Hi! This is your friendly Freshman Literature professor, Dr. Threadneedle, and since we’re doing this class remotely I thought I’d send a memo to everyone to explain a little of what you’ll need to know to succeed.

First of all, I know a lot of you have had some exposure to “literature” in high school, but you should be aware that English teachers in high school are kind of dumb compared to college professors. I mean, there’s a reason they’re not teaching at the college level, you know? So a lot of your teachers in high school probably thought there was some sort of “canon” of literature, like a bunch of books that are more important than other books and you should know about them because they’re so important. What goobers! The first thing you have to know to succeed in my class is that there is no canon of literature. I don’t know where that idea came from, but it’s pretty obvious that it’s kept alive by the people at Penguin Classics, because their jobs depend on the idea that there’s such a thing as a “classic.” I mean, it stands to reason, doesn’t it? So anyway, if you had the idea in your head that there was such a thing as a “canon” of literature, then the first thing you need to do is get it out of there if you want to succeed in this course.

Second, please remember that the only text approved for this class is Approved Literature 14th Edition. I don’t want to hear about anything in the thirteenth edition or the ninth edition or whatever. Only the fourteenth edition has the correct selection of non-canonical texts that all enlightened professors of literature have agreed to teach. There ought to be a word for the list of literature that everyone agrees is worth teaching, and maybe there is, but I can’t think of it at the moment. But anyway, remember, fourteenth edition. The others have some of the wrong stuff in them. I don’t know how it got in there.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I think you can find the reading for tomorrow’s class on the class page on the college site. If you can, maybe one of you can email me and tell me what it is, because I could never figure that site out. See you all on screen tomorrow!