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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2008


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35720 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
CRD 007B

Course Description

Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, Woolf We will read, discuss, and write about two or three classic works by each of four major writers from roughly the first third of the last century. These writers were crucial in making the break in Great Britain with Victorian literature and constituting what has come to be known as "modernism." Among the multiple goals of our class are the following: to gain a detailed critical understanding of the texts themselves; to place those works in their cultural and historical contexts; to acquire some sense of the major critical responses to the writers and their works; to formulate an empirically grounded, working definition of "modernism"; and to enhance students' critical vocabulary, critical skills, and ability to write well about literature. Toward these ends, we'll adopt the following classroom procedures. As we begin a writer or a work, there will be brief lectures on literary and historical backgrounds. Then, we will devote ourselves to close, detailed analysis of the texts. Along the way, we will read and assess personal declarations made by the authors themselves, critical comments ranging from contemporary reactions to recent perspectives and revaluations, and, more generally, statements seeking to define and evaluate literary modernism. Many of the "secondary" materials will be available in a photocopy packet. The end result, for students, should be concrete familiarity with several major texts, a grasp of how those texts relate to the cultural matrix from which they emerged, and an informed sense of the goals, forms, and strategies of the writers and works now called "modernist." Texts: Please get the editions ordered through the Co-op, so that we may all have the same paginations, and because some editions are critical editions with essays and other apparatus. It would give us a fast start if students could [re]read Conrads Heart of Darkness before the beginning of class. Conrad: Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim Joyce: Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Lawrence: The Rainbow, Women in Love Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, A Room of Ones Own Requirements and Grading: Grades will be based largely on four writing requirements: an essay on an aspect of the work of each of our four writers. The essays should be 4-6 pages in length, about a topic that we have discussed outside of class and that I have approved. Both informed class participation and regular attendance are presumed.


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