This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2016-2017

LLRO 13186-1: On Interpretation: the Art of Caressing Art

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Instructor: Louis MacKenzie

In this seminar our truck will be with "texts" from various registers of art: "low" (e.g., songs by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen); "middle" (films by, for example, Martin Scorsese) and "high" (opera, symbolist and contemporary poetry). This variety of sources is chosen with one purpose in mind: to encourage techniques of reading from the inside of the text outward. To this end, our interest is more on the how than on the what. In other words, how do we go about finding the seam, the portal through which to enter a text? Student essays work will be publicly scrutinized in the hopes of also cultivating the fine, difficult and all too often lost art of self-critique. Students under the impression that they "can't" do textual analysis are especially welcome, as, of course, are those for whom literature and the arts are already a source of joy and an engine of growth.This semester we will be going to the Lyric Opera of chicago to see a production of "Carmen," which we will have already studied in class.