Do you like to mark up your books? Then you are writing about literature. This class will explore what writing about literature is like for authors themselves. From marginalia in the Talmud to adaptations like Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, writers mark up, borrow from, and rewrite other people’s stories, often reflecting in innovative ways on the creative process. Examples might include:

  • Spike Lee adapting Aristophanes in his film Chi-Raq
  • Alison Bechdel revising Oscar Wilde in her graphic novel Fun Home
  • William Shakespeare lifting Arthur Brooke’s verse narrative to write Romeo and Juliet
  • Mary Shelley reshaping her literary “dark materials” to make Frankenstein
  • Herman Melville turning a travel book into Gothic horror in Benito Cereno

Assignments and group projects allow students to explore the writing process in all its messy, creative stages. Writing in margins strongly encouraged.