Literature

LIT101 - Composition and Literature

The subject presents an introduction to the nature of language as a means of communication, and to literature as a setting and stimulus for the language arts. This subject will focus on applying the principles of effective communication through a study of various literary genres, the classical canons of rhetoric, and the production of an academic essay. The study and practice of written rhetoric, as the master-art of the Trivium, which incorporates grammar and logic, will be based on the reading of great works of literature, which may include fairy tales, famous speeches and seminal texts such as Homer’s Odyssey.

LIT102 - Literature of the Western World – Ancient

The subject presents an overview of ancient literature and explores the foundational works of the Western literary imagination from Homer to the close of classical antiquity. It also introduces students to the different traditions and themes of literary criticism and theory in classical times. Authors studied may include Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil and St Basil the Great. More specifically the topics and concepts may include: the characteristics of epic, as exemplified in the Iliad; the ideas of the poet in Plato’s Ion and Republic; Aristotle’s theory of tragedy in the Poetics; Sophocles’ Oedipus the King as the ideal tragedy in Aristotle’s terms; the development of epic in Virgil’s Aeneid; and the Christian view of pagan literature.

LIT201 - Literature of the Western World - Medieval and Renaissance

This subject examines major works of Western literature from the Middle Ages through to the late Renaissance. The development of Christian literary culture is considered, as is the impact of tensions in European Christendom from the 16th century. More specifically, topics and concepts may include: Chaucer and selections from The Canterbury Tales; Dante and selections from The Divine Comedy; Sir Thomas More-Utopia; selections of sonnets and drama of William Shakespeare; selected poems of John Donne and George Herbert.

LIT202 - Literature of the Western World – Milton to Modern

This subject presents a continuation of LIT 201, covering the period from the 17th to 20th century. It examines the changing vision of human nature and destiny as reflected in representative literary masterpieces, amid the growing fragmentation of Christian culture, and the new challenges posed by twentieth-century Modernism. Emphasis will be given to the study and appreciation of primary works. More specifically topics and concepts are examined through a selection of works by various authors, including: John Milton, William Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Oscar Wilde and T.S. Eliot.

LIT301 - The Search for Meaning in Twentieth Century Literature

The subject presents a study of major twentieth and twentieth-first-century literary works, from various national backgrounds, which explore fundamental questions of life’s meaning. Classes will focus on these works’ imaginative engagement with the problem of meaning, the search for meaning, and the apparent absence of meaning in the modern age, in the context of the growing social and cultural dislocation evident through this period. Writers studied may include Joseph Conrad, T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Cormac McCarthy.

LIT302 - Australian Literature

This subject presents a study of the distinctive works of the Australian literary imagination. It focuses on the characteristic features of Australian literature and the question of how to define it (and how it defines us). We shall observe the struggles and concerns that have helped shape Australian culture, particularly in the light of a spiritual sensibility at grips with a secularist society. Works studied may include the short stories of Henry Lawson, fiction by major novelists such as Patrick White, and selected poems from a range of authors.

LIT303 - The Catholic Imagination in Modern Literature

This subject investigates different aspects of the Catholic imagination as expressed in important works of modern literature, from various national backgrounds, covering the period from the early twentieth-century to today. We identify these works’ Catholic themes and consider the literary, cultural, historical and ecclesial contexts in which they are grounded. Consideration will be given to the idea of the Catholic writer and the problems inherent in defining a Catholic literature. Writers studied may include G.K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene and Flannery O’Connor.

LIT304 - Shakespeare

The subject presents an overview of the life and canon of William Shakespeare, exploring a representative selection of work from across the span of his career.  Concentrating upon six of his most celebrated works – Richard IIRomeo & JulietJulius CaesarTwelfth NightKing Lear and The Tempest – this subject will explore the several major movements in Shakespeare’s artistic output, including his historical, comic, tragic and romantic periods.  Emphasis will be placed upon performing close readings of these texts in order to appreciate Shakespeare’s achievements as a poet and dramatist, and to examine the manner in which his works are both shaped by and transcend his age.

Literature Major

Completion of eight Literature units constitutes a major.