What We’re Reading in English This Quarter

November 5th, 2014 § 0

Doug Thorpe reports that, in the Keats seminar, he’s reading with students Nicholas Roe’s new biography of the poet, aptly titled John Keats (2012).

Meanwhile, in American Ethnic Literature, April Middeljans is taking students through Ralph Ellison’s American classic, Invisible Man (1952), which she refers to as “a sixty-year-old guide to what happened in Ferguson.”

Only semi-retired Luke Reinsma is leading an independent study on—what else?—David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (1996), a dense masterpiece Dr. Reinsma calls “the Ulysses of the twenty-first century.”  He means that as the highest praise.

Tom Amorose is helping students work through a play a week in the senior-level Shakespeare course. He’s about ready to cover Hamlet’s “Alas, poor Yorick” speech this week.  Yorick was the court jester when Hamlet was young, and the melancholy prince remembers how Yorick was “full of infinite jest.”  Thus Wallace’s title.  Course readings connect up in strange and delightful ways.

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