Rereading – and Rewriting – The Cannon, An Online Homeschool Course from Online G3
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In this course, we’ll read some literary fan fiction that reimagines classic texts through the eyes of a different character or in a new setting. Our readings will give us new insights into familiar works and let us question some basic assumptions: Why that hero? Why that setting? Why that ending? We’ll also write our own revisions of classic literature, whether that means moving a story to modern times, letting a secondary character take the lead, or imagining a prequel or sequel.
We’ll start with reading modern novels drawn from texts along the lines of Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, and Jane Eyre and doing some warmup writing. We’ll then focus more on individual writing projects for the remainder of the semester. Each student will be able to choose the scope of their final project and set a personal writing goal in consultation with the instructor. Students can choose any classic text as the basis of their project. Students will share excerpts from their work and get positive feedback from other students.
REQUIRED BOOKS AND MATERIALS:
- TBD but will include novels including or similar to the following:
Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys), This Monstrous Thing (Mackenzi Lee), Destroyer (Victor LaValle), The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein (Kiersten White), Eligible (Curtis Sittenfield), Unmarriageable: Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan (Soniah Kamal)
Prerequisites: Introduction to 19th Century British Literature or equivalent. Past study of Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, and Jane Eyre is essential. Students should have previous exposure to essay writing and the ability to write grammatically with correct punctuation. Students should be able to accept constructive feedback on their writing and give constructive critiques to others when clear criteria are set.
DISCUSSION TOPICS INCLUDE:
- “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?”
- Surfacing the importance of race in the English novel
- Evaluating cultural differences
- Writing for varied audiences
WRITING TOPICS INCLUDE:
- Finding a character’s voice
- Establishing a setting
- Writing from multiple points of view
- Experimenting with form: journals, letters, fictional primary sources, blogs
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