While the content of most of the essays provides for serious reading, Mark Twain s My Watch is a humorous piece that lightens the section. Bertrand Russell s The Three Passions, a short excerpt from his autobiography, introduces students to a philosopher s perspectives on life and its primary concerns. Three of the essays are speeches recorded in writing. John Ruskin s What is a Good Book , an excerpt from Sesame and Lilies, and E.M. Forster s piece on the elements of a good story, from Aspects of the Novel, prepare learners for literary criticism. S. Chandrasekhar s lecture, Patterns of Creativity, explores the relationship between poetry and science. G.N. Devy s Tribal Verse, in another strain, familiarises students with recent trends in looking at literature from non-conventional standpoints bringing in oral folk traditions into its fold. Kumudini Lakhia s autobiographical extract from Women Who Dared gives expression to an artist s approach to life and art. The tasks that follow the essays demand learners engagement with the texts and lead them on to a deep understanding of life and language. Teachers should help learners move towards reading with discernment. The following are recommended for additional reading The Outsider by Albert Camus A Doll s House by Henrik Ibsen Pygmalion by G.B.Shaw and Dancing in Cambodia and Other Stories by Amitav Ghosh. It is hoped that this course will lay the foundations for a study of English language and literature at the tertiary level of education.
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