Fall 2003--Prof. K. Conrad
What follows are merely topics; you are responsible for
creating an argument and making clear the overall importance of that argument
rather than simply answering a question. You are encouraged to come up
with your own paper topic as well, although if you do so, please check
with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to have your topic approved. All papers
should give evidence of close reading of the text being discussed.
DON'T TAKE ON TOO MUCH! Go for depth and detailed
analysis rather than summary and survey.
First draft due 10/21; final draft due 10/28.
Conrad, The Secret Sharer
Woolf, Selected Short Stories
Think about the title of this story and the line "the secret sharer of
my life." Examine the meaning of "secret" and "share" in the Oxford
English Dictionary (OED) (or an online dictionary with a good list
of definitions). What does a fuller understanding of these terms
and their conjunction add to our understanding of the text?
Alternative: take one or two other words from the story and explore
their definitions in the OED.
Does the story give us any hints about how to read this text? Are
there any correspondences between the narrator, the characters, the reader,
and the author? You might find it useful to combine this question with
the previous question, although that is not necessary.
What is the significance of clothing in "Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street"
and "The New Dress" (or any other two Woolf stories)? Alternative:
choose another image/metaphor that appears in two of Woolf's stories.
Compare "Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street" to the opening of Mrs. Dalloway.
Some things to consider: similarities; narrative voice; style; differences
in character, theme, message.
Explore one of the following concepts/metaphors as it appears in Ulysses.
You are encouraged to focus as much as possible; feel free to limit yourself
to one chapter, or a very particular metaphor (snotgreen instead of green,
waste paper instead of paper, etc.)
|oysters (&/or cod, fish)
||butter (&/or milk)
||cats (&/or lions, leopards, panthers)
||dogs (&/or foxes)
Pick a chapter of the book; examine its style, Odyssean correspondences,
topical concerns, etc. What reading practice--that is, what modes
of reading and/or interpretation--does Joyce seem to be espousing or at
least presenting in that chapter?
"Joyce, as an author, is like a priest." So spake learned critic
Kathryn Conrad. Examine this claim.
Compare the last section "Wandering Rocks" (Ch. 10, p. 207-209 in Gabler
edition) to the section of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway in which
the car (and, if you'd like, the aeroplane) appear.