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Time Passages: The 20th Century British Novel

ENGL 265.301
instructor(s):
MW 3:30-5

Over the course of the twentieth century, the acceleration of communication, travel, and technological innovation-what some theorists have called "the compression of time and space"- has inspired writers to develop new and sometimes surprising approaches to time, place, and identity. In this course, we will read novels from across the century in which the "journey of life" is reimagined through narrative experiments. We will explore the ways in which authors depict tensions between the inevitability of change and the need for continuity; the links or disjunctions between age and identity; the implications of exile and migration; and the effects of historical, political and social changes on the construction of a coherent sense of self. Our authors may include Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Martin Amis, Kazuo Ishiguro, Graham Swift, Jeanette Winterson, and Angela Carter. We will also read essays by theorists such as Walter Benjamin, Georg Simmel, David Harvey, and Anthony Giddens. Requirements include active class participation, informal writing assignments, an in-class presentation, and two essays.