English | Literary Modernism
L380 | 26970 | Judith Brown
L380 LITERARY MODERNISM
26970 – 4:00p-5:15p TR (30 students) 3 cr., A&H.
T. S. Eliot writes: “The artist, I believe, is more primitive, as
well as more civilized, than his contemporaries, his experience is
deeper than civilization, and he only uses the phenomena of
civilization in expressing it.” In this course we will consider
Eliot’s statement as an introduction to the wider themes and logics
of modernism that include a vision of the modern artist as prophet,
anthropologist, critic of and apologist for the imperialist
enterprise, and as a voice of “civilization.” We will consider the
various constructions of gender, sexual identity, and race in
modernist works, and think about how modernism constitutes itself by
simultaneously embracing and distancing itself from notions of the
primitive. We will pay particularly close attention to literary
form and the revolutionary goals of modernist aesthetics. Our
readings will include works by Joseph Conrad, Gertrude Stein, T.S.
Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Claude McKay, William Faulkner, among others.
Students should be prepared to read work designed to be difficult.
Course work will include two exams and two papers.