This course will look at various literary, historical, and philosophical texts, taking metaphor as a starting point to consider modernity. Modern rhetoric, from philosophy to physics, elicited calls for both the elimination and elaboration of metaphor in different disciplines, and even when metaphor remained indispensable, it was approached with an even greater skepticism. At the same time, though, metaphors helped explain the new sciences, new technologies, and new cultures which forever changed the way we saw the world. Critical readings include: Aristotle, Locke, Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Jameson, and Derrida. Literary readings, including both fiction and poetry: Dickens, Melville, Yeats, Eliot, Stevens, Kafka, Woolf, Joyce, Stein, and Barth.