Approaches to Teaching the Works of John Dryden
Which John Dryden should be brought into the twenty-first-century college classroom? The rehabilitator of the ancients? The first of the moderns? The ambivalent laureate? The sidelined convert to Rome? The literary theorist? The translator? The playwright? The poet? This volume in the MLA series Approaches to Teaching World Literature addresses the tensions, contradictions, and versatility of a writer who, in the words of Samuel Johnson, "found [English poetry] brick, and left it marble," who was, in the words of Walter Scott, "one of the greatest of our masters."
Part 1, "Materials," offers a guide to the teaching editions of Dryden's work and a discussion of the background resources, from biographies and literary criticism to social, cultural, political, and art histories. In part 2, "Approaches," essays describe different pedagogical entries into Dryden and his time. These approaches cover subjects as various as genre, adaptation, literary rivalry, musical setting, and political and religious poetry in classroom situations that range from the traditional survey to learning through performance.
About the Authors
Jayne Lewis is professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of books and articles on eighteenth-century literature and culture, and most recently Air's Appearance: Literary Atmosphere in British Fiction, 1660-1794.
Lisa Zunshine is Bush-Holbrook Professor of English at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. She is the author of Why We Read Fiction and Strange Concepts and the Stories They Make Possible and the editor of Acting Theory and the English Stage.
"Dryden is a major figure of the Restoration, writing in almost all of its important genres. This volume is a valuable addition to the series." —James Evans, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
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