Stephen Bonnycastle
English Courses and Applied Literature

Department of English, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Canada   K7K 7B4
Telephone: 613-541-6000, ext. 6242    E-mail:

Welcome to my web site. I am just setting it up, and I am posting this on Tuesday 19th August 2002.

I am a professor of English literature at the Royal Military College of Canada, located in Kingston, Ontario.

You may wonder what is meant by the term "Applied Literature", in the title of the web site. It is analagous to "applied ethics" or "applied science". I am particularly interested in how literature can be used or put into practice in everyday life. This means, briefly, that I am much more interested in how the reader -- today's reader -- makes sense of a book, than in how an author writes a book. The noblest use of a book, in my view, is to enhance the life of a reader.

One of the main purposes for having a web site is to make public some information about a new course which the RMC English Department is offering in the winter term, ENE 448b: Ethics and Literature. Soon you will be able to get at this information by clicking on "English Courses" and then on "ENE 448b", but for the moment I am putting some notes here.

In the first two weeks of the course, we will deal with questions such as the following:
What is philosophy?
What is meant by the word "ethics"?
We will then go on to explore how literature engages with ethical issues, and how we can explore ethical issues in literature.

One outcome for each student is that he or she will have had the opportunity to develop an ethical outlook. This will not solve all ethical problems, but it will provide a framework for dealing with them.

The main books we will be reading are the following:

Dr Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak;
Hadji Murad, by Leo Tolstoy; and
The Plague, by Albert Camus.

We will also consider in detail the recent film No Man's Land, which won the Oscar for the best foreign language film in 2002, and a number of prestigious film festival awards. It deals with UN peacekeepers who encounter a fiendishly complex moral situation in the Bosnian-Serb conflict.

Web site design is by Charles Walker of   VISIONWEAVER