This course will be less a comprehensive survey of twentieth century British novels than 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. Seven novels will be read carefully and discussed: 1. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1914). 2. D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love (1920). 3. Woolf, Orlando (1928). 4. Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938). 5. Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1962). 6. John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969). 7. Graham Swift, Waterland (1983).
Five novels (#2, 3, 5, 6 and 7) will be compared with their cinematographic adaptations (the relevant films will be screened). The format of the class will be partly lecture, partly in-class discussion from oral presentations given by students. Requirements for the course include at least one oral presentation (a reading of one passage from a 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.