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Victorian Schisms

ENGL 556.301
instructor(s):
R 3-6

 

Nostalgic critics look back on Victorian writers as austere authorities, but the most memorable Victorian literature is an exercise in self-division. We shall examine the ways in which literature thrives on battle, with itself and with other authors. Works we shall read include such embattled poems as Tennysons Maud, Matthew Arnolds Empedocles on Etna, Robert Brownings The Ring and the Book and Elizabeth Barrett Brownings Aurora Leigh; and such self-divided novels as Dickens Bleak House, Stevensons Jekyll/Hyde, and Wildes The Picture of Dorian Gray. Each student will present at least one oral report to the class and will write a 10-20 page paper on a schismatic Victorian work outside the syllabus.