the continuity of the ego to the general sensibility. Generally, I am in perfect accord with his views.

Ernst Mach, The Analysis of Sensations (1897). Dover Edition, 1959;
Translation: by C M Williams and Sydney Waterlow.

 

Having recalled this, and having taken this precaution as a matter of principle, I am not doing what one ought to do and cannot do it with you in a seminar. I cannot do all that again with you here for at least two reasons, as I was saying. The one has to do with the obvious lack of time: it would take us years. The other, less obvious, is that I also believe in the necessity, sometimes, in a seminar the work of which is not simply reading, in the necessity, and even the fecundity, when I’m optimistic and confident, of a certain number of leaps, certain new perspectives from a turn in the text, from a stretch of path that gives you another view of the whole, like, for example, when you’re driving a car on a mountain road, a hairpin or a turn, an abrupt and precipitous elevation suddenly gives you in an instant a new perspective on the whole, or a large part of the itinerary or of what orients, designs, or destines it. And here there intervene not only each person’s reading-idioms, with their history, their way of driving (it goes without saying that each of my choices and my perspectives depends broadly here, as I will never try to hide, on my history, my previous work, my way of driving, driving on this road, on my drives, desires and phantasms, even if I always try to make them both intelligible, shareable, convincing and open to discussion) [here there intervene, not only each person’s reading-idioms, with their history, their way of driving] in the mountains or on the flat, on dirt roads or on highways, following this or that map, this or that route, but also the crossing, the decision already taken and imposed by you by fiat as soon as it was proposed to you, to read a given seminar by Heidegger and Robinson Crusoe, i.e., two discourses also on the way and on the path which can multiply perspectives from which two vehicles can light up, their headlights crossing, the overall cartography and the landscape in which we are traveling and driving together, driving on all these paths interlaced, intercut, overloaded with bridges, fords, no entries or one-way streets, etc.Jacques Derrida, The Beast and the Sovereign, Vol. 2, (2012), 206

Ernst Mach, The Analysis of Sensations (1897). Dover Edition, 1959;
Translation: by C M Williams and Sydney Waterlow.

 

If you have any questions about the course, please ask them of me in class or during office hours. Contact me by email only to send me your assignments. Also, put your last name first in the title of any attached document you send me and put you name in the word documents.

Many students use email addresses that give no indication of their names. If your email address does not indicate your name, please be sure to give your name in the subject heading of all your email messages to me, and please also indicate that you are taking English 4133 (unless the subject heading of your message makes this clear). (I teach other courses as well.)

Also, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, please be aware that this class will make extensive use of the course website and email. The current version of the website is the binding one. Please make sure that if you have you do not currently access your gatorlink email account that you have all email from that account forwarded to your current email acount. I will be emailing you all through a class listserv, and this listserv uses your "@ufl.edu" gatorlink email address. Typically, I will be sending you several emails a week, so make sure that you are able to get them.