[DWJ] and while I'm talking to you, perhaps I can be a little more on topic...

Jackie E Stallcup jstallcup at juno.com
Thu Nov 13 22:28:37 EST 2008

I'm really glad to hear that teaching DL with the Hobbit went well!  What
kind of course were/are you teaching it in--YA lit?  Fantasy lit?
Children's Lit?

And did you introduce DL as a parody or satire of some elements of high
fantasy?  The text as a whole isn't simply a satire, of course, but it
was the satirical elements (in part) that threw my students last time. 
There was a disparity between what they expected (from the cover, for
example) and what they got. And they hated it and got mad at the book. 
And it was the last day of class--which is really what made it
disasterous.  I was totally taken by surprise by their reaction (I
thought we were ending the course with a treat!) and I didn't have a
chance to regroup and have a discussion of how it was working and what
DWJ is doing in playing with generic elements.

So I thought that this time I would let them know before they read it
what was going on.  

But then I'm trying out a lot of the course in an independent study right
now, and my student who is currently reading it says he would have liked
to NOT know that to start with and discover it for himself.  

So I'm torn.  But this time, at least, it will be in a course that is
focused on fantasy, not a general YA course (as was the case the first
time I taught it) and so they will be prepared with plenty of theory and
discussion before we ever get to it.
On Thu, 13 Nov 2008 21:42:15 -0500 (EST) deborah.dwj at suberic.net writes:
> On Thu, 13 Nov 2008, Jackie E Stallcup wrote:
> > I'm going to try teaching Dark Lord of Derkholm again (those of 
> you who
> > have been around a while might recall the disasterous results last 
> time I
> > tried that!).  I get to teach an Honors Seminar next semester on
> > Childhood and the Fantastic, and I'm going to teach DL in 
> conjunction
> > with the Hobbit amid discussions of high fantasy and 
> genre-playing.  So
> > it should be a better experience this time.  I hope.  I'll keep 
> you
> > updated, if you all are interested.
> I would love to hear about it! I taught Dark Lord this semester
> (also in conjunction with The Hobbit!) and it actually went
> really well. The fantasy lovers found it funny, and for the
> people who came into the class believing they hated fantasy,
> seeing a fantasy text which made fun of all the things they
> thought they hated about fantasy was a nice icebreaker.
> -deborah
> --
> Amaze me, America 
> Save me from armageddon.        -- Girlyman, "Amaze me"
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