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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ted S. Wayland
ENGL 337
Seattle Campus

The Modern Novel

The novel on both sides of the Atlantic in the first half of the twentieth century. Includes such writers as Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, Stein, Hemingway, Faulkner, and others.

Class description

What does it mean to be modern, and what distinguishes modernity from the past? At the beginning of the twentieth century, novelists grappled with the question of modern identity, both in terms of individuals and the literary works they created. We will read several modernist novels to understand what makes them distinct from previous novelistic forms, why these particular authors experimented with representation the ways they did, and what these texts can tell us about the intersection of literature and history. Modernism has been characterized as “grim reading,� but in this course a much more varied picture will emerge—reading that is also innovative, startling, strange and at times moving and amusing. Expect to read very carefully and closely in this course as we work through the experimental techniques and other challenges of the texts. Readings will include: James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Djuna Barnes, Nightwood; William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire.


James Joyce. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Vintage. [9780679739890]

Ernest Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises. Scribner. [ 9780743297332]

Virginia Woolf. To the Lighthouse. Harvest. [9780156907392]

William Faulkner. The Sound and the Fury. Vintage. [9780679732242]

Djuna Barnes. Nightwood. New Directions. [9780811200059]

Vladimir Nabokov. Pale Fire. Vintage. [ 9780679723424]

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion.

Recommended preparation

Some background in 20th-century literature is recommended but not required.

Class assignments and grading

Several short essays and a longer term paper.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Ted S. Wayland
Date: 03/12/2009