Course description: This course involves extensive reading of high-modernist
British fiction by Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, and Woolf; we also will read not-so-high
novels by Forster, Waugh, Greene, and Rhys. We will focus on ideas and aesthetic
beliefs as demonstrated in modernist stylistic innovations and in typical themes
such as the artist’s development, religious loss, and gender conflict.
As a small, speaking-intensive course, this class also requires that students share their words and ideas, in class discussion and in scheduled presentations. We will encourage one another consciously in clear and confident speaking; students will meet with each other in small groups to practice and to give feedback on one another's speaking.
Course goals: The student successfully completing this course will be able
--read and understand some of the significant novels of early twentieth-century Britain;
--grasp some patterns of thought and aesthetics in literary modernism;
--explain and debate these ideas with precision, clarity, and confidence;
--enjoy the beauty and challenge of great novels.
Texts: Please endeavor to find the correct editions. Most are available in
Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Dover)
Joyce, Ulysses: The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler (Vintage/Random)*
Lawrence, Sons and Lovers (Viking Penguin)
Woolf, To the Lighthouse (Harcourt/Brace pb)
Forster, Howards End (Dover)
Greene, The End of the Affair (Penguin 20th century classics)
Waugh, Decline and Fall (Little, Brown / Back Bay pb)
Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight (WW Norton/trade paper)
Recommended: Blamires, The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses (3rd edition)
*You MUST possess your own copy of the Gabler edition of Ulysses.
A. To read each novel carefully and come to class prepared to discuss it.
B. To give two oral reports on the dates scheduled.
C. To write one thoughtful and meticulous paper and turn it in as scheduled.
D. To take two examinations according to the scheduled dates.
Grades: Reading quizzes 10%
In-class discussion and group participation 10%
Ulysses presentation 15%
Outside novel paper and presentation 30%
Midterm and final examinations (20% each) 40%
Attendance: Regular, prompt attendance is expected. Two tardies or early-leavetakings = one absence. Because of our unusual once-a-week meeting schedule, any student who misses two class meetings will be dropped from the roll. This rule does apply to students who add late.
Assessment of oral communication competency: Your speaking grades will be based on the following criteria: evident preparedness (including following presentation requirements for time and content); comprehension of the material; organization; use of the texts as evidence; delivery; and growing fluency in response to questions, whether in the general class discussion or following a presentation.
Honor policy: All work in this class should be governed by the UNCG Academic Integrity Policy. I consider the use of Cliff’s Notes or any crib resource a violation of this policy. Any work falsely submitted as your own will receive an F and will subject you to University disciplinary procedures.
Schedule (subject to revision): You should read the introduction to each novel.
8/17 Introduction to modern fiction & Heart of Darkness
8/24 Heart of Darkness; Sons and Lovers, Intro and Part I
8/31 Sons and Lovers (rest); sign up for Ulysses chapter presentation
9/7 Ulysses, Chapters 1-8
9/14 " 9*, 10, 11,* 12,* 13*
9/21 " 14,* 15*
9/28 " 16, 17*
10/5 " 18*; Midterm examination (latter 75 minutes)
Last day to drop without penalty: Fri., 10/7
10/12 To the Lighthouse / Sign up for outside-novel report.
10/19 Howards End
10/26 Outside novel reports
11/2 Outside novel reports
11/9 Decline and Fall
11/16 Good Morning, Midnight
11/23 Thanksgiving holiday
11/30 The End of the Affair
Paper due by Wed., 12/7, 5 p.m.
Final examination: Mon., 12/12, 12-3 p.m.