Comparative Literature/ English 2202: Intro to Early Modern World Literature

Instructor:         Richmond M. Eustis
Time/Place:       12:10-1:30 TR / Allen 123
Office:                  451 Hodges
Office Hours:   11-12 T and by appointment

Required Texts:
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart (ISBN 9780385474542)
Baudelaire, Charles. The Flowers of Evil (ISBN 9780199535583)
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Notes From Underground (ISBN 9780679734529)
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. Faust, Part I (ISBN 9780140449013)
Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place (ISBN 9780374527075)
Murakami, Haruki. After Dark (ISBN 9780307278739)
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (ISBN 9780375714573)

The above works are available in the bookstore, but I have provided the ISBNs to enable you to find cheaper copies of them elsewhere.

This is NOT a comprehensive list, as even a casual reading of the syllabus will reveal. The materials that are not found in the separate editions I have had you order are in the public domain and will be found online on the Moodle site. Please use the editions I post and not any other. I choose them for specific reasons such as scholarly rigor, aesthetics and availability. Online selections are to be PRINTED OUT AND BROUGHT TO CLASS.

Coursework Required:
Class requirements are demanding but clear:

-Class participation (5%): This grade comprises several elements. First is attending class. You receive no special consideration for attending class; it is expected. If you miss more than three, I will recommend dropping. Second is participation in class. This means having read the material and thought about it and contributing to class discussion. Students who sit silent do not earn A’s. Last, it means commenting on the work of others on our class weblog (more on this later). I expect insightful comments that build on, or take issue with, what your colleagues have posted. I expect AT LEAST three such comments. You will lose a participation point for each number less than three you produce.
-Position Papers (15%): THREE brief (200-word) commentaries on our reading. You may choose which five you prefer to discuss. Responses are due on the weblog by 11:59 p.m. the evening BEFORE the class for which the reading is due. You also must print out a hard copy to hand in to me before class. These short papers may be informal in tone, but they should make a cogent observation about the work. Late responses are not acceptable. This will require some planning and forethought so look alive.
-Midterm Exam (20%): A short-answer and multiple-choice test
-Final Exam (20%): Sometimes much like the midterm. Frequently a take-home essay
-Close Reading (20%): A 3 page essay
-Term Paper (20%): A 5 page essay

Grading system

Some items to note:
1. You will be graded on the quality of your work alone. Your perception of effort is not enough to guarantee a distinguished grade. Also,
2.  I do not adjust final grades. To earn a grade, you must meet that grade’s baseline.
3.  If you fail to hand in ANY ONE of the major elements of the course (either of the major papers and either of the exams), you will earn an F for the course.

A= (90.0 and up) Usually reflects excellent work in class and excellent writing
B= (80.0 to 89.9999) Usually reflects good work in class and good writing
C= (70.0 to 79.9999) Usually reflects completion of the requirements for the class.
D= (60.0 to 69.9999) Usually reflects poor work in class, if any; poor writing
F=  (Below 60.0) You couldn’t be bothered.

Student and Instructor Responsibilities:

As an instructor:

1.    I will treat you respectfully. I won’t discriminate against you on the basis of who you are or the well-formed opinions you hold. It also means, however, that I will be honest with you about the quality of your work and the nature of your demeanor in class.
2.    I will prepare thoroughly for each class, manage each class professionally, and begin and end class on time. I will make myself available outside of class during office hours.
3.    I will teach only subjects within my discipline, and will be honest with you if I do not know something. To that end, I will pursue my own scholarly research and publishing to make myself a better—and better-informed—teacher.
4.    I will read your work carefully, return it with detailed feedback, and keep careful records of your progress and performance. I will keep your performance confidential.
5.    I will seek the harshest reprisals for academic dishonesty of any kind, including plagiarism, lying and cheating.

As a student:
1.    You will do the work in the syllabus on time, in the knowledge that assigned work is due on the due date, that late work will not be accepted, and that missed assignments receive a zero.
2.    You will attend every class, give your full attention to the material, and treat your peers and instructor with respect. You will understand that coming to class but failing to participate will result in a marked absence. You will take responsibility for obtaining the lecture notes from any classes you miss.
3.    You will adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Plagiarizing—including copying work from another student or tendering another’s work as your own—is the mark of a deformed soul. LSU’s regulations concerning academic honesty are strict and fair. If ever you are unsure about a debt to an outside source, ask me for assistance. Try these sites: and

General Outline for the Semester:

Works not on the book list will be uploaded into the “Course Document” section of Moodle. I reserve the right to adjust the order and content of the syllabus as I see fit for the good of the class.


Week 1:
1/19 T: Introduction to the course/The Idea of World Literature
1/21 R: MILTON: Paradise Lost, Book IX (1667)
Week 2:
1/26 T: MOLIÈRE: L’ecole des femmes (1662)
1/28 R: DAPONTE: Don Giovanni (Auden, trans.) (1787)
Week 3:
2/2 T: GOETHE: Faust, Part 1 (1808)
2/4 R: Faust, cont.
Week 4:
2/9 T: Faust, cont.
Week 5:
2/18 R: [PAPER #1 DUE] WORDSWORTH: “Tintern Abbey,” “Intimations of Immortality,” “Westminster Bridge”
Week 6:
2/23 T: THOREAU: “Walking” [Paper #1 Due]
2/25 R: BAUDELAIRE: Les Fleurs du Mal (selections)
Week 7:
3/2 T: POE: “The Cask of Amontillado”, “The Purloined Letter” (selections online)
3/4 R: DOSTOYEVSKY: Notes From Underground
Week 8:
3/11 R: DOSTOYEVSKY: Notes From Underground
Week 9:
3/16 T: YEATS: “The Second Coming,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” “Lapis Lazuli,” others
3/18 R: ELIOT: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, The Waste Land
Week 10:
3/23 T: BECKETT: Waiting for Godot
3/25 R: AKUTAGAWA: Rashomon, and In a Grove
Week 11:
3/30 T: ACHEBE: Things Fall Apart
4/1 R: Things Fall Apart, cont. IN-CLASS ASSESSMENT
Week 12:
Week 13:
4/13 T: KINCAID: A Small Place
4/15 R: GARCIA MARQUEZ: “Big Mama’s Funeral”
Week 14:
4/20 T: SATRAPI: Persepolis: The Story of A Childhood
Week 15:
4/27 T: WALCOTT: Selected Poems (paper #2 due)
4/29 R: MURAKAMI: After Dark
Week 16:
5/4 T: After Dark, cont
5/6 R: RUSHDIE: “At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers”

Final Exam Date: FRIDAY 14 MAY 5:30-:7:30

The University and I are dedicated to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students should notify the Office of Disability Services located at 112 Johnson Hall and their instructors of any special needs. Instructors must be notified within the first two weeks of classes.

If you run into trouble of any kind during the semester, please come and talk to me about it so we can assess your ability to continue with the course. In all cases, please come to me early. Ask permission, not forgiveness. If you disappear for a month and then reappear asking me what you can do, my answer will be “drop.”

Important Telephone Numbers                   Center for Student Athletes:
Student Support Services (for at-risk students)         Ted White: 578-7647
Deborah Hollier: 578-8819                     Mary Boudreaux: 578-5788

Writing Center
Your success in the class depends in no small part on your ability to write clearly. Brilliance is not required; some understanding of the craft is. If you are concerned about your skill, please seek individualized writing help at the Writing Center. The Writing Center is located in B-18 Coates Hall. For more information, call 578-4439 or e-mail

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