Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.
With the goal of enhancing our critical reading and writing skills —- while, most importantly, cultivating a greater appreciation for literature -— this course will focus on the highly influential movement of Anglo-American Modernism. Roughly covering the first half of the twentieth century, this movement raised important questions and doubts about rationality, language, and even the future of humankind. In the face of Modernism’s seemingly dire pessimism, some important question that we will consider include: what can (still) be done? and where can we go from here? Close readings of poetry, prose, and drama will, in part, allow us to explore the causes and consequences of an age’s loss of values and belief in human progress. On the other hand, we will seek out the ways in which such seminal high modernists as Barnes, Beckett, Conrad, Eliot, Yeats, Faulkner, Ford, Woolf, and Stevens also sought to make grief, failure, and human insufficiency the material with which to (attempt to) begin again.
Assignments will include two 5-7 page papers, several short responses, and a group presentation.
Djuna Barnes: Nightwood Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness William Faulkner: As I Lay Dying Ford Madox Ford: The Good Soldier Virginia Woolf: To the Lighthouse
There will also be a required course reader.
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