English 253-01—Great Books 3  Spring 2011

TR: 2:10-4:00 in 33-286

Songs of Innocence and Experience

Larry Inchausti
47-35C (Faculty Office Building)
Office hours:WRF 11:30-12:30
Steven Marx
47-25E (Faculty Office Building)
Office hours: MW 2:10-3:00, TR 1:10-2:00


Wk Date Class activity Due Links
I 3/29



Instructor info:



  3/31 Holiday    
II 4/5

William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Blake readings


The Blake Archive

The Blake Jukebox

Additional Blake links



William Wordsworth, selected poems


Wordsworth readings


III 4/12

Henry David Thoreau, Walden or Life in the Woods


Read Walden 1-10, 26-47, 72-84, 84-90, 193-206


Thoreau links

Student presentations:

Beethoven, "The Kreutzer Sonata" class materials

Kreutzer Sonata Lecture notes


Beethoven, "The Kreutzer Sonata"


Responses to presentations(1)
IV 4/19

Student presentations:

Beethoven, "The Kreutzer Sonata" class materials

Kreutzer Sonata Lecture notes

Beethoven, "The Kreutzer Sonata" Responses to presentations (2)
  4/21 Leo Tolstoi, "The Kreutzer Sonata" quiz Tolstoi's defense of the story
V 4/26 The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass quiz Douglass notes
  4/28 Honore Balzac, Colonel Chabert quiz Balzac links
VI 5/3 Honore Balzac, Colonel Chabert
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis and other stories
Read: "The Metamorphosis" Kafka links
  5/5 Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis and other stories


Read: "The Country Doctor" and "In the Penal Colony"



Student presentations

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Schmoop guide to To the Lighthouse (indispensable!)

Virginia Woolf links

Responses to Presentations (3)

  5/12 Virgina Woolf, To the Lighthouse   Responses to Presentations (4)
VIII 5/17 Virgina Woolf, To the Lighthouse quiz  
  5/19 Dover Anthology of World War I poets

read these authors:

  • John McCrae
  • Rupert Brooke
  • Charles Sorley
  • Isaac Rosenberg
  • Wilfred Owen
  • Siegfried Sassoon
  • Robert Bridges
  • Rudyard Kipling
Links and lecture notes
IX 5/24

Mary Oliver [outdoor day--meet here at the Parking lot for the Leaning Pine Arboretum at 2:10]. Wear walking shoes and dress for the weather.

Print the poems for today's assignment and bring them to class.  
  5/26 Gary Snyder Print the poems for today's assignment and bring them to class.




Student projects

Print the poems for today's assignment and bring them to class.

Take-home final exam question

Responses to Presentations (5)


Student projects

Responses to May 31 presentations due

Responses to Presentations (6)


"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"

XI 6/6 Monday 8AM   Responses to June 2 presentations due  
  6/7 Tuesday 8AM   Papers from groups 21-25 due  
  6/9 Thursday at 1:10 p.m. Deadline for submitting Take-home Final Exam as word.doc to both instructors Papers from groups 25-28 due  


These are available at El Corral Bookstore at low price.

Workload and Grading

  • Reading quizzes (7 total)--30% of grade [Bring small scantron]
    • Each quiz consists of ten multiple choice questions. Scale: 10=extra 9=A 8=B 7=C 6=D 5=F 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 pull down average. The lowest score is dropped.
  • Student projects --20% of grade [see rubric]
    • At these six fifty-minute sessions, five projects will be presented, each by a four-person group, each allotted no more than ten minutes, or an average of 2.5 minutes per person.
    • Signup sheets for groups will be distributed on the second class day. Groups need to meet and work together outside of class.
    • Presentations may be by individuals within a framework established by the group or by the group working together.
    • Projects need to combine critical insight into works read with creative personal response. They can take a wide range of format, including, but not limited to, musical presentations (vocal and/or instrumental), visual designs (posters, ad campaigns, illuminated texts, paintings, drawings, photography), dramatic performances (solo and group, live and/or on videotape), dance performances (with or without musical accompaniment), webpages, writing (poetry, fiction, drama, memoir).
    • You are encouraged to confer with one or both of the instructors after class, at office hours or by email, for further guidance on these projects.
    • Some suggestions for projects by groups 11-20
  • Project essay--1000-1200 words, due one week after presentation--25% of grade [see rubric]
    • This essay provides a personal account, justification, and reflection on the genesis, composition, meaning and reception of your contribution to the project. Be sure to emphasize the relationship between reading class texts and your creation. Send essay to both instructors as MS Word attachment. Name the document with your last name only, followed by "Project Essay." In the subject line of the email to which you attach it, type your last name only, followed by "Project Essay."
  • Responses to projects--250-300 words, due from those not presenting the class day following presentations--no separate grade but half grade penalty to your project essay grade for not submitting on time.
    • Email smarx@calpoly.edu a single paragraph about which of the student projects was most meaningful to you and why.Type into the email, not as attachment. Refer to specifics of the project, the class text it's based on and your own experience. Be clear and concise. Avoid vagueness and padding. These responses will be posted for everyone to read on the class website. In the subject line, type your last name only, followed by "Project Response." Your name should not appear in the text of the email. Samples
  • Take home exam--1500-1700 words--25% of grade.
    • The exam involves an overview of readings, lectures and responses as well as detailed references to specific texts. It requires you to write a symposium or platonic dialogue featuring six speakers conversing about one of the images or topics to be distributed nine days before the exam. 
    • The conversation can mix brief quotations--within quotation marks--with paraphrases or extrapolations of what the authors might say. The paraphrases or extrapolations may adopt the speaker's style of expression. (Please include page references in parentheses.) Questions and sample responses


  • Late papers are penalized one full grade for each class session's delay unless a postponement is granted by the instructor in advance.
  • Attendance is not optional. Three unexcused absences lower grade by one half letter; five unexcused absences result in no credit. Two unexcused latenesses count for one absence. Certified medical absences are not counted in these totals and are the only reason for makeup exams or quizzes.
  • Behavior to avoid: arriving late or leaving early; using cell phones, smart phones in class; using laptops or ipads for anything but notetaking; packing up disruptively before the class is dismissed; eating in class; sleeping in class; reading newspapers; chatting with neighbors.
  • Plagiarism or other forms of cheating result in a failing grade and referral to the dean. Students are responsible for understanding the definition of plagiarism. Please consult the instructor if the Cheating page doesn't make it clear to you.

Reading and Writing


General Education course objectives