This course will be less a comprehensive survey of twentieth century British novels than an approach to a series of questions revolving around the way certain major novelists have reflected on British history, and have attempted various constructions or (re)constructions of subjectivity, especially in the domain of national and sexual identities.
Eight novels will be read in depth, and in most cases (texts #1, 2, 4, 6 and 7), compared with their cinematographic adaptations (the relevant films will be screened): 1. D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love. (1920) 2. Virginia Woolf, Orlando. (1928) . 3. Samuel Beckett, Murphy. (1938). 4. Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. (1961). 5. Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook(1962). 6. John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman (1970). 7. Graham Swift, Waterland (1983) . 8. Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus (1984). Requirements for the course include at least one oral presentation on a passage from one novel; two short papers, five to eight pages in length (one of them will be a comparison of a novel and the film adapting it), and a final paper of about fifteen pages. There will also be a few
unannounced in-class quizzes. No final exam.
Note: This course, along with either English 45 or 55 (or 245 or 255), can be used to satisfy the English 203 (History of the British Novel) requirement.