World Lit, Day 1

The first day of my early modern world literature class went pretty well, I think; it was great to see both the familiar faces and the unfamiliar faces. One student in class is distantly related to Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, one seems really interested in reading The Rape of the Lock, and almost everyone participated in a discussion on what we commonly–and uncommonly–know about the Renaissance, which led us through virtually everything covered in the Norton Anthology introduction. We’re starting on Petrarch next class, and as I was driving home this evening, it occurred to me that The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?” and the Magnetic Fields’ “A Chicken with Its Head Cut Off” are more than a bit reminiscent of Petrarchan conventions. I think I’ll ask students to consider what, in their playlists, can be considered Petrarchan and why.

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