Chance Encounters (LIT4358.01)

Mary Ruefle

Do we have a theme? Well, we have many; the relationship between focus and wandering, between the error, the errant, and the errand; between the past, present, and future; chance and the foregone conclusion. These (and more) will be intertwined in four seminal texts and a tome (Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust, Aqua Viva by Clarice Lispector, Three Poems by John Ashbery, In Fond Remembrance of Me by Howard Norman, and the Wilhem/Baynes translation of The I Ching), as well as auxiliary handouts and an even greater number of written assignments. This class takes place in the non-virtual world, one of paper, pens, pencils and books you can feel the weight of in your hands; no e-books, no cell phones, no laptops, no Zooming in; if you are a digital learner this class is NOT for you. There will be a quiz on the first day of class.

Note: this class will be held fully in-person. If there are weeks when classes need to be remote, this class will shift to an asynchronous/correspondence model.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Interested students should submit a statement of interest in the class and 3-5 poems, a brief sample of fiction or creative nonfiction, or a critical writing sample by emailing them as an attachment, with your name on every page, to Michael Dumanis at by February 3, 2022. Please do not email Mary directly.
Corequisites: Students must attend all Literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events, Wednesday nights at 7pm.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
F 10:30AM - 12:20PM & F 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Fully In-Person , Literature , Updates