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Lectures in Twentieth Century British Literature, 2

Year Minor
Reader Ioana Zirra
(General Presentation of the Lectures/Seminars)
Among the aims of this course of lectures for the second year English minor students are
!o orient students in their interaction "ith #ritish literature in the t"entieth century$ "hich
can %e regarded as indicated in the hand%oo& of the same title$ soon to %e made
a'aila%le as a "hole
!o ma&e students find their o"n "ay in English contem(orary literature %y negotiating
%et"een norms and trends$ on the one hand$ and the (articularities of actual modern
te)ts$ on the other hand*
!o de'elo( the students+ ca(acity of communicating and en,oying the act of reading
te)ts "hile %eing in the &no" a%out "hat they are doing %ecause that is "hat literature
does in (rinci(le*
!o encourage students and train them for reading the literary te)ts in the %i%liogra(hy in
English$ rather than in Romanian translation (or translated into any languages that
students feel more at home "ith for reading ra(idly)*
!o de'elo( in the students the s&ill of identifying "ith the intentional structure and
intentional o%,ects that each literary te)t (uts for"ard*
!o dri'e home the differences %et"een literary modernism$ neo-modernism and
(ostmodernism and gi'e the students a sense of "hat #ritish literature is$ as a "hole$ in
the t"entieth century*
!o connect literary te)ts to the social$ historical and literary conte)ts "hich (roduced
!o train students for "or&ing "ith t"entieth century literary te)ts inde(endently and
creati'ely in reading$ oral discussions and in "ritten assignments (in accordance "ith the
state of the art in essay-"riting)
!o satisfy the agenda (resented a%o'e$ the lectures and seminars "ill %e organi.ed as follo"s
!he lectures "ill co'er four teaching modules that re(resent themes of discussion meant to
co'er$ each$ chronologically the entire t"entieth century/ !his ena%les students to sur'ey the
English canon and the literary con'entions and conte)ts four times$ rather than ,ust once$
although each module contri%utes (articular to(ics to the discussion/ !hus$ the first module$
01hronicles of 2ar and E'il3 refers to a great num%er of authors and te)ts and d"ells longer
on4 0the s&eletons hidden in the modernist cu(%oard3/ It is the most im(ortant module %ecause
it introduces and e)(lains "hat "as ne" in modernism$ neo-modernism and (ostmodernism 5
in a century "hich$ according to the American art critic 6arold Rosen%erg$ "ho "rote in the
1789s$ introduced the 0tradition of the ne"3/ !he second module 0!he Im(erial #ritish Ethos and
Its 1ontestation3 com(ares three categories of te)ts one traditional $ E/:/ ;orster+s A Passage
to India$ one e)(erimental $ <ose(h 1onrad+s no'ella Heart of Darkness and one (ost-colonial/
!he aim of this module is to e)(lain the im(ortant issue of #ritish colonialism$ "hich in fact the
t"entieth century regards critically (as can %e seen in <ose(h 1onrad+s Heart of Darkness) and
to address (ost-colonial discourses "hich com%ine (olitics and literature/ Poetry$ "hich is
shorter$ and the (oetry in the Irish (ostcolonial s(ace$ "hich is %oth geogra(hically and
culturally closer to #ritain and the Eurocentric metro(olises$ can %e felicitously used for this
second (ur(ose/ Also$ Irish (oetry is im(ortant to &no" since the Irish (oet Seamus (i/e$ <ames)
6eaney recei'ed the =o%el Pri.e for literature in 1778 o"ing to the fact that he restored the
contem(orary "orld+s faith in (oetry/
Also$ since in our discussions of literary te)ts "e need to identify "ith the intrinsic intentional
structure/o%,ects$ the second theme/module is also im(ortant %ecause it demonstrates "hat is
s(ecific in the mechanisms of sym%olic t"isting and of literary defamiliari.ation ado(ted %y
<ose(h 1onrad %y com(arison "ith E/:/ ;orster in tal&ing a%out 3the same su%,ect3 (the
colonial theme)$ %oth of them/
!he third theme$ 0#ritish !radition Re'isited3 introduces the to(ic of #ritish identity$
fashiona%le in cultural studies no"adays$ from the (urely literary (oint of 'ie"/ !his module
sur'eys the forms that self-critical s&e(ticism ta&es and re'ie"s the forms of modernist$ neo-
modernist and (ostmodernist su%'ersion of tradition "hen regarded through its stale
con'entions/ !he e)cursus of this module raises the issue of the (ossi%le attitudes to tradition$
"hich need not %e as s&e(tical as indicated %y neo-modernist or (ostmodernist literature/
:o'ing e'en further a"ay from dominant t"entieth century s&e(ticism$ the ne)t theme
e)amines the a'atars of religion in the t"entieth century$ noticing ho"$ on this su%,ect$ literature
follo"s the same (ath$ from an ele'ated attitude in the modern religious dialogue to one less
and less ele'ated/ ;ollo"ing the classes of su%,ect and character ele'ation in =orthro( ;rye+s
Anatomy of Criticism$ this module demonstrates again the generali.ation of a lo"-mimetic s(irit
in matters related to religion in the mid-t"entieth century and the esta%lishment of irre'erence in
iconic re'ersals of 1hristian faith/ Students are in'ited to e)amine the intention of (articular
literary e)cer(ts from fiction "ith "hole (oems and/or scenes from (lays/
!he final theme/module is a sociology of literature section "hich com(letes the
(resentation of the t"entieth century literary canon "ith analy.ed documents a%out the =o%el
Pri.e a"ards to English-s(ea&ing literary authors and their discourses/ !he analyses of the
"riters+ discourses can also %e regarded as e)am(les of a((lying the information and conce(ts
introduced %y the courses/
!he indi'idual lectures "ill (ro'ide o(enings into the first four modules of the course$
focusing on e)(lanations of difficult conce(ts or te)t difficulties/ !he connection "ith the
seminars "ill %e su(er'ised during the entire semester$ %y chec&ing the students+ (ortfolios of
inde(endent "or&/ Seminars "ill %e dedicated to indi'idual te)ts in the %i%liogra(hy and they "ill
ha'e firstly a formati'e function$ %eing occasions for students to (erfect their ca(acity to
communicate a%out te)ts actually read %oth orally and in "ritten/
#ecause students are encouraged to choose "hich module they "ish to study
e)hausti'ely 5 and all students must study e)hausti'ely >=E module (one of the fi'e themes
dealt "ith in the taught course)$ choosing from the general %i%liogra(hy of the course the
rele'ant te)ts of (oetry$ fiction$ conce(tual (rose or drama$ the final e)am "ill ta&e into
consideration the thoroughly moti'ated indi'idual choices from the %i%liogra(hy/ >ne seminar
su%,ect "ill %e (ro(osed %y each of the instructors for the final e)am tic&et$ the other su%,ect
%eing in accordance "ith the choices from the module %i%liogra(hy/
Students+ >%ligations in Pre(aration for the ;inal E)amination and the Lecture/Seminar
Attendance (in @9A) (ro(ortion $ discussions and "riting are com(ulsory for the seminars/ Each
student shall (roduce a (rinted essay three and a half or four and a half (ages long (or$ in other
"ords$ B$999 or 7999 characters long) dealing "ith the to(ics set %y the seminar instructors in
conformity "ith the %i%liogra(hy and content of the taught course discussions/ Essays shall %e
su%mitted in the last seminar/ !he final essays shall %e (receded %y (re(aring and su%mitting
(lans of ideas to the seminar instructors* these "ill %e e)amined %y the instructors$ then
returned to students to add introduction and conclusion (lans* the final essay can only %e
"ritten after t"o (reliminary discussions of the (lans of ideas for the %ody of the essay$ the
introduction and conclusion/ PLEASE #E SCRE !6A! I= !6EIR ;I=AL ;>R:$ D>CR
2>RF->RFER >R >!6ER LA=GCAGE :IS!AGES I= !6E:/ In addition$ each student shall
ta&e do"n all the un&no"n "ords from the lecture notes or literary te)ts read in a (ortfolio/ !he
(ortfolio shall also demonstrate ho" students ad'ance in the understanding of the literary te)ts
in the %i%liogra(hy %y recogni.ing norms and forms of literary communication and the s(ecificity
of each literary te)t/ !he indi'idual (ortfolios may also %e reHuired for ins(ection %y the course
tutor during the lectures/
!he seminar mar& "ill %e the a'erage of your attendance and (artici(ation in the classes and
the mar& o%tained for the (lans of ideas and final assignments/ Its "eight in the final mar& is
I9A$ and all students "ho "ish to ta&e the final e)am should ha'e a seminar mar&/ Should the
final e)amination mar& not %e a (assing one$ the seminar acti'ity "ill not %e ta&en into
consideration$ though it "ill count for the future re-e)amination/
!he final e)am "ill %e oral and it "ill ta&e into consideration "hich "as the theme analysed in
de(th %y each student in the "ay the Huestion formulated on the tic&et from the course is
concei'ed/ !he other su%,ect on the final e)amination tic&et "ill %e from the seminar/
Ad'ice for the students inde(endent seminar "or&
!a&e do"n all the un&no"n "ords (and there "ill %e galoreJ) "ith %oth English-English
dictionary e)(lanations and Romanian translations/
Learn to organi.e your cons(ectuses so as to ma&e e'ident for any%ody the differences
%et"een literary te)ts/
Cse as many conce(ts from the glossary of terms at the end of the hand%oo& to
demonstrate your o"n understanding of the literary te)ts
!he %i%liogra(hy for seminars should %e read in ad'ance and the te)ts assigned ought
to %e on your des& during the seminars/
:a&e sure you %ecome acHuainted "ith the essay "riting techniHues and formal
reHuirements (the :LA standard) and that you o%ser'e them (it) in the assignments
%efore setting out to do the "or& and %efore handing it o'er to the seminar tutor/
1hec& the s(elling and correct structure of your sentences %efore handing in your
(rinted essays
1lose-&nit essays$ "hich underta&e to ans"er strictly the s(ecifications of the title 5 as if
they "ere rele'ant ans"ers to the Huestion(s) the title as&s 5 must find their o"n
introduction$ fitting the su%,ect tac&led and stating the theme or literary trend it is related
to/ 2hat ma&es essays %e close-&nit is the fact that the ideas in the %ody of the essay
deri'e logically from the introduction and from each other$ each (aragra(h %eing
dedicated to one$ ma)imum t"o ideas/ !he succession of the (aragra(hs in the %ody of
the essays is correct if it constructs a cumulati'e demonstration of the essay+s main
ideas %y using arguments from the te)t (namely$ enumerations of te)t elements or
Huotations "hich (ro'e the (oint made) or %y using arguments from the lectures or
secondary/reference %i%liogra(hy listed/ Ideally$ the em(irical facts o%ser'ed in the
literary te)ts should %e assem%led so as to e'o&e and ma&e a((lica%le the greatest
num%er of ideas regarding the theme$ trend or methodological conce(ts in the glossary
at the end of the hand%oo&/
!here are t"o "ays of (resenting the main ideas of an essay (a) %y stating them from
the %eginning$ (refera%ly at the end of the introduction* or %y (%)$ %y gradually
disco'ering them "hile follo"ing the de'elo(ment of the literary te)t analysed or "hile
ad'ancing "ith understanding of one+s su%,ect/ In the first case$ (a)$ the conclusion of
the essay assesses the e)tent to "hich the tas&s set %y the original thesis ha'e %een
(ro'ed in the essay-"or& itself/ In the second case$ (%)$ the conclusion is more im(ortant
than the introduction as it synthetically/orderly e)(resses the disco'eries made "hile
"riting the essay* it is a con'incingly and %eautifully e)(ressed summary of the ideas in
the %ody of the essay/ !he so-called (arate)tual a((aratus of the essay$ i/e/$ the notes
and %i%liogra(hy cannot %e missing/ In the :LA standard$ long Huotations from literary
or critical/theoretical te)ts must %e indented/ Short (t"o-line long) Huotations should %e
follo"ed %y %rac&ets indicating the name of the author follo"ed %y the (age$ or sim(ly
the (age$ if they refer to the same o'erall te)t that the essay analyses/ ;eel free to
create e'idence of your o"n$ ins(ired %y the literary te)t$ %y ideas in the literary criticism$
the lectures and the glossary$ and$ "hile %eing systematic$ %e as creati'e as you canJ At
the other e)treme$ attem(ts to (lagiari.e "ill %e se'erely (unished$ since the mere
re(roduction allegedly in one+s o"n name of information (roduced %y other (eo(le does
not de'elo( thin&ing %ut stultifies the mind* chec& (on the net) the regulations of the
;aculty and the Fe(artment regarding (lagiari.ing$ "hich can lead to students %eing
!he im(ortance of the seminar in res(ect to the final e)am$ in this disci(line$ is e)actly
li&e that of dress-rehearsals %efore final theatrical (erformances/
#i%liogra(hy for the Lectures
Please note that the (rinted course of your tutor$ Ioana Zirra$ British Literature in the Twentieth
Century: Themes, Paradigms, Authors, Approaches is in (rint at the Editura Cni'ersitatii
#ucuresti and "ill %e a'aila%le in a%out a fortnight/
Primary Texts:
#ec&ett$ Samuel$ aiting for !odot/ London ;a%er K ;a%er/ 17B9
1arter$ Angela/ "ights at the Circus/ London Picador/ 17@L
1onrad$ <ose(h/ Heart of Darkness$ in Green%latt$ Ste(hen (general editor)/ The "orton
Antho#ogy of $ng#ish Literature% Eolume ?/ =e" Dor&$ London 2/2/ =orton K
1om(any/?99M$ (/ 1@79-17LB
Eliot$ !/S/ The Comp#ete Poems and P#ays, &'(')&'*(/ =e" Dor& 6arcourt$ #race K
;orster$ E/:/ A Passage to India/ London Penguin/17@7
;o"les$ <ohn/ The +rench Lieutenant,s oman% London !riad Panther #oo&s/ 17@8
Golding$ 2illiam/ Lord of the +#ies%London Penguin- Perigee !rade/?911/
Gray$ Alisdair/ Lanark: A Life in +our Books/ London$ Glasgo"$ !oronto$ Sidney$ Auc&land
Paladin Grafton #oo&s/17@7
6eaney$ Seamus/ "ew -e#ected Poems 17MM-17@B/London$ #oston ;a%er K ;a%er$17@B
Ishiguro$ Ga.uo/ The .emains of the Day/ =e" Dor&$ London$ #oston ;a%er K ;a%er/ 17@7
:ahon$ Fere&/ 177I/ -e#ected Poems% London$ =e" Dor& Penguin #oo&s/
<oyce$ <ames/ A Portrait of the Artist as a /oung 0an/London Penguin 1lassics/ 177I
>r"ell$ George/ "ineteen $ighty)+our/London Penguin/17BL/
Smith$ Ste'ie/ "ew -e#ected Poems% =e" Dor& =e" Firections Pu%lishing/ 17@@/
Sto((ard$ !om/ .osencrant1 and !ui#denstern Are Dead/ London$ #oston ;a%er K ;a%er/
S"ift$ Graham / ater#and/ London Picador/ 17@I
!homas$ Fylan/ Co##ected Poems &'23)&'*2/ =e" Dor& Phoeni) 6ouse 5 E'eryman
Deats$ 2illiam$ #utler/ -e#ected Poetry/ London$ =e" Dor& Penguin/ 1771
2oolf$ Eirginia / 0rs% Da##oway/ London !auchnit./ 17IL
2oolf$ Eirginia / 4r#ando/ >)ford >)ford Cni'ersity Press/ ?999
Anthologies of Annotated Texts and Criticism
#roo&er$ Peter$ 2iddo"son$ Peter (eds/) A Practica# .eader in Contemporary Literary Theory/
London$ =e" Dor& Prentice 6all/6ar'ester 2hitesheaf/ 177M
;inneran$ Richard (ed)/The /eats .eader% A Porta5#e Compendium of Poetry, Drama and
Prose/ =e" Dor&$ London$ !oronto$ Sidney Scri%ner Poetry/ ?99?
Green%latt$ Ste(hen (general editor)/ The "orton Antho#ogy of $ng#ish Literature% Eolume ?/
=e" Dor&$ London 2/2/ =orton K 1om(any/?99M
=orth$ :ichael (ed)/ T%-% $#iot ) The aste Land% =e" Dor&/ London/ 2/ 2/ =orton K
Surdulescu$ Radu and #ogdan Stefanescu (eds)/ Contemporary Critica# Theories% A .eader$
#ucharest Pilot edition of the English Fe(artment of the Cni'ersity of #ucharest/ 1777
2hita&er$ !homas R/ Tom -toppard 6The 0odern Dramatists Series)/ London and
#assingsto&e :acmillan/ 17@I/
!tional "eference Boo#s
#roo&s$ 1leanth and Ro%ert Penn 2arren$ 7nderstanding Poetry/ =e" Dor& 6enry
6olt and 1om(any (re'ised edition$ 1789* >riginal edition$ 17I@)/ A'aila%le in the
common reading room of the li%rary do"nstairs/ E-%oo& e)cer(ts online at
;rye$ =orthro(/ Anatomy of Criticism/ London Penguin/ 1779/
6utcheon$ Linda/ A Poetics of Postmodernism% History% Theory% +iction% =e" Dor& and London
Lodge$ Fa'id/ The Art of +iction%London Penguin/ 177?/
Rycroft $ 1harles/ A Critica# Dictionary of Psychoana#ysis/ London and =e" Dor& Penguin/
2illiams$ Raymond/ Drama from I5sen to Brecht%6armonds"orth$ =e" Dor& Penguin #oo&s
/1hatto K 2indus/ 17BM
Indi'idual Lecturing !hemes
1Chronicles of $ar and %&il ' !he ;irst 2orld 2ar and Its Refle)es in Literature %y direct
res(onses to "ar in the Poems "ritten from the !renches and %y cry(tograms "hose affinities
"ith earlier history$ art history and (olitics com(licate the theme of "ar and change the canon
from traditional "riting in the high-mimetic$ lo"-mimetic and ironic 'ein to enigmatic modernist
cry(tograms (of "ar and e'il) / !he role of myth in fashioning literary enigmas A com(arison
%et"een 2/ # Deats+s 0!he Second 1oming3 and 0La(is La.uli3 (t"isted myth$ the first tri%utary
of English modernism)
? !he dramatic monologue tradition in 0!he Lo'e Song of </ Alfred Prufroc&3 and 0!he 2aste
Land3 (the second tri%utary of English modernism)
I =orms (theories$ theorems) and (ronuncements of the high modernists !/ S/ Eliot 0!radition
and the Indi'idual !alent3* Eirginia 2oolf 0 :odern ;iction3* <ames <oyce 0A Portrait of the Artist
as a Doung :an3 (an e)cer(t from cha(ter E)
( The a!!lication of the modernist norms in fiction: )irginia $oolf*s Mrs. Dalloway
+ The de!arture from the modernist norms in sermonic neo,modernist and early
modernist fiction
- The hushed, ha.y decentered !ers!ecti&e on e&il in the !ost,modernist war document:
/a.uo 'shiguro, The Remains of the Day0
B$@ 1orms of "eligious 2ialogue in Twentieth Century %nglish Literature !he Ritual and
the Sacramental Fimensions of Religion E'o&ed in Literature in the !"entieth 1entury !/ S/
Eliot+s Play 0urder in the Cathedra# and Fylan !homas+s Poem 0In the #eginning3 and Seamus
6eaney+s 0Lightenings3
Lo" :imetic Re(resentations of ;aith in !"entieth 1entury Fe%ates !/ S/ Eliot+s 0<ourney of
the :agi3$ 2/ #/ Deats+s 0!he :agi3$ Phili( Lar&in 01hurch Going3
7$ 19 The 'm!erial British %thos and 'ts 3Postcolonial4 Contestation ': !"o "ays of ma&ing
a case against colonialism in fiction A Passage to India and Heart of Darkness/ !he later (ost-
colonial 'oices of Irish nationalism 'ersus Anglo-Irish cosmo(olitanism in (oetry ( Seamus
6eaney 'ersus Fere& :ahon)
11$ 1? British Tradition "e&isited in Poetry, Postmodernist 2rama and 1iction: ;rom !/S/
Eliot+s 6igh 1omedy$ to Fomestic$ ;acetious$ 1arni'alesHue and #lac& 1omedy in !e)ts "hich
Recycle !radition/ !he 1om(arison "ith the =ostalgic :etafiction in Graham S"ift+s ater#and/

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