This quarter we will be reading novels and short stories, written by British and Irish authors during the twentieth century. We will consider the development of literary modernism early in the century, and the later emergence of post-modernism after World War II in relation to major social, technological, and cultural changes of the times. One particular emphasis of the class will be on the role of art and the artist in modern life; another will be on how the content and structure of many texts reveal anxiety over new attitudes towards sexuality and gender roles.
The reading list for this course includes some texts that are well known for their complexity, daring and innovation. You may find that you need to read some of them more than once in order to grasp their multi-layered structures of meaning.
Texts: D.H. Lawrence, Short Stories; Katherine Mansfield, Selected Short Stories; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Graham Swift, Waterland; Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body; Ian McEwan; Saturday