Syllabus for a Tutorial Class in Modern English Literature, Second Year’s Work
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[ 589 Syllabus for a Tutorial Class in Modern English Literature, Second Year’s Work London: University of London Press, 1917.1 MODERN ENGLISH LITERATURE I. EMERSON Characteristics of New England literature of the time. Emerson’s relation to English men of letters. The society in which he lived. Religious and philosophical environment: Unitarianism and Transcendentalism. Emerson’s style as an essayist. His aloofness; contrast with Carlyle, Arnold, and Ruskin. Quality of his thought. Read: Essays, Nature, and The Conduct of Life. Emerson as a poet. Read Selected Poems. Suggested Reading: Thoreau, Walden;Hawthorne,TheScarletLetter;chapterinGreatWritersofAmerica, in the “Home University Library.” II. WILLIAM MORRIS Original impulse and meaning of “Pre-Raphaelitism.” His relation to Ruskin. Morris’s life and personality. His place as a poet; obligations to Tennyson. His mediaevalism. Morris as a ballad writer and as a writer of narrative verse. Read: Selections from the Defence of Guenevere and from the Earthly Paradise. Morris’s attitude towards art. His experiments; beginnings of the arts and crafts movement. Read: Hopes and Fears for Art, Architecture, Industry, and Wealth. Signs of Change. Morris as a prose writer. His prose romances. Read: The Roots of the Mountains. The Glittering Plain. Morris’s social philosophy. Communism. Comparison with Ruskin. His original contribution towards social progress. Read: News from Nowhere, A Dream of John Ball. III. DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI Transition of the mediaeval movement in literature from Ruskin to Rossetti. Rossetti the individualist, and detached artist. Temperament. His use of ballad form. Read: The Blessed Damozel, The White Ship. 1917: Journalism 590 ] Rossetti as poet and painter. His aesthetic creed. Read: The House of Life. IV. SWINBURNE The pure romantic. Relation to Pre-Raphaelitism. “Paganism.” His early attitude. His championship of liberty. Merits and faults of his poetry. Read: Selections from Poems and Ballads, Atalanta in Calydon, selections from Songs Before Sunrise. Swinburne as prose writer. Comparison with Shelley, as a poet. V. WALTER PATER The pure aesthete: “art for art’s sake.” Qualities of his style; its elaborateness . His works of imagination, his criticism, and his gospel of life. His influence. His enthusiasm for art at the opposite pole from Ruskin’s, though both react against industrialism. Read: Studies in the Renaissance (especially the Conclusion), Imaginary Portraits. VI. SAMUEL BUTLER A solitary figure, neglected until he received the enthusiastic praise of Shaw. His eccentric career. Versatility: Butler is important for his theories of Evolution, his social satires, his novels, and for his ideas on all subjects as found in his Note-Books. Complete independence of mind. No political , social, or literary movement to forward. Short sketch of his theory of Evolution, opposed to Darwinism. Read: Life and Habit. Butler’s social satires. His influence upon Shaw. His wit. His philosophy of life. Read: Erewhon. Butler as a novelist. Read: The Way of All Flesh. Butler’s criticism of art, science, literature, life. His greatness as a satirist. Read: Selections from the Note-Books. Also suggested: Bernard Shaw’s Cashel Byron’s Profession, An Unsocial Socialist; Gilbert Cannan’s Satire. VII. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON A dilettante of letters. His reputation as a prose writer. Influence of Meredith.Characteristicsofhisgeneration:StevensonandHenley.Hisstyle, and rank as a novelist. The novel of adventure: a predecessor of the sevenpenny , but better written: comparison with the popular novels of a previous generation.Stevensonandtheshortstory.Read:TreasureIsland,Kidnapped, Markheim. Stevenson as an essayist and letter writer. His philosophy of life. Read: Vailima Letters, Travels with a Donkey, Virginibus Puerisque. Stevenson as a poet. Read: A Child’s Garden, collected Poems. [ 591 Syllabus: Modern English Literature, Second Year VIII. THE “NINETIES” Characteristics of the group of the “Yellow Book.” Influence of Walter Pater. Their attitude toward life. Some personalities: Wilde, Ernest Dowson, Lionel Johnson, Aubrey Beardsley, Francis Thompson, W. B. Yeats, and BernardShaw(inhisearlierphase).The“CelticMovement”:Yeats,Synge,A. E., Fiona Macleod. Read: Oscar Wilde: Intentions, The Importance of Being Ernest, The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Selected poems of Dowson, Johnson, Thompson,Symons,Yeats,Davidson.Synge:ThePlayboyoftheWesternWorld. IX. THOMAS HARDY Hardy’s conception of tragedy: comparison with Greek tragedy. Importance of the local background of his novels: studies of the effect of circumstance and environment upon character. Relation of man to the world: necessity and chance. The naturalistic attitude in modern fiction and verse. Hardy’s philosophy as seen in his poems. Read: Poems (Selections). Hardy as a prose master. Irony, and absence of humour. His style. Relation of plot to character. Analysis of some leading characters. Read: Jude the Obscure, The Return of...


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