The culture of Ireland is often seen as being rooted in the past, either nostalgic for a simpler way of life, or a compulsion to revisit traumatic events in political history. This course will look at a small sampling of Irish fiction that is concerned with the past, stretching from the First World War to the Easter Uprising to the 80's. Throughout this course, the spectre of war, the IRA, and the Troubles looms over the works we will be studying. The literature studied in this course will range from drama to detective fiction, all with the works dealing with historical fiction. As with other courses with such factual basis, there will be a heavy reliance on history, resulting in the necessity of select historical articles, on reserve at the library and online.
Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme by Frank McGuinness
At Swim Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill
Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel
The Sea by John Banville
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
Amongst Women by John McGahern
Borderlands by Brian McGilloway
Select films will also be screened. Attendance is mandatory.
Michael Collins. Dir Neil Jordan. 1996.
In The Name of the Father. Dir Jim Sheridan. 1993.
Close Reading 1 (750 words) - 10%
Term Essay 1 (1500-2000 words) - 15%
Close Reading 2 (750 words) - 10%
Term Essay 2 (2000-2500 words) - 25%
Participation and attendance - 10%
Final Exam - 30%
Students will notice that At Swim Two Boys is a rather large novel, and it is strongly recommended that they attempt a head start on the novel as soon as possible. As well, students will notice that the books are organized in a rough chronological order based on subject matter rather than publication date.
[This is the third in a series of hypothetical syllabuses that I have created for when I eventually teach.]