I like my classes this semester because I have programs for them I can believe in. We have current theory and criticism, and engaging, authentic materials; we are not classifying texts according to movements, nor authors according to generations.
Memorable courses I took in college include:
–Calculus with a Buddhist T.A. Theoretical and wiggy.
–Denmark’s Modern Breakthrough. A literary critic told the country’s authors to modernize its literature or risk losing pace with German innovations, so they modernized. Literatures around me are still trying to modernize.
–French prose Voltaire to Balzac with Ulysse Dutoit. It was all so impeccable, and French can be so charmingly exact.
–Introduction to modern Spanish American literature. Captivating books: Facundo, La vorágine, El reino de este mundo, Residencia en la tierra.
–Introduction to Philosophy with Hans Sluga and his elegant clothes. Descartes, Kant, Wittgenstein. Theoretical and wiggy.
–Medieval Spanish literature. The characters and situations were highly eccentric, the words were amusing, and Manuscript A never quite lined up with Manuscript G. Wiggy and entertaining.
–Spanish 5 with a Comp. Lit. T.A. Shockingly good readings: Romancero, Góngora, Quevedo, García Lorca; El burlador de Sevilla, Carpentier, Cortázar.
–The United States Since 1865 with Leon Litwack. Non-patriotic history with many readings of writings by the actors. U.S. history turned out to be complex and multi-layered.
It becomes kind of obvious how I ended up in Spanish — it was the readings. It is also quite obvious that I was born to read theory.