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19th Century British Poetry

ENGL 253.301
TR 10:30-12

Extensive reading in major 19th century and early 20th century non-fiction prose writers, plus two novels of "ideas": Dickens' Hard Times and Forster's Howards End. Major topics will include the "art"of Victorian prose, the development of a tradition critical of contemporary civilization, and attitudes of the various authors towards topics such as literature, education, capitalism and religion. Without imposing a false "relevance" on the course, there will be a recurrent emphasis on how the Victorian sages first grappled with the problems of "modernity," how they attempted to frame them imaginatively and intellectually, and how their views continue to influence our own attitudes-- for example, on environmentalism. Apart from the final exam, two papers will be required: a shorter one closely analyzing the art of a short prose passage, the second and longer one developing a theme in Victorian culture.