Dispatches from the wilds of Poetania – An education in literature (as provided by the faculty of Arts)

Introductory course (mandatory):
Samuel Beckett’s waiting for Godot – The place of absurdism in modern society
Venue: The faculty of Arts office lobby (non-wheelchair-accessible)
Course length: 45 minutes.
Second semester:
The torment of Tantalus: a preliminary study of classical mythology
Course materials: unmanned kiosks

Second year:
The trials of Sisyphus – a deeper study of classical mythology
Course supervisor: any Arts faculty administrator
Prerequisites: boundless patience, seemingly simple but apparently insoluble problem
Bonus credit:
Byzantine: a study of language and thought
(may be cross-linked with a language degree)
Course materials: Degree concatenation and obfuscation forms 16(a), 19(d), 37(g)
(pen available on request)
Students participate in a state-of-the-art multimedia learning experience, with Byzantine forms carefully reconstructed by archaeologists, computational linguists and random dice-rolls.
Second semester:
The “reliable” narrator – the subtle art of misdirecting the audience”
Students are given a first-hand demonstration of misdirecting narrative, as our head-of-the-field experts convince them their enrolment problems are easily solved, with the twist in the tale delivered two weeks later, by post.

Final year:
The labours of Hercules – a study of the epic quest”
Materials: forms to be endorsed, signed, notarised, approved, initialled, duplicated, &c.
Venue: Staff offices all over campus.
Continuing the revolutionary interactive learning system, students demonstrate their knowledge in the field, contending with such obstacles as the Lernaean Hydra, Cerberus and empty head-of-department offices.
Second semester:
Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence – dangerous love in delicate situations
She leans
across the counter,
revealing
a secret
of her mysterious world
of artists and intrigue
in a conspiratorial tone
– a courtesy not extended
to those who came before you,
intended to reassure,
(perhaps reveal
a certain affection)
but, you realise with a chill,
all of your future problems would be solved in this same way,
by this creature of fire & ice
with the power to delete your transcript…

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Published in: on January 29, 2008 at 6:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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