Instructor: Prof. Janice Ho
This course focuses on one of the most central literary movements of the twentieth century: the emergence of modernism in Britain and Ireland, especially of “high modernism” during the period of 1910 to 1930. Novels written in this historically short, but aesthetically rich, period laid the ground for future novelistic innovations and represented a radical break from the traditional Victorian form of realism. We will focus on how these novelists reinvented the novel in an attempt to chart the myriad historical events occurring during this period—among them, the First World War, the enfranchisement of women, the beginnings of decolonization, the independence of Ireland, to name but a few of the most important. This course is interested in the inter-relations between the public and the private: that is to say, we will examine how public, historical events such as war and imperialism affected private notions of selfhood; but also how private experiences of subjectivity, domesticity, and sexuality critically engage with the larger socio-political issues of the time. We will be considering how modernist experiments in novelistic form were attempts to express and capture what seemed to be an unprecedented and unique modern world. Also, please note that since this is a class on the genre of the novel, the reading requirements are considerably heavy: you should expect to read up to 200 pages per week on some weeks. Some of the novels we may read include Ford Madox Ford's "The Good Soldier"; E.M. Forster's "A Passage to India," James Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," Rebecca West's "The Return of the Soldier," Elizabeth Bowen's "The Last September," and Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse."
Requisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (Juniors or Seniors).
Additional Information:Arts Sci Gen Ed: Distribution-Arts Humanities
Departmental Category: British Literature after 1660