Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Fantasy Course Now Underway
Although today was technically the second day of my Summer Session II ENGL 109 "Intro to Narrative" course, it was in actuality the first day that the students and I discussed fantasy literature. Our author for this week is Lord Dunsany, and our story for today's class was "The Sword of Welleran." I began by giving the students a mini-lecture on the concepts of liminality and threshold experiences in ritual and literature. There was much talk of weddings as liminal rites we all know from life, books, and mass media. There was also a nice exchange about Batman as a liminar. Then I shifted class into discussion mode by asking the students to identify all of the liminal elements in Dunsany's story. They did a great job of this and were also quite alert to Dusany's ironic conclusion to the tale (which I won't spoil here for those who might want to read it).
I won't bore you all further with regular updates about the class, but I thought that I'd at least mention it was up and running. Anyone who's interested further can look at my syllabus. We finish up Dunsany this week with "The Fall of Babbulkund" and "The Kith of the Elf-Folk," then it's on to Robert E. Howard and "The Phoenix on the Sword" next Monday.