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Using Classic and Contemporary Literature to Explore Themes in Law and Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  Shooting an Elephant. The goal was to read one novel or play a week and two short stories each day from Monday through Thursday while the second and last Fridays were reserved for essay exams. This is a tremendous reading load for a four week period but most of the students managed their time well and they were able to complete the assigned readings. Many classic works of literature, long in the public domain, can be found online at various websites. Indeed, entire novels, plays, short stories, poems, including commentary on classic works and biographical information about the authors, are available with just a little effort. One of the most comprehensive collections is Project Gutenberg, billed as the internet’s oldest producer of free electronic books ( http://www.gutenberg.org ). Another website contains over 2,000 short stories from American and European authors, including a list of twenty great American short stories ( http://www.americanliterature.com ). More short stories can be found at ( http://www.classicreader.com/short-stories.php ). These websites usually have search engines based on author, title, or subject. The complete texts of the major works of famous authors can be found at the classic authors website ( http://www.classicauthors.net ). This website has a picture of the author, a timeline of major works and events in the author’s life, and a list of online resources. One of the most comprehensive sites for great works of literature ( http://www.englishlibrary.net ) contains the complete texts of novels, short stories, plays, and poems. The site also has links to biographical information about the authors. Although I have not checked all of the websites, I assume that the works on these sites meet copyright requirements or are in the public domain. As long as the readings are used under the “fair use” guidelines for academic purposes there shouldn’t be a problem with copyright restrictions. Given the volume of literature on the Page | 13

Authors: Fliter, John.
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Shooting an Elephant. The goal was to read one novel or play a week and two short stories each
day from Monday through Thursday while the second and last Fridays were reserved for essay
exams. This is a tremendous reading load for a four week period but most of the students
managed their time well and they were able to complete the assigned readings.
Many classic works of literature, long in the public domain, can be found online at
various websites. Indeed, entire novels, plays, short stories, poems, including commentary on
classic works and biographical information about the authors, are available with just a little
effort. One of the most comprehensive collections is Project Gutenberg, billed as the internet’s
oldest producer of free electronic books (
). Another website contains
over 2,000 short stories from American and European authors, including a list of twenty great
American short stories (
). More short stories can be found at
). These websites usually have search engines
based on author, title, or subject.
The complete texts of the major works of famous authors can be found at the classic
authors website (
). This website has a picture of the author, a
timeline of major works and events in the author’s life, and a list of online resources. One of the
most comprehensive sites for great works of literature (
) contains
the complete texts of novels, short stories, plays, and poems. The site also has links to
biographical information about the authors. Although I have not checked all of the websites, I
assume that the works on these sites meet copyright requirements or are in the public domain.
As long as the readings are used under the “fair use” guidelines for academic purposes there
shouldn’t be a problem with copyright restrictions. Given the volume of literature on the
Page | 13


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