Tuesday, December 6, 2011

For Credit: 5 Years from Now

The following clip, "The Five Minute University," featuring Father Guido Sarducci (comedian Don Novello), is a few decades old, but still current:

What will you remember from English 429 in five years' time?

Deadline: Saturday (12/10), midnight.


  1. I will probably remember that the 18C had way more sex in it than I ever thought. Guess they weren't as prude as I thought they were.

    I will also probably remember when I said, "going down on a girl and fingering her," in regards to Tristram Shandy, in the same class period.

    Jesse might remember it too.

  2. Agreed with Sam. I didn't realize that the "ladies" from the 18th century enjoy sex just as much as women do in 2011.

    I always imagined them being overly prude in order to keep their virtue - which on the surface some did - but they were secretly raunchy.

    I guess I'll always remember that sex was always in society and will always continue to be a factor within society.

    Does that make sense?

  3. I'll remember picking apart the thoughts of teenage girls and measuring them against our 21st century assumptions about both virtue and promiscuity. And that adolescents in the eighteenth century had to grow up and assimilate into adult society a lot quicker than we do today.

    I'll remember the epistolary form and how I'd always think to myself: I'd never write a letter to my parents/caregivers that was THAT long, detailed, and intimate. Wouldn't their hands get tired?

    I'll remember Tristram Shandy because it was crazy...in a good way.

  4. I think I'll remember Tristram Shandy the most. The whole narrative line, the fact that everything was so out of place or far off on a tangent, and yet every word was deliberate and had meaning behind it will always stand out to me. That book was definitely ahead of its time.

  5. I agree with Sam, I didn't think that there would be that much sex incorporated into 18th century novels. I've always thought that sex was something that wasn't talked about during that time, so to have it present in the novels was a little surprising to me. I'll also remember Pamela. I'm not sure why, but every time I see the name I immediately go through the story in my head. I'll also remember The Castle of Otranto because it was my favorite of all the novels we read in class.

  6. In 5 years time, I don't know if I'll remember any specific story - but I'll definitely remember all the sex that I imagined wouldn't be in this course. If I had to pick, the most memorable story I think Robinson Crusoe would be the one because it's the least generic in the bunch. Most of the other stories revolve around sex, except for Crusoe and Female American. I think FA is a copycat of RC, so I'd pick the original. I'll remember the sex as a topic, and RC as a story.

  7. I think I'll remember Fantomina best of all. Having read the story for the first time two years ago and knowing how well I remembered it in class this semester, I feel confident that it'll always hold a special place for me. It's my favorite story just because of how ridiculous it is and because it reminds me (just like everyone else has been commenting on) just how wrong our stereotypes about people back in the day really are. I was so taken aback the first time I read this story, and even now, having read it quite a few times, it's still shocking. I think, in five years, I'll remember that making generalizations about an era, no matter how much you think you know about it, is hardly ever a safe thing to do.

  8. Like most everyone else, I will definitely remember how big of a part sex played in the plots of all (with the exception of Robinson Crusoe)of the novels that we read in 429. Specifically, I think that I will remember Pamela five years from now. Not only did Richardson incorporate a lot of sex into the novel, but he also had Pamela writing to her parents about all of her experiences, which as a 21c reader is hard to imagine a teenage girl doing. Also, I think that I will remember Pamela because of how it demonstrated the importance of virtuousness in the lives of the 18c readers. And of course I will remember trying to understand all of the craziness of Tristram Shandy. Maybe five years from now I will have enough time to read the entire novel.

  9. Well, as everyone else has mentioned, I will also remember just how large a role sex played as parts of the novels we've read. Reading about it just surprised me, as I had not thought the 18c was so sexual. Apart from that, I think I will always remember Tristram Shandy. I feel like it was a novel ahead of its time,and just so very different than all of the other 18c pieces.

  10. My first reaction when I saw this was "Probably all the sex stuff, had no idea 18C lit was that raunchy." But then I flipped through the other responses, so just to say something different....

    For me the most memorable novel we covered will probably be Evelina, if only because I had it for my 461 class this semester as well, and covering the same novel twice for the two different classes (which I've never had happen before) opened up some interesting perspectives for me. The way we went through it in 461 was entirely different from how we covered it in here, but in both classes the consensus on Evelina as a character were pretty similar.

    Other than that, the day I found out Harvard had frats was the one trivia-esque takeaway that I'll leave the class with. For whatever reason that really surprised me.

  11. I too was amazed at the amount of sexual situations and scenes have played out during this era. I've always thought that 18th century literature was quite stuffy in this regard.
    I also won't forget novels like Tristram Shandy, who almost reminds me of William Faulkner in terms of the amount confusion and dense text I had to wade through. I was surprised at the nods to post-modernism, and its challenging of Enlightenment thinking.

    Most of all, I'll remember the scope that this century took, and how the novel form began to evolve from its didactic, heavily moral beginnings.