We will read a variety of poems and fictional works from France, Germany, England, and the U.S. in order to get a sense of the complex phenomenon called "Modernism." Modernism is a style, or cluster of styles, of writing that flourished from roughly 1910-1930, but the beginnings of which can be traced to France in the mid-19th century. Modernist writers explored areas of experience that literature had formerly neglected (extreme or even pathological states of mind, commonplace things and people, sexuality and other corporeal processes, and so forth), and in the course of this exploration they moved away from traditional literary forms, inventing radically new forms (of which the most familiar are free verse and stream of consciousness).
The first half of the course will be on the poetry of Baudelaire, Rilke, and T. S. Eliot; the second half on fictional works by Kafka (The Metamorphosis), Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway), and Camus (The Stranger). You do not need to know anything about how to read poetry; I will teach you everything you need to know.
There will be a 2-3 page paper on Baudelaire due the second week (worth 20% of your grade); a 4-5 page mid-term paper on Rilke and Eliot (40 %); and a final, 4-5 page, paper on modernist fiction (40%). Your entire grade will be based on these three papers.
Baudelaire, poems (xerox)
Rilke, poems (xerox)
Eliot, Selected Poems
Kafka, The Metamorphosis
Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Camus, The Stranger
The work of Baudelaire and Rilke will be available in a course packet from the Ave. Copy Center, 4141 University Way (known as ―the Ave.‖). It‘s below street level, located beneath the University Credit Union. The other texts (Metamorphosis, Mrs. Dalloway, and The Stranger) will be available at the University Bookstore. I strongly recommend you buy the editions that I‘ve ordered for you; otherwise you won‘t have the same page numbers, and it will be hard for you to follow class discussion of the text.