I. Epigraphs and Titles “And as Eddie’s picture of what It was began to fade, It began promptly to change into something else.” —Stephen King, It (1986) “It is at work everywhere, functioning smoothly at times, at other times in fits and starts. It breathes, it heats, it eats.” —Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (1972) “All too …

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During the first six weeks of the semester, each of my Introduction to Criticism students composed three “close readings” of three poems of their choice. Most poems (per my suggestion) were chosen from Poetry Foundation‘s online archive. Below is a complete list of the poets and poems students chose to analyze, along with links to texts of these poems. Next to the titles, …

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After several weeks of reading Cleanth Brooks’s essays, my Intro to Criticism students turned to The Barbara Johnson Reader (2014) and the theory / practice of deconstruction. This word—”deconstruction”—has a funny effect on people. Whenever I say, “My students are reading Derrida,” or, “We’re beginning a unit on deconstruction,” I tend to get pessimistic responses. “Ouch.” “Yikes.” …

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After several weeks of reading Cleanth Brooks’s essays, my Intro to Criticism students turned to The Barbara Johnson Reader (2014) and the theory / practice of deconstruction. This word—”deconstruction”—has a funny effect on people. Whenever I say, “My students are reading Derrida,” or, “We’re beginning a unit on deconstruction,” I tend to get pessimistic responses. “Ouch.” “Yikes.” …

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