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Friday, June 13, 2008

Bak 2 Skul

Contemporary Literary Theories and Critical Approaches (MLL 210). The title of this grad school course is daunting enough, but not as intimidating as our main text, the two-inch thick (if my not-so-reliable eyesight served me right) Literary Theory: An Anthology by Julie & Michael Ryan Rivkin, perched on our professor's table. This text and the "auxiliary readings" are the arcane and semi-arcane works we are expected to pore over in the next few months. Which means, at least to me, letting go of my daily habit of attempting (and failing) at contemplation ala Rodin's Le Penseur, and cutting down on my tutorial workload and blogging time. Otherwise, I'd end up in class as an all-dressed up Le Penseur capable only of cranking up a convoluted answer to the "wrong" question. Or worse, I'd get another INC on my OTR ;> .

Power Thoughts/Expressions from my Quotable Professor:

On class participation: "If the teacher is fated with an inert mass, he will end up being catatonic."

On absences: "When you intend to be absent from class, do not text me to say you'll be with me in spirit."

On the necessity of reading primary texts: "Secondary sources are like ukay-ukay (2nd hand clothes) -- accessible but not the real thing."

On internet research: "Sift through all the stuff that litter the realm."

Two challenges: Increasing literary repertoire & being cross-disciplinary

On Wellek & Warren's Theory of Literature: "dense but illuminating"

Watchword: "PROBLEMATIZE!"

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