Compendium  Men’s Literature

...but these bigots are classics

McGill recently announced the latest class being offered in a series of Scintillating Literature options for English students. This upcoming fall semester, Professor Jerry Drip will be teaching Men’s Lit, an exclusive look at male authors through the ages. The McGall Weekly had a chance to talk to Prof. Drip about the class, and asked what inspired him to teach it. Prof. Drip explained that, “These days literature class can get so confused and generalized, I thought it was time to teach something more specialized. I said to myself, Jerry, what would be a new and interesting syllabus? And I decided upon Men’s Lit, this topic being one of my personal favourites.”

According to Prof. Drip, the class will be exploring topics of dynamic masculinity, being a man in an age of complex identity politics, and generally, you know, guy stuff. When asked to elaborate what he meant by this last comment, Prof. Drip chortled scholastically and smiled that English Professor Smile (™), “Oh you know, just really getting a chance to look at the male perspective. There are already a lot of classes that focus on the feminist angle, or the post colonial angle, or magical realism, and yet we don’t have nearly enough classes that take a direct look at what it is to be a man. I think students could really benefit from a class with such a focus.”

U2 English student Kevin Sykes was enthusiastic when asked what he thought of the syllabus. “I think it’s really great that Jerry is doing this class. You know, last year I took an 18th century literature class and it was like all women writers!” Kevin coughed erroneously. He then explained with all the sincerity of the average socially conscious hipster, “I was very surprised, because I didn’t think women wrote books back then, you know, because like, oppression, and all that. Not that I have anything against women’s lit exactly. I mean, like, Mary Shelly is pretty cool, and Jane Austin is hot but I’m really looking forward to a class that focuses on, you know, us mens’ point of view.”

The McGall Weekly had a chance to look at the proposed syllabus ourselves. When Prof. Drip was asked about the overwhelming fact that all the authors for his Men’s Lit class were White, he gave his infamous English Professor Chuckle (™): “Well now that you mention it, so they are. I didn’t do it on purpose you know. It’s just that these are the authors that I studied in university, and I think that they all really have something important to say.” 

Karren Jackson, a U1 Literature student was also optimistic about the class. She told the Weekly that she’s “tired of literature classes which go over the same old minority narratives.” Karren was thoughtful as she sipped her starbucks Chai Latte. “Like, that stuff is cool, but what I’m really looking forward to with Jerry’s class is going back to basics, you know? Like, reading books by these white men really gives an inside perspective on what it’s like to be privileged? You know? I mean, it’s not really their fault.” When asked to elaborate what she meant by this, she twirled her naturally blond hair, deep in thought, finally replying “like they didn’t ask to be privileged, and it just doesn’t seem fair that we would throw out classics just because they don’t fit into what’s popular. I mean, postcolonialism is trendy now, but like, when it’s something new, then what? At least we’ll always have the stand bys to return to.” 

Prof. Drip wanted to emphasize that he is not racist, nor sexist. “In terms of exploring literary genres like modernism, it’s not as if I have anything against writers who aren’t white men, but those are the only people who really wrote in that style or who wrote well.” Apparently, in spite of his 30 plus years teaching English as a tenured professor at McGill, Prof. Drip has never heard of Virginia Woolf.