Course Description and Syllabus

Please purchase the specific editions listed below. Note also that some of the readings have been revised during the summer.
En 333/Ar 333/Mu 333 FALL 2000
S. Gottlieb, English Dept.
T and Th 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm
 E-mail ... Prof. Emeritus Stephen A. Gottlieb

Romantic Literature 
and The Arts

This course entails study of imaginative literature of the early and middle 19th Century within the context of painting and music. In particular, we study works that emphasize imagination, the Romantic sublime, terror, and consequently the more intense expressions of literary, painterly, and musical expression. Included are William Blake, Coleridge, P.B. Shelley, Jane Austen's Persuasion, some vampire literature, the paintings of John Constable, John Martin, Caspar David Friedrich, and J.M.W. Turner, and music by Franz Schubert, Frederic Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn. A visit is planned to the British Art Center (New Haven), where there is provision for study of books, manuscripts, prints, and paintings. We may see a videotape of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold 

We will use the En 333 course Web site, thereby gaining access to electronic communication with one another, with instructors and students at other institutions, and with literature, painting, and music available on the World Wide Web. Our Web site may allow an electronic discussion group and will allow private (though not anonymous) e-mail communication. In addition, students may create their own course Web projects. Projects are placed on the Internet by my invitation.  

Catalogue Description

Course offerings in this area [The Arts and Literature, as listed in the QU Catalogue] offer study of literature in its broader cultural setting, emphasizing the interrelationships between imaginative literature and one or more of various arts, including painting, music, cinema, or opera. Courses may be within one artistic period or may trace a theme or style through several periods. May be repeated for credit when topic changes (e.g., Romantic Literature and Painting, Literature and Opera, Renaissance Literature and Music). Prerequisite: a 200 level literature course. If taken as Ar 333, prerequisites are: a 200 level literature course and Ar 101, Ar 103, or Ar 105. If taken as Mu 333, the prerequisites are: a 200 level literature course and Mu 130. 3 hours.  

Further Description and Objectives

Please Note: Starting at this point, this syllabus should be considered in light of the course objectives and the use of the Internet. As explained below, all students in this course are expected to use the course Web site and their E-mail. 

 This course will enable students to study select major authors and literary texts with attention to the styles, genres, themes, and characteristic thought of the Romantic Period, together with an understanding of key cultural concepts, art, and music of the period. My nominal years for the English Romantic Period are 1790 (Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell) to 1851 (death of the painter Turner). The course revolves around the four Romantic concepts of Imagination, the Sublime, Transformations, and Originality, Core readings are listed below and form a common basis for class discussion. We will utilize the British Art Center (New Haven) for its collection of Romantic British oils, water colors, engravings, and for their library, and we will have at least one class session there on a weekday. For use of original prints and water colors by Blake, Constable, John Martin, and Turner, the BAC Print Room is open M-F, 10-4:30. At QU, we will use computer video projection, video, and CD-ROM for the music. 

 I have chosen the course materials for several reasons. With treatments of the relationship between beauty and terror, balanced by the urbane quality of some of the fictions and the kind of poem known as the conversation poem, the course materials are spectacular human documents possdesed of great feeling and brilliant insights into morality. These often revolutionary writers, artists and musicians were inventing new ways to feel and to think about their revolutionary world. Their works provide occasions for us to reconsider what is vital in our lives, our society, our minds, and our relationships. There is also, in the more spectacular Romantic products, an emphasis on the self in extremity, stretched out fully. In short, the study of the isolated self gives us pause to reconsider what makes a self, and what it means to have an identity -- or to compromise it, or to lose it. 

 Finally, this is a course in the interrelated arts, considering how poets paint, how painters poetize, and how instrumental music can tell stories -- how artists adapt methods from the other arts, and how to look at a painting, poem, or story. Meeting materially distinct treatments of a common set of themes, and even the same characters and plots, gives us multiple chances to explore the meaning of each presentation, a benefit to enjoyment and to an understanding of the individual painting, poem or novel, or our ways of perceiving the world.    

Course Methods and Grading

I will lecture, but there will be plenty of classroom discussion. In addition, I am considering asking each student to make a brief presentation to the class, concerning a shorter essay or the semester project. These presentations would be the basis for some of the class discussions. Readings are listed below, but please be aware that readings are assigned during class meetings, and alterations or additions will be made in the number and order of the readings listed below. If late or absent, you need to stay in touch.  
  • 60% About 5 short essays (2-3 pages apiece) designed to develop your understanding of Romantic literature and painting. 

  •  30% A five-page essay (minimum size) or an optional semester-long project related to the course. While this project must include essay-style writing, I hope that some students will work toward placing their work on our course Web site. A Powerpoint presentation is another option. 

  •  10% Discretionary grade (used at my discretion) for quality class participation, effective effort, excellent attendance, and the like. 

 Note: Depending upon the scale of your project and essays, I will adjust my grading percentages. 

Absence and Late Work Policy

Absences are not permitted. You will be downgraded up to an entire letter grade for missing more than 2 class meetings or for not reading assignments. More than 3 absences may contribute to your failing this course, to my advising you to withdraw, or to my withdrawing you. All work is due on time unless arranged differently in advance with instructor.  
Academic Integrity

Academic integrity means that all written work is your own thought and expression and is free of plagiarism of any kind. Secondary sources are clearly introduced as such, and are documented. Paraphrasing is completely your own language, and quoted material appears within quotation marks and is documented as well. You have not purchased or borrowed the whole or any part of your essay, and you have acknowledged -- in a section labeled Acknowledgments -- all assistance you have received from other students and other teachers. (for examples of format and documentation, you should plan to visit  Format, Documentation, Academic Integrity.    

Computer Proficiency Required
  • A contemporary word processing program: Corel Word Perfect (at least version 8) or Microsoft Word (at least version 7). Sound formatting and documentation skills required.
  • A Web browser : Netscape (at least version 4) or Microsoft Internet Explorer (at least version 5). Ability to download text and images and to embed them in your word processing program.
  • Proficient use of e-mail, including attachments (of essays with embedded images, individual images). Mail program which can use HTML mail and attachments. You will need your own E-mail address and convenient access to the Internet on and off campus.
Office Hours
Initial Times:  
Wednesdays, 11-12 and Thursdays, 1-2 
(Other times are easily arranged) 
F.O.B. 1 (582-8711) 
home phones (call until 10 p.m.): numbers provided in first class. 

Required Books (Fall, 1999)

Select Readings: Romantic Literature and the Arts. Purchase immediately in Campus Copy. 

Austen, Jane.  Persuasion.  Norton Critical Edition Series. Ed. Patricia Meyer Spacks. Norton: 1995. ISBN 0-393-96018-8. 

 Blake, William. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Ed. John Keynes. New York: Oxford UP, 1975. ISBN 0-19-281167-3 [color facsimile of engraved plates]. 

 Vaughan, William. Romanticism and Art. Thames and Hudson (ordered through Norton). ISBN 0-500-20275-3.   

 De Quincey, Thomas. Confessions of an English Opium Eater. Ed. Alethea Hayter. Penguin Classic, 1986. ISBN 0-393-96018-8. 

 Hoffmann, E. T. A. Tales of E. T. A. Hoffmann.  Tr. And Ed. Leonard J. Kent   and E. Knight. University of Chicago Press.1972. ISBN: 0-226-34789-3. 

Reserve or Xeroxed Readings

When assigned, reserve readings will be placed on open or closed reserve during the semester. I should add that the British Art Center has a wonderful collection of nineteenth-century British books concerning literature as well as art. From time to time, I may ask you to purchase xeroxed readings from the Campus Copy Center. There will be frequent use of pictorial materials from the Romantic Period. I have a personal collection of books in my office. You may borrow these and/or peruse them in my comfortable chair.    

Reading List and Initial Syllabus

Note: Readings in the book, Select Readings: Romantic Literature and the Arts, are labeled SR

(A) Central Course Concepts  
(4 weeks)  

Imagination, Transformation, the Sublime, Originality; How to Analyze Romantic Painting and Literature; Discussion of Course Projects. 
Core Concepts in Brief; Romanticism, Imagination Once More; What is 19th-century Romanticism? 18th Century poetry samples: Pope, Thompson(SR)   

 Coleridge: Selections from Biographia Literaria on the Imagination (SR) 

 De Quincey. "On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth" and excerpt from Macbeth(SR)  
"Literature of Knowledge and Literature of Power" (SR)  

 Coleridge's Conversation Poems: (all SR) 
"The Eolian Harp";  "This Lime-Tree Bower, My Prison"; "Frost at Midnight" 

 Coleridge's Narrative Poem: "Christabel" (SR) 

 JohnRuskin: selections from Modern Painters (Class handout or reserved reading). Paired literature and paintings: Imaginative Topography -- Wordsworth (segment of The Prelude) (SR), Coleridge, and Constable's landscapes, P.B. Shelley's "Mont Blanc" (SR) and Turner's mountains 

 Possibly -- William Hazlitt: "Why Distant Objects Please (Reserve)."  
J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, Caspar David Friedrich, John Martin: Computer projections of the paintings colors 

 J.M.W. Turner. Visit to British Art Center, New Haven 

 Print Room to see prints by Turner, John Martin, John Constable, and William Blake; brief visit to library, gift shop 

(B) Poetry and the Pictorial Arts  
(4 weeks)  

 Blake. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. 
slides of William Blake's art. 

 P.B. Shelley. Sonnet: "Lift not the painted veil," "Julian and Maddalo, a Conversation." (both SR)  

 Several poems by Byron or Thomas Gray's "The Bard" (SR) may be assigned because they were turned into paintings by Turner or George Martin. 

 (C) E.T.A. Hoffmann's Imagined Realities: select Tales of Hoffmann 
(3 weeks) 

 (D) The Idea of Narrative in Music 
(1 week) 

 Poems and paintings: influence, analogy, and implication: 

 Mendelssohn's Fingal's Cave Overture and Turner's Staffa, Fingal's Cave.  
 Chopin: from Four Ballades (SR)   
 Schubert: The Erl-King (SR) and Winterreise (" The Winter Journey ") (SR) 

 (E) Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold and Creation  
(1 week, time permitting; libretto on Reserve) 

Evening movie: live videotaped performance of  Das Rheingold 

 (F) The Romantic Novel of the  Imagination 
(2 weeks)  

Jane Austen. Persuasion 

 Possible evening movie: Persuasion. 

(G) Imagination and Transformed Realities: Imagination, Society, Violence, Poverty, Drugs 
(1 week)  

Thomas De Quincey. Confessions of an English Opium Eater (through Part One only) 

Siegmund Freud. Selections from Cocaine Papers (optional reading) 

 Winter visit to Homer's Lotus Land 

 (Have a wonderful winter recess!!) 

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 Last modified: 8/8/00
Maintained by Stephen Gottlieb. E-mail ... Prof. Emeritus Stephen A. Gottlieb