University of Notre Dame

Literary Visions and Re-Visions

Course Number: 13186 – 6
Instructor: Yasmin Solomonescu

“[T]here will be time,” writes T. S. Eliot in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “time yet for a hundred indecisions,
/ And for a hundred visions and revisions,
/ Before the taking of a toast and tea.” While this seminar doesn’t promise toast and tea (although that’s negotiable), it does promise a feast of literary works well worth digesting, specifically ones about the many “visions and revisions” involved in literature itself. Through the study of poetry, plays, and a novel from across centuries, we will become acquainted with literature as a mode of expression that involves artful negotiation with one’s cultural and historical heritage, notably through adaptation, echoing, imitation, and allusion. We will also explore the ways in which literature is often on some level about its own visionary and revisionary processes. The seminar will feature regular classes in which we analyze, discuss, and practice the critical visions and revisions involved in thinking and writing about literature at the university level. Writers figuring prominently in the syllabus include Shakespeare, Stoppard, and Woolf.