This course is meant to introduce the students to the major debates of the literary movement of Modernism in the early-mid 20th century. The selection of texts represents the range of experimentation with form and content that the movement exhibited. The texts emerge from as varied a set of places as Germany and Argentina, England and Russia, and Romania and Ireland, testifying to the transcontinental nature of the movement. The background readings from Bertolt Brecht, Frederic Jameson and Henri Bergson help us understand the new equations of the formal and the thematic that Modernism brought about.
Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage
Eugene Ionesco, Rhinoceros
Virginia Woolf - To the Lighthouse
James Joyce - The Dead (from The Dubliners)
Jorge Louis Borges – "The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim", "The Garden of Forking Paths", " The Library of Babel", "The Secret Miracle".
T.S. Eliot - The Wasteland
Wilfred Owen – “Dulce et decorum est”, “A Terre”
Anna Akhmatova – “The Muse”, “Epigram”, “In Memoriam, July 19, 1914”
W. B. Yeats – “Leda and the Swan”, “Among School Children”
Bertolt Brecht, ‘The Street Scene’, ‘Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction’, and ‘Dramatic Theatre vs Epic Theatre’, in Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic, ed. and tr. John Willet (London: Methuen, 1992) pp. 68–76, 121–8.
Henri Bergson, 1913 'The Intensity of Psychic States' in Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness, George Allan & Company: London.
Fredric Jameson, 'Introduction' to The Modernist Papers, Verso: 2007.
Mid-semester - Written Assignment (Choice between 10 questions) - 1500 words
Final Submission - Written Assignment (Question decided individually for candidates in consulation with the instructor) - 2500 words