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Unseen Prose

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) provides a masterclass on how to tackle a passage of unseen prose. In the first three lectures we concentrate on just a single line of prose – the opening lines from three famous texts (the identities of which are only revealed at the end of the lecture). In the three modules after that, we look at three longer passages, and begin to introduce some approaches that we might use to begin analysing a passage of unseen prose, including the question ‘Would it be different if…?’ and the importance of thinking about how a text creates meaning rather than simply what it means. In the seventh lecture, we go through the famous McRae Checklist, which outlines nine features of all prose texts, each of which might provide a way in to a passage of unseen prose. In the following four lectures, we look at four more passages of prose, this time with the McRae Checklist I mind, before ending with a shirt concluding module where we summarise what we’ve learnt and get some final tips from Professor McRae.

About the Lecturer

John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.