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Modernism's Kids: Children in Modernist Fiction
ENGL 348
Spring 2019 not offered

Modernist art--from the writings of Gertrude Stein to Picasso's painting--has frequently been derided as something that could be made by children. The gibe is, perhaps, to be expected. Central to the modernist project was the aim to re-create the world with the unrestrained and unfiltered vitality of children. The child embodies modernist hopes for a transformed future, but the child is also the repository of the past, of the more vital self each adult loses through their passage into adulthood. Representing the consciousness of children--and even, at times, inducing such a consciousness in its adult readers--is a strategy that informs a wide range of modernist texts.

This course will explore the fascination with and investment in children in Anglophone modernist prose by authors based in Europe. In addition to exploring the central role that child characters play in many key modernist novels, we will explore the way in which ideas about childhood inform authorial experiments with form and narrative voice. To inform this inquiry, we will read selections from texts in philosophy and psychology and psychoanalysis that were influential in shaping modernist conceptions of language, culture, consciousness, and the human life cycle. Finally, we look at a selection of children's books written by modernist authors and investigate their relationship to children's literature of the period.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on JUN-13-2024
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