LIT 203(S) Literary Movements: European Modernism: Modernity and Its Discontents

This course will explore literary modernism as an international phenomenon from 1860 to the 1930s. In the context of the profound social and historical transformations of Western culture in this period, we will examine the works of literary, cinematic and theoretical writers who have come to shape our "modernity"-our sense of ourselves, the worlds we create and live in, and especially our "time." Authors will include: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Shklovsky, Baudelaire, Dostoievsky, Proust, Kafka, Mann, Pirandello, Woolf, Beckett, and Benjamin. We will explore the modernists' imaginative formal responses to urban bureaucratic alienation, the personal and cultural resistances to the hegemony of positivist, instrumental rationality, the displacement of religion in modern life and the persistence of redemptive desires, the horror of world war, the shattering of an integrated self, the sense of irremediable break (desired and/or feared) with the past and also of the present, the sense of an inescapable inauthenticity of being in modernity, and the anguish in the failures and complicities of art. All readings in English. Principal requirements: 1-page email journals on ALL of the readings, one class presentation, one 6-page paper, and one final 10- to 12-page paper.