Centered on a range of provocative works conceived at different historical moments and in different cultural situations, this course will explore some of the persistent imaginative preoccupations and far-reaching literary ambitions that serve to link authors working in a wide variety of genres and traditions. Authors to be considered this semester will include Jonathan Swift, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Petronius, Thomas Carlyle, Herman Melville, Ivan Turgenev, Ernest Hemingway, Gustave Flaubert, Gertrude Stein, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Saul Bellow. Depending on individual backgrounds and interests, students may be encouraged to undertake independent comparisons between some of the author’s works we are reading and works by other authors not included on this spring's list. 3 hr. lect.