The Double in Literature
Fall 2012


4          Introduction: meet your double(s)
Read Plato, The Republic, book VII*
E. T. A. Hoffmann, “The Golden Flower Pot”*

6           Shadows, other worlds
Read: Hoffmann, “A New Year’s Eve Adventure”*

11          Imagination versus Reality
“Pot”; “New Year’s Eve”
Read: Andersen, “The Shadow,”* “The Little Mermaid”*

13          The Artist and ideal realms
Read: Shelley, Frankenstein (1/2)

18          Victor’s life
Finish Frankenstein

20          The Creature’s point of view
                       Paper #1: Do a motif study (due Tuesday)
                       Check your topic with me by e-mail before starting           
See web site guidelines for writing papers.
Swap papers with your peer reviewer; read for next class

25         Paper-writing workshop in groups
Bring peer-reviewed paper to class
Read: Gogol, “Nevsky Prospect”

27         Principles of doubling
Parallels with Hoffmann?
Paper #1 final draft due in class Oct 2   


2      “Nevsky Prospect”–comic? tragic?

Read: Gogol, “The Nose”*; Poe, “William Wilson”*
Write a page: a possible interpretation of “The Nose”? (to hand in)
4      Principles of projection
Read:  Dostoevsky, The Double (1/2)
Pick a passage of The Double to explicate  (orally in class)

9          Psychoanalysis of Golyadkin
Your passages
Read:  Finish The Double

11         What is reality in the tale?
Krestyan Ivanovich’s German accent
Read: Stevenson, Jekyll and Hyde
Fall Break

18         Characterize the doubles and their motivations
Read: Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1/2)
Prepare: a close reading of the garden scene (oral in class)

23        Aesthetics
Read: Finish Dorian Gray and prepare a question for class
25        What is the moral of the tale?
Paper #2: Analyze parallel structures in any two tales
                    (scenes, descriptions, characters)
                    Due in class Tuesday

30      Present your paper in class (three minutes)
Exchange your paper with a peer reviewer           
Read: Nabokov, Despair


1       Despair: What are Hermann Karlovich’s symptoms?
Hermann Karlovich as artist
                   Return paper #2 to the author/finish Paper #2

6       Despair: How does Nabokov parody the double idea?
                   Second draft of Paper #2 due in class
Read: Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (1/2)
Make a chart of the differences between the brothers (to hand in)

8       Sebastian Knight: differentiate the two brothers
Who wrote what novel? Write down your rationale (to hand in)
To do this, it will help to list Sebastian’s novels and any
of their features that recur in the text

13      Sebastian Knight:  who wrote what novel?

Which evening at 7:30? Film: A Stolen Life (1946)
15      A Stolen Life:  typical features of the double story
How does it reconfigure them?
Write a page to prepare for class discussion (to hand in)
Read: Nabokov, Lolita (1/3)
Spoiler Alert: Don’t read the annotations yet!
DO read Poe’s “Annabel Lee” (pp. 329-30)
20     Lolita: Humbert Humbert—poet? madman?
What to do with Annabel Lee?
Due in class: Paper #3: What games does Nabokov play      
                                      with doubling? See guidelines for writing papers.
Select one aspect to explore in detail; arrange exchanges
with a peer reviewer in time to rewrite by Tuesday
Read: Finish Lolita

27     Lolita:  Doublings
                  Due in class: Finished draft of Paper #3
                  Identify a passage that relates to ideas about art (orally, in class)

29     Lolita: The status of Clare Quilty: does he exist?
                  Prepare: explication of a passage (orally in class)
                  Term paper: e-mail me a preliminary sketch of your
                                           double tale by Monday midnight

4     Your passages
Write: a list of essential features of the Doppelganger genre

6     Retrospective: two centuries of doubles

Term papers are due on the first day of exam week in my mailbox in the Russian Department office, 212 Fisk Hall

*In the course packet