Interpretation of Literature
SECOND SHORT ANALYTIC PAPER: Intertextuality
Overview: For this paper, choose two texts we\’ve read this semester that you believe can fruitfully be put in conversation with one another. (Neither should be a text you\’ve written on already.)
This is not a compare/contrast paper, but compare/contrast might be a good place to start as you work to define, as clearly as possible, an interesting resonance between the texts you\’ve chosen. Do the two texts work with similar ideas? (Does one suggest a concept that the other overturns? Does one propose a problem that the other solves?) Do the two texts show us similar images? (Does one illustrate and the other illuminate? Or satirize? Or emphasize?) Are the the two texts structurally or formally alike? (Do they loop? Or obsessively repeat themselves? Or reflect themselves like mirrors? Or set up an central idea only to twist or debunk it?)
What does one text say to the other? How does one text answer the other?
As you consider and compare your two texts, pay close attention to the different formal features we\’ve been discussing in class (see your notes and the Unit One Journal Guidelines for ideas). Your paper must include a careful, thoughtful, useful (to your central argument) discussion of at least three formal features that you see working in each text. This is your EVIDENCE, and will be the most heavily weighted component of your grade (25%).
Once you\’ve done plenty of thinking, please work to answer the following question: how does your close reading of Text A enrich, complicate, contradict, nuance, or help you to better understand Text B? Please make a precise, careful, specific argument in response to this question. This argument will be your thesis: the main idea of your paper (specific, debatable, and concise), introduced in your first paragraph and defended in all your other paragraphs, with the help of the specific textual evidence youve gathered.
Logistics: 3-4 pages, double spaced; 12-pt. Times New Roman or Garamond; one-inch margins; parenthetical citations, including line numbers for poems or plays. Ask in class, email me, or come into my office hours if you have questions or want direct feedback on your paper in the early stages. Well have a paragraph / evidence workshop during the week your paper is due, so be sure to develop your ideas well in advance of the deadline (Friday, October 26, 5PM). Good luck!