Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Topics in Modern British Novel

ENGL 265.910
instructor(s):
TR 6-9:10

How did one go about writing a novel in this century? How did the novelist respond to the (perceived) pressures of the past and the (seeming) demands of the present? Given the unprecedented social upheavals in this century, what could the novelist do to address or encompass these changes in his or her writing? In this course, we will read several representative examples of the British and Irish novel, and we will see the various responses to the artistic, political, and ethical challenges of the twentieth century. In addition to this emphasis on the history of novelistic form (and how this history is bound up with other fundamental changes and events), we will consider several critical watchwords: "author," "narrator," "self/other," "text," "nation," "representation," "literature," and even "novel." We will read works by Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, Waugh, Fowles, Byatt, Ackroyd, and Ishiguro; we will write and revise several essays.