Comp. Lit. 160
Fall 1988
Mon. 2:00-4:00
Eric Downing
408 Boylston
Office hrs:
Mon. 4-5
Wed. 1-3


This course is organized around the idea of aestheticism as a major facet of modernism in both literature and literary theory. The primary focus will be on attitudes toward both art and life; on the dilineation of stylistic tendencies; and esp. on the problems and predilections that arise out of the collusion and confusion of the spheres of life and art in the aestheticist world view.


Kierkegaard, Either/Or, vol. 1
Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life
Huysmans, Against Nature
Nietzsche, The Gay Science
Wilde, The Artist as Critic, ed. R. Ellmann
-----, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Gasset, The Dehumanization of Art
Mann, Confessions of Felix Krull
----, Death in Venice
Rilke, Selected Poems
Nabokov, Lolita
Dinesen, Seven Gothic Tales
Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text
-------, Roland Barthes
Sontag, "Writing Itself: On Roland Barthes" (xerox)
------, "Notes on Camp" (xerox)


Sept. 19 Intro
  26 Kierkegaard, "Diary of the Seducer," "The Rotation Method," etc. (all in Either/Or, vol. 1)
Oct. 3 Baudelarie, "The Painter of Modern Life"
Wilde, "The Decay of Lying"
  17 Nietzsche, The Gay Science
  24 Huysmans, Against Nature
  31 Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Nov. 7 Mann, Confessions of Felix Krull
  14 Gasset, "The Dehumanization of Art"
Rilke, Selected Poems
  21 Nabokov, Lolita
  28 Dinesen, "The Deluge at Norderney," "the Dreamers," "The Poet" (all in Seven Gothic Tales)
Dec. 5 Sontag, "Notes on Camp," "On Writing Itself"
  12 Barthes, Roland Barthes
For Reading Period:
  Mann, Death in Venice
Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text

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