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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Postgraduate Course: Modernism, Myth, and Romance 1880-1940 (PG Version) (ENLI11214)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course addresses modernism's investment in traditional narrative forms of myth, romance, and folk tales, and the systems of thought that they embodied.
Course description Although the archetypal modernist statement was Ezra Pound's 'make it new,' much avant garde writing of the period looked to the past to understand the present. This re-evaluation of the archaic, and its tropes of ordeal, rebirth, and renewal, provided inspiration for writers wrestling with the challenges of modernity: alienation, technological acceleration, and the aftermath of the Great War; as well as de-colonial movements, the reimagining of gender roles, and the legacies of slavery. From the Celtic explorations of early W.B. Yeats to James Joyce's Homeric parallels, and from the Harlem Renaissance's adaptations of blues and jazz (rooted in West African cultural forms) to Virginia Woolf's recourse to English folk culture in the shadow of WWII, modernist writers' radical experiments in literary representation drew on the resources of the past. This course will therefore examine 'myth' and 'romance', not as a source of timeless archetypes representing an ahistorical human nature, but as a strategic resource on which writers draw in grappling with the disruptions and dislocations of modernity.

W.B. Yeats, The Major Works (1889-1939)
R.L. Stevenson, 'The Beach of Falesá' (1892); extracts from In the South Seas (1896)
H.D., Selected Poems (1914-1935)
James Joyce, chapters from Ulysses (1922)
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)
Scottish Renaissance (Hugh MacDiarmid, extract from A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle (1926); Nan Shepherd, poems from In the Cairngorms (1934))
Harlem Renaissance (selected folktales, poems, and prose works by Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes (1921 - 1942))
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts (1941)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate competency in core skills in the study of English Literature: essay-writing, independent reading, group discussion, small-group autonomous learning.
  2. provide informed analysis of Modernist prose and poetry, in writing and in discussion.
  3. demonstrate knowledge of the uses of myth, romance, and folk forms and sources in Anglophone texts over a 60 year period.
  4. demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on a variety of critical and methodological approaches to Modernist poetry and prose.
Reading List
Compulsory (nb, additional primary material will be made available):
W.B. Yeats, The Major Works ed. Ed Larrissy (Oxford University Press, 2008)
R.L. Stevenson, South Sea Tales ed. Rosyln Jolly (Oxford University Press, 1999)
H.D. Selected Poems ed. Louis Martz (Carcanet, 1989)
James Joyce, Ulysses: The 1922 Text ed. Jeri Johnson(Oxford University Press, 1993)
T.S. Eliot The Waste Land (available in The Norton Anthology of English Literature)
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts (Penguin, 1992)

Bell, Michael, Literature, Modernism and Myth. Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Castle, Gregory, Modernism and the Celtic Revival. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Jones, Peter, 'Introduction' to Imagist Poetry. London: Penguin Classics, 2001.
Kolocotroni, Vassiliki, et al (eds), Modernism: An Anthology of Sources and Documents. Edinburgh University Press, 1998.
Levenson, Michael, Cambridge Companion to Modernism. Cambridge University Press, 1999
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with ENLI10371
KeywordsMMaR,modernism,myth,romance,scottish literature,irish literature
Course organiserDr David Farrier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3607
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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