From Criticism to Theory
English 491-75: Interpretive Theory: The New Criticism to the Present
Spring 2004, TR 7:00-8:15PM, Bingham Humanities Bldg 106
Practicing the Theories
1. The New Criticism
Read Lowell's poem, available on Blackboard > English 491 > Course Documents > Course Packet, and answer the following
questions. We will discuss your answers in class on Thursday, January 22.
- Do a New Criticism reading of the poem, answering Lois Tyson's "The
Question New Critics Asked about Literary Texts" on page 134.
- What would Cleanth Brooks say are the primary tensions, ironies,
and ambiguities of the poem? What is the universal theme into which these
tensions are harmonized? Does the poem have organic unity?
- Would John Crowe Ransom approve of this poem's confessionalism? Does
the poet have sufficient "aesthetic distance"?
- According to Wimsatt and Beardsley, what would be an incorrect reading
of the poem using the intentional fallacy? Using the affective fallacy?
- Would T. S. Eliot say that this poem dissociates sensibility (thought
and feeling)? Is it sufficiently impersonal?
2. Structuralism and Semiotics
Watch three different family sitcoms, one episode each, of The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Roseanne, and answer answer the following questions.
There will be a screening of the three sitcoms after class on Tuesday, February
3. We will discuss your answers on Thursday, February 5.
- Do a structuralist reading of the eighties sitcoms by answering Lois
Tyson's "Some Questions Structuralist Critics Ask about Literary Texts"
on pages 224-225.
- Apply Ferdinand de Saussure's idea that concepts are differential
within a formal system to the three sitcoms. Think of the entire, ongoing
tradition of sitcoms as the underlying system (langue) and the three
sitcoms as particular phenomena (parole) within that system. What identity
do these sitcoms effect by being part of the same system? What characteristic
do they achieve by being different from one another?
- Roman Jakobson argues that metaphor is the primary trope of Romanticism
and Symbolism, Surrealism, and poetry while metonymy is the primary trope
of Realism, Cubism, and prose. Which trope predominates in sitcom form? Assuming
the collective speaker is the sitcoms creators and the audience is the addressee,
which function (referential, emotive, conative, phatic, metalingual, poetic)
predominates in the sitcom form? In what instances in the shows do the poetic
function come to the forefront?
- Claude Lévi-Strauss suggests that writing is a form of power,
but not in the way we typically think. Rather than freeing, he argues that
it enslaves the populace to a system of laws. Extrapolating this point to
the televisual medium, how might these sitcoms regulate the family ideal and
thus how our culture behaves? Compare and contrast these eighties sitcoms
to sitcoms from the sixties (Leave It to Beaver, The Donna Reed
Show, Father Knows Best) and the nineties to the present (Home
Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Simpsons). How
has the familial law of the land changed over the decades? Which core "values"
remain the same?
- Northrop Frye generically defines archetypal heroic quests in terms
of the seasonal cycle. Does his schema work for sitcoms in general and for
the three sitcoms from the eighties in particular? In other words, how might
the family sitcom be a variation on the hero myth? What seasonal phase and
genre might a cop show be considered? a hospital drama? a reality show? If
sitcoms do constitute comedy according to Frye's system, describe the eighties
sitcom world view in terms of the five traits of the "comic vision"
on pages 1455-6.
- Tzvetan Todorov analyzes the structure of narratives through plot.
He does so by finding similar plot patterns in a number of the Decameron's
tales, specifically the move from disequilibrium to equilibrium. Can these
three particular episodes of three different sitcoms be reduced to a similar
plot structure? If you are familiar with the run of any of these three series,
can you group individual episodes in terms of similar plot patterns and devices?
What might be the master plot of eighties family sitcoms? of family sitcoms
- Roland Barthes looks at the myth of soap, Einstein's brain, and campaign
photography. Do a semiotic analysis of the mythic imagery of the three sitcoms,
particularly in their opening credit montages. Barth also declares the author
dead, meaning that she has been superceded by the system of language and writing.
In what ways do the three sitcoms illustrate his argument?
3. Poststructuralism and Deconstruction
In the last two units, we practiced the theories at the end of the unit. For
this unit, we'll practice the theory directly after studying the theorist. Read
John Barth's short story, "Lost in the Funhouse" and two poems by
Barrett Watten, both available on Blackboard > English 491 > Course Documents > Course Packet, and answer the following
questions, updated weekly.
- Do deconstructive readings of the Barth's story and Watten's poem
by answering Lois Tyson's "Some Questions Deconstructive Critics Ask
about Literary Texts" on page 259.
- How do Barth and Watten's works subvert our traditional conceptions of authorship,
i.e., the expression of a singular, proprietary voice and vision, and, by
extension, identity, i.e., the unified self and essential psyche? In other
words, apply Michel Foucault's question "What is an author?"
and subsequent answer regarding the multiplicitous subject-position within
discourse to these two texts (see page 1631 for a succinct summary of the
author-function). How do the narrator and Ambrose put the position of the
author and the position of identity in question? How do Watten's poems show
that the poet and poem are the expressions of the discourse in which he exists?
How do both of these works of literature foreground the concept that identity
is produced by one's position within discursive fields?
- Judith Butler argues that gender is a performance. How doesThe
Great Gatsby's Daisy perform the southern belle, and how does Tom Buchanan
perform the macho man? Butler further asserts that performative acts compel
identity to be conceived not as stable and inherent being but rather the effect
of discursive and cultural inscription. How do the other characters in the The Great Gatsby trouble the norms of gender? For instance, how do
Jay Gatsby and George Wilson's actions feminize their identities? How does
Jordan Baker masculinize her identity? Moving beyond the particularities of
gender (and Butler's theory) and to the generalities of post-structuralist
identity formation, how do the subjectivities of the characters in The
Great Gatsby (Gatsby and Nick in particular) shift and play?
- Paul de Man argues that in all language, but especially in literature,
there exists a conflict (between, on the one hand, stable grammar and certain
semiology and, on the other hand, unstable rhetoric and open-ended figurative
speech) that renders meaning indeterminate and throws interpretation into
a state of undecidability. How do the three texts (Fitzgerald's The Great
Gatsby, Barth's "Lost in the Funhouse," and Watten's poetry)
deconstruct themselves? Note that Tyson's exemplary essay on deconstruction
answers this question with regard to Fitzgerald. How does Barth's story turn
the structural grammar of the coming-of-age genre on its head and open itself
to an aporia of meaningful interpretation? In Watten's poetry, how does the
interplay between regular language, on the one hand, and (parenthetical) or
"quotational" language, on the other, bring a reader/reading to
the brink of meaning but nonetheless defy interpretation? How does meaning
paradoxically ("proceed") and "(recede)" at the same time?
- Jacques Derrida uses such terms as différence (to differ,
but also to defer meaning), supplément (to substitute, but also
to supplant), and exorbitant (to exceed metaphysical meaning of the transcendental
signified) to argue how knowledge is continually deferred and supplanted in
a never-ending chain of signifiers. Writing is the absence of presence of
truth and meaning; writing is the ghost of meaning; and yet writing exceeds
any and all meaning that can be interpreted from itself. How might Watten's
poems constitute the praxis of Derrida's theory? How does Barth's "Lost
in the Funhouse" foreground the textuality of iteration over any final,
absolute meaning? In Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, how does Nick Carraway's
narrative about Gatsby (if not all the myths surrounding Gatsby) simultaneously
miss and yet exceed the point of Gatsby?
- Jean Baudrillard opines that we have lost the real to signs and defines
hyperreality as the condition of living in a world, not simply of signs, but
of real fakes. How does the modernist book and character of Gatsby usher in
this postmodern American condition of blatant and irremediable simulation?
How do the mirrored structure and receding character-narrator of Barth's "Lost
in the Funhouse" further Baudrillard's critique of simulacrum? How do
Watten's poems suggest that all we can know are the signs of language, and
no-thing (no reality) besides?
- By calling for an heterogenous and erotic writing of the body that affirms
all possibilities for the self, Hélène Cixous deconstructs
the masculine/feminine, self/other, and presence/absence oppositions which
limits men in a sameness of presence and alienates women in an otherness of
absence. Can this écriture féminine be applied to Watten's
poems? That is, do Watten's poems break through the boundaries of conventional,
patriarchal language? Or is the pleasure of these texts merely the pleasure
of writing as Barthes defines it in "From Work to Text." Although
certain readings of Barth's "Lost in the Funhouse" may foreground
Ambrose's obsessional character born from oedipal castration anxiety and fears
of sexuality (that is fears of women), how might the ending of the story affirm
an-other love of writing the inifinite possibilities of self? What works of
lliterature have you read that enact Cixous' laugh?
4. Psychoanalytic Criticism
Watch the film Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) and answer the following
questions. There will be a screening of the film after class on Thursday, March
25. We will begin answering questions on Tuesday, March 30.
- Do psychoanalytic readings of David Lynch's Blue Velvet by
answering Lois Tyson's "Some Questions Psychoanalytic Critics Ask about
Literary Texts" on pages 32-33.
- Apply Sigmund Freud's Oedipal complex to Blue Velvet. How
might the film be read as a rivalry between Jeffrey Beaumont (the child),
and Frank Booth (the father) over the sexual desire of Dorothy Valens (the
mother)? Note the instances of the uncanny in the film. Why are the opening
sequence (the extreme close-up of the grass and ear) and the closing sequence
of the bird eating the worm so disturbing? How does the town of Lumberton
seem familiar and strange at the same time? Psychoanalyze Frank Booth's nitrous
oxide and blue velvet fetish. In what ways is Jeffrey not a detective but
rather a pervert? Apply Freud's dreamwork to the film. How might the manifest
film be read as a latent castration anxiety and unconscious desire for knowing
- How might Harold Bloom's anxiety of influence be applied to this
film? How does the filmmaker, David Lynch, misread or swerve away from classic
- Think about Jeffrey and Dorothy's relationship in terms of imaginary dyad
between child and mother. How might Jeffrey's look at Dorothy (in the club,
in the closet) constitute a version of Jacques Lacan's mirror stage?
How does the primal scene (Jeffrey in the closet watching Frank's sadistic
rape of Dorothy) thrust Jeffrey into Frank's world, the symbolic world? In
what ways might Blue Velvet be read as an inauguration into the world
of the phallic signifier and consequently a dual between Jeffrey and Frank
for the phallus.
- The Freudian and Lacanian readings of Blue Velvet posit Oedipal/castrating
fears and phallocentric desires; however, might the character of Dorothy articulate
a semiotic space within the film noir space? How might the film constitute
a chora of the maternal body according to Julia Kristeva? How does
Lynch's application of the maternal and semiotic chora rupture and revolutionize
the symbolic ejaculations of conventional film noir?
- Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari also react to Freud's Oedipal
complex and Lacan's unconscious language. How might the film be read as opening
a multidimensional network of desire (of desiring machines) that exists outside
the repressive channels of the Oedipal complex and the unconscious language
structures alike? How might the film deterritorialize desire from its conventional
territories. Where is desire reterritorialized? How might the psychoanalytic
roots of the film not be Oedipal but rather rhizomatic, not hierarchical and
phallocentrically signified but rather nonhierarchical and polymorphously
desirous? How might the film be thought of as a desiring machine?
- In what ways does the film prove Laura Mulvey's argument about narrative
cinema? How does the movie structure the audience's gaze to identify with
Jeffrey's? How is Dorothy turned into an object of desire as well as castration
anxiety? Next, think about how the film might also subvert Jeffrey's desiring
gaze. How might Dorothy's depressive subjectivity rupture the peasure of Jeffrey
and the audience's gaze?
5. Feminist Criticism
Apply the concepts discussed by Tyson and the other feminist critics to a work
of literature that you've read in the last few months and that includes women
characters and is perhaps written by a female author.
Article Summary and Presentation
Once in the semester, you will summarize a particular thinker's essay or
group of essays and post your summary to Article Summary discussion board
in Blackboard > English 491 > Article Summaries. Typically this due date will be the
class period before the class discusses the work. If the summary includes
more than one essay, you may either summarize one essay, a combination of
the essays, or all of the essays—it's your choice, though I have made
helpful suggestions. The summary should be 2-3 pages (500-750 words) long
and formatted in MLA style for Microsoft Word. (Here's a template.)
Moreover, the paper should summarize the article's argument, define key terms,
and include questions for class discussion. You will also be responsible for
introducing the essay and issues for discussion to the class in an informal
presentation of approximately 3 minutes on the day the class discusses the
work, which will typically be the class period after you post your summary
to Blackboard. I'll respond to your paper via your university email within
one week of your post.
Note: As I wrote on the syllabus course schedule, we may have to slow down
for certain theorists and theories. We will not be able to discuss each
and every article in class. Thus, some articles may only be summarized on Blackboard's
Article Summary discussion board and introductorily presented to the class by
the person assigned to the article. It is extremely important for each
| Week 1
||due Saturday, 1-17
Ransom, "Criticism, Inc."
|Wimsatt and Beardsley, "The Intentional Fallacy" and "The
| Week 2
due Tuesday, 1-20
|Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent" and
"The Metaphysical Poets" [I suggest summarizing
"Tradition and the Individual Talent"]
|due Thursday, 1-22
de Saussure, from Course in General Linguistics
| Week 3
||due Tuesday, 1-27
Jakobson, from "Linguistics and Poetics" and "Two
Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances"
|Lévi-Strauss, "A Writing Lesson" from Tristes Tropiques
|due Tuesday, 1-29
Frye, "The Archetypes of Literature"
|Todorov, "Structural Analysis of Narrative"
| Week 4
||due Tuesday, 2-3
Barthes, from Mythologies, "The Death of the
Author," and "From Work to Text" [I
suggest summarizing only ""The Death of the Author"]
| Week 5
||due Tuesday, 2-10
Foucault, "What Is an Author?," "The Carceral,"
from Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, from The
History of Sexuality, Volume 1, An Introduction, and from Truth
and Power [I suggest summarizing only "What
Is an Author?"]
|due Thursday, 2-12
||Butler, from Gender Trouble
| Week 6
||due Tuesday, 2-17
De Man, "Semiology and Rhetoric" and "The
Return to Philology" [I suggest summarizing
only "Semiology and Rhetoric"]
|due Thursday, 2-19
Derrida, from Of Grammatology and from Dissemination [I suggest summarizing one or the other
but not both]
| Week 7
||due Tuesday, 2-24
Baudrillard, from "The Precession of Simulacra"
| Week 8
||due Tuesday, 3-2
Cixous, "The Laugh of the Medusa"
|due Thursday, 3-4
Freud, from The Interpretation of Dreams, "The 'Uncanny',"
| Week 9
||due Tuesday, 3-9
||Bloom, Introduction, The Anxiety of Influence
| Week 10
||No Class: Spring Break
| Week 11
||due Tuesday, 3-23
Lacan, "The Mirror Stage," from "The Agency of the Letter
in the Unconscious," "The Signification of the Phallus" [I suggest summarizing only one of the articles]
|Kristeva, from Revolution in Poetic Language
|due Tuesday, 3-25
Deleuze and Guattari, from Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature and from A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia [I
suggest summarizing only one of the articles]
||due Tuesday, 3-30
||Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema"
|due Thursday, 4-1
Gilbert and Gubar, from The Madwoman in the Attic
||due Tuesday, 4-6
||Kolodny, "Dancing through the Minefield"
|due Thursday, 4-8
Bordo, "The Body and the Reproduction of Feminity" from Unbearable
|Haraway, "A Manifesto for Cyborgs"
||due Tuesday, 4-13
Smith, "Toward a Black Feminist Criticism"
Christian, "The Race for Theory"
|due Thursday, 4-15
Sedgwick, from Between Men
from Epistemology of the Closet
|Zimmerman, "What Has Never Been"
|Wittig, "One Is Not Born a Woman"
|Rich, from "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence"
||No Class: Reading Days
Exam 1 Review
Exam 1 will cover the New Criticism and structuralism. Half will be taken in
class on Tuesday, February 10 and include identification, short answer, and
short essay questions that will test your overall understanding of two theories'
key methods. The other half of Exam 1 will be a take-home essay that will ask
you to compare and contrast the two methods. The take-home portion should be
completed in approximately one hour and turned in on Thursday, February 12.
Essays and Concepts
- New Criticism
- Tyson, Ch1 "Everything You Wanted to Know about Critical Theory"
and Ch5 "New Criticism"
- literary criticism
- literary/critical theory
- biographical criticism
- intrinsic/objective/formalist criticism
- close reading
- "the text itself"
- Brooks, "The Heresy of Paraphrase," from The Well Wrought
Urn and "The Formalist Critics"
- heresy of paraphrase
- organic unity
- "form is content"
- Ransom, "Criticism, Inc."
- Criticism, Inc.
- "æsthetic distance"
- Wimsatt and Beardsley, "The Intentional Fallacy" and "The
- the intentional fallacy
- the affective fallacy
- affective criticism
- cognitive criticism
- Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent" and "The Metaphysical
- dissociation of sensibility
- Structuralism and Semiotics
- Tyson, Ch7 "Structuralist Criticism"
- structural linguistics, structural anthropology, semiotics
- three practices of structuralist literary analysis
- literary genres (myths, archetypal criticism)
- narratology (narrative theory)
- literary interpretation
- Saussure, from Course in General Linguistics
- diachrony vs synchrony
- langue vs parole
- sign; signifier vs signified
- syntagmatic vs associative relations
- arbitrary nature of the sign
- differential value
- Jakobson, from "Linguistics and Poetics" and from "Two
Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances"
- the poetic function
- metaphor and metonymy
- Lévi-Strauss, "A Writing Lesson," from Tristes Tropiques
- Frye, "The Archetypes of Literature"
- archetype, archetypal criticism
- myth (the four phases/genres of the heroic quest)
- the comic and tragic visions
- Todorov, "Structural Analysis of Narrative"
- structural analysis of narrative
- literary discourse vs works of literature
- Barthes, from Mythologies and "The Death of the Author"
(Note: "From Work to Text" is post-structuralist and will be
discussed in the next unit)
- "the death of the author"
Exam 1 encouraged you to learn key terms so you would be able to use and apply
these building blocks to the overall theory. Exam 2 assumes that you have continued
that habit of defining core concepts and thus focuses on the overall critical
theory and methods of interpretation. The exam, composed of two essays questions,
will be taken at home.
- Essay 1
- The first exam required you to compare and contrast how the New Critics
and the structuralists conceived of either the author or the
form of the work of literature. This exam, in keeping with poststructuralism's
tenet of revision of past theoretical frameworks, opens up those specific
categories from author to subject, from form to meaning.
- In 4-6 pages, discuss how poststructuralists conceive of either subjectivity or meaning. First, compare and contrast how a
structuralist and a poststructuralist would conceive of either subjectivity or meaning. Second, Compare and contrast how two specific
poststructuralist theorists—Foucault, Butler, de Man, Derrida, Baudrillard,
or Cixous—think about either subjectivity or meaning.
For subjectivity, you may choose to discuss the subjectivity of the author
of the text, characters in the text, or even real people subjected to "texts."
For meaning, you may choose to discuss what and how a text means or does
not mean, how a text plays with or deconstructs meaning, or even the value
of truth and meaning in the real world in which everything is considered
a "text." Note: Do not use the theorist that you used in Essay
- Essay 2
- The first exam required you to read three of James Wright's poems from
a variety of perspectives: according to the general tenets of New Criticism
and structuralism and according to the specific positions of a particular
New Critic and a particular structuralist. Your reading was necessarily
superficial, as it emphasized the method rather . In this exam question,
you have the opportunity to provide a more in-depth analysis, though do
realize that time and space, i.e., one week and 4-6 pages, still limits
how deep you can go. (Looking forward to the third exam, you will have at
least two weeks and 8 pages to pursue a singular analysis of a specific
work of your choosing from a specific theoretical position of your choosing.)
- In 4-6 pages, do a poststructuralist reading of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's
"The Yellow Wallpaper," available on Blackboard > English 491 > Course Documents > Course Packet. First,
provide a generic poststructuralist reading, in other words, ask the kinds
of questions of the text that all poststructuralists would ask. Second,
provide a specific reading of the text using the methods of one of
the poststructuralist theorists—Foucault, Butler, de Man, Derrida,
Baudrillard, or Cixous. Just as you did in the last exam, show your work:
foreground the interpretive method. Note: Do not use a theorist that
you used in Essay 1.
- Length: Each essay should be 4-6 pages long, for an exam total of
- Style: Conform your exam to MLA
- Due: Though I prefer you turn in your exams on Tuesday, March 9,
the official due date is Thursday, March 11 by 7:00PM.
- Format: I'll accept papers in hard copy or electronic format.
- Turn in to me in class.
- Note: I will not accept late hard copies of papers. If you turn in
your exam late, you must do so via Blackboard and you will receive a one-letter
per day late penalty. Thus, if I receive it between 11:59PM on Thursday,
March 11 and 11:59PM on Friday, March 12, your paper will be penalized
one letter grade, if on March 13, then two letter grades, and so forth.
- Use Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect format for Windows only. I will
not read exams submitted in Notepad, Writepad, Works, Publisher, html,
or other formats; consequently, your paper will be considered late until
you turn it in in the appropriate format.
- Turn in via Blackboard.
After logging in, click English 491 > Exams > Exam 2 View/Complete.
Browse to where your file is located on your local disk, and then upload
your file to Blackboard. (Note: If you have problems with Blackboard,
you can also email your paper to me, as an attachment in the appropriate
format, at email@example.com.)
- Grades: Your graded exam will be returned to you on Tuesday, March
- If you turned it in on paper, it will be returned to you in class on
- If you turned it in electronically, you can retrieve it at Blackboard > English 491 > Tools > View Grades > Exam 1. Disregard the
number grade; your graded paper will be the attached file entitled with
your last name.
Like Exam 2, Exam 3 will be taken at home and composed of two essay questions.
Unlike Exam 2, you have two weeks to complete the exam. Therefore, you should
consider it part exam and part paper.
- Essay 1
- In 6-8 pages, compare and contrast psychoanalysis and feminism in terms
of systematic theory and critical practice using two or three theorists
from each method. In what ways do the two theories view the human world
in similar ways; how do they overlap? By contrast, how do they see humanity
differently; how do they differ? Where do psychoanalytic literary criticism
and feminist literary criticism converge? By contrast, where do the methods
of interpreting literature diverge?
- Essay 2
- In 6-8 pages, read and criticize a work of literature of your choosing from the methodological perspective of one of the theorists we've read
in the course, also of your choosing. Your paper should interpret the
work of literature like Tyson's essays exemplify the methods, but with this
difference: whereas Tyson exemplifies a general approach, your paper should
illustrate a particular theorist's method, much like the practicing the
theories questions require you to apply a specific critic to a work of literature.
- You should decide by Tuesday, April 13 the work of literature and theorist
so that you can start thinking about, if not working on, your paper before
the last week of class. I encourage you to run your ideas by me. Note:
On the last day of class, Thursday, April 22, you will be asked to share
your topic and preliminary thesis statement with the class. (Click
here to see the list of literary texts to which students applied the
- Length: 2 essays. Each essay should be 6-8 pages (1500-2000 words)
long; the total exam of the two essays combined should be 12-16 pages (3000-4000
- Style: Conform your essays to MLA
- Due: Tuesday, May 4 by 8:00PM.
- Format: I'll accept take-home exams in hard copy or electronic format.
- Turn in to me in my office, HUM336B between 4:00 and 8:00PM or my mailbox
in HUM315 by 5:00PM.
- Use Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect format for Windows only.
- Turn in via Blackboard.
After logging in, click English 491>Exams > Exam 3 View/Complete.
Browse to where your file is located on your local disk, and then upload
your file to Blackboard. (Note: If you have problems with Blackboard,
you can also email your exam to me, as an attachment in the appropriate
format, at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Grades, Comments, and Paper Return:
- You can access your final grade in the course via Ulink starting Wednesday, May 12.
- If you want comments, please ask for them.
- If you want your exam returned to you, please ask for it.
- If you want your hard copy exam returned to you, please provide a self-addressed
manilla envelope with sufficient postage.
- If you want your electronic exam returned to you, go to Blackboard > English 322 > Tools > View Grades > Exam 3. Disregard the
number grade; your graded exam is the linked word processing document.
Exam 3, Essay 2 Topics
||Albert Camus, The Stranger
||Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
||Irreversible (dir. by Gaspar Noe)
||Andre Dubus, "Killings"
||Gore Vidal, Live from Golgotha: The Gospel according to
||T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land
24 Hour Party People (dir. by Michael Winterbottom)
||The Lord of the Rings trilogy (dir. by Peter Jackson)
|Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar
||Laura Restrepo, Leopard in the Sun
||Alice Walker, The Color Purple
||Frank O'Hara, poetry
||John Ashbery, "The One Thing That Can Save America"
||Susan Glaspell, "Trifles"
||Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
||Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
||American Beauty (dir. by Sam Mendes)
||Bret Easton Ellis, Less than Zero
||Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
||Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (dir. by Quentin Tarantino)
||Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
||William H. Gass, The Tunnel