English 213A: Modernism and Postmodernism in British Literature
The British novelist, Virginia Woolf, once commented that “On or about December 1910 human nature changed.” We will begin this course with Howards End, a novel published that same year, and investigate what Woolf meant by such a declaration, and why it is relevant to the development of literary modernism and postmodernism during the twentieth century. We will read novels and short stories by British authors and consider them in relation to the major social, technological, and cultural changes in Britain during this period. The reading list for this course includes 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.
Required Texts (listed in order of reading) You must use these editions of the texts.
- M. Forster, Howards End, Penguin 9780141182131
Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories, Norton Critical Edition 0393925331
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 97801566289
Ian McEwan, Saturday, Random House 1-400076196
Zadie Smith, On Beauty, Penguin 0-14-303774-9