Literary Modernism

L380 — Fall 2018

Judith C. Brown
Lindley Hall 008
Days and Times
1:00P-02:15P MW
Course Description

When Virginia Woolf claimed that the year 1910 marked a change in human character, she noted a fundamental shift in human experience, in self-understanding, and in the possibilities for artistic expression in the early twentieth century. Ezra Pound exhorted his generation to “Make it new!” and writers began the difficult work of tearing down a culture’s way of seeing, reading, and interpreting the world. Fueled by the catastrophe of the first world war, the technological innovations that were changing the texture of everyday life, and the recognition that nothing in the world was stable – not God, not knowledge, not the earth beneath them – modernists forged a literature that would force a new relationship with language itself, and thus with the changing reality of the twentieth century. In this class we’ll study the revolutionary ambition and aesthetic innovations of this remarkable literary movement. We’ll read works by Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, DH Lawrence, Jean Rhys, TS Eliot, and Nella Larsen, among others.

Course evaluation will be based on two papers, reading quizzes, and two exams.

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