About

Welcome. This is a blog for Introduction to Critical Reading, a course being offered at the University of Pittsburgh during the Spring of 2014. The posts you will find here are by students participating in this class. The subtitle and theme of this course is “Reading Heart of Darkness and Gravity’s Rainbow.” Over the course of the semester we will be reading and engaging with the following texts, and students will be responding to them. A copy of the syllabus can be found here.

The Primary Reading:

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Norton Critical Edition), 4th ed., ed. Paul B. Armstrong(New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006 [1899]).

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (New York: Penguin, 1995 [1973]).

Steven C. Weisenberger, A Gravity’s Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon’s Novel, 2nd ed., Revised and Expanded (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2006).

The Secondary Reading:

Terry Eagleton, “Introduction: What is Literature?” and “The Rise of English,” in Literary Theory: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 1-14, 15-46.

Ezra Pound, “In a Station of the Metro,” in The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th ed., eds. Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2005), 1297.

Plato, selections from The Republic, in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2nd ed., ed. Vincent B. Leitch (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), 45-82.

Aristotle, “Poetics,” in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2nd ed., Vincent B. Leitch ed., (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2001), 83-114.

M. H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1953), 3-29.

Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense” (1873), in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, trans. and ed. Ronald Speirs, ed. Raymond Geuss (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 139-153.

J. Hillis Miller, “Joseph Conrad: The Darkness,” in Poets of Reality: Six Twentieth-Century Writers (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1966), 13-38.

Chinua Achebe, “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” (1975, 1988), in Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Norton Critical Edition), 4th ed., ed. Paul B. Armstrong (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006), 336-349.

Edward W. Said, “Two Visions in Heart of Darkness” (1993), in Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Norton Critical Edition), ed. Paul B. Armstrong (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006), 422-429.

J. Hillis Miller, “Should We Read ‘Heart of Darkness’?” (2002), in Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Norton Critical Edition), 4th ed., ed. Paul B. Armstrong (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006 [1899]), 463-474.

Ian Watt, “Impressionism and Symbolism in Heart of Darkness” (1979), in Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Norton Critical Edition), 4th ed., ed. Paul B. Armstrong (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006), 349-365.

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