The Problem of Sylvia Plath (LIT2122.02)

Mark Wunderlich

Sylvia Plath is one of the most widely-read and influential poets of the 20th century, yet her work has been read through the lens of her biography in ways that have serious consequences of interpretation. Knowing what we do about the life of this important artist, how can we read the poems and prose in ways that counter the received narratives of tragedy and self-destruction? In this course, students will read, discuss and write about the prose and poetry of Sylvia Plath while working toward a better understanding of post-war American and British literature, with the goal of learning to understand (and read against) prevailing popular narratives of the lives of poets.

Learning Outcomes:
To achieve better critical reading skills.

To better understand nuance, subtlety, allusion, irony and poetic language as it occurs in 20th century poetry in English.

To write clearly and convincingly about poetry.

To better understand the social history from which the work we read was produced.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
F 10:30AM - 12:20PM & F 2:10PM - 4:00PM (2nd seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Fully In-Person , Literature