Daily Themes

In 1979, the poet, scholar, and critic John Hollander took over the long-standing Daily Themes course at Yale, which before him had been taught, among others, by the celebrated novelist and essayist John Hersey. But when Hollander took the course over, he transformed it by drawing on the models of Renaissance pedagogy on which he was expert – and which are in fact implicit in the title, since the ‘theme’ was a staple of Renaissance pedagogy. Towards the end of his life, he and his student Professor Kenneth Gross began conceptualising a book based on Hollander’s approach to Daily Themes. They were not able to see the project to completion before Hollander’s death, but in the rest of this overview we draw gratefully on their book proposal. We would like to thank for permission to use this material Kenneth Gross, and also Hollander’s executor, Professor Langdon Hammer.

On this tab you will find an introduction to the course and then links to each week of the course, containing an orderly progression of teaching materials which all are invited to use.


Assignment 2 – Of Pointing

Assignment 2 – Of Pointing

 Exercises 1. Re-punctuate (and re-paragraph if you think it useful) Francis Bacon's "Of Suspicion" (handout). Type up the essay, with your changes, and be prepared to discuss your revisions in conference. 2. Write "Of _____________” Your essay should be about...

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