Review Comment

Flaubert

August 11, 2004

Lotringer, Sylvere Silver_nugget
Flaubert

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Prof. Lotringer clearly knows what he's talking about. This is both a blessing and a curse: on the positive side, you can expect any possible question you have to be answered in great detail, and lots of background information (I never saw him once bring in notes--everything came off of the top of his head). On the negative side, he expects his students to have a graduate-level understanding of tons of different books and different literary schools of criticism (he is particularly fond of post-modernism). Thus, most of my class struggled to keep up with him as he started jumping from book to book towards the end of the semester. Overall, I learned alot, but I wish he had made more of an effort to engage his students and to make sure we knew what was going on.

Workload:

All over the place. Half the semester was spent on Madame Bovary, going at what seemed a pace of two pages a day, and then we crammed the rest of the (extremely long) books into the end of the semester. One 5 page midterm paper, one 12-15 page final "research" paper, no final exam. As others have warned, his tastes in essay writing are extremely precise--MAKE SURE YOU GO OVER WHAT YOU WANT TO WRITE ABOUT WITH HIM!

May 20, 2004

Lotringer, Sylvere Silver_nugget
Flaubert

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Prof. Lotringer is obviously an extremely intelligent man, with worthwhile things to say. Unfortunately, this class did not showcase those features particularly well. I had the impression early on in the semester (when I was keeping up with all the reading) that my class and I were a constant disappointment to Prof. Lotringer, b/c we had not kept up with obscure French literary criticisms of the past 100+ years, nor random French novels from all centuries. Being thus disappointed, he then proceeded to rarely ask for any input or discussion. The class lacked any direction or focus. We spent probably half a semester on Madame Bovary, leaving the rest for the roughly 7 other books he had planned. In general, I feel if Prof. Lotringer had given us some idea of what we were supposed to be getting out of the class, and what he expected from us, the class could have been greatly improved.

Workload:

About 8 books, but since he expects no class discussion and there is no midterm or final, it is possible not to do all of them. One short paper (about 5 pages) and one long final paper (12-15 pages). It is EXTREMELY difficult to write the papers, because Prof. Lotringer gives no hint of what he is looking for. One is left blindly writing a paper, hoping it will approximate what he is looking for. Nonetheless, I felt my papers were graded fairly.

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