Romantic-Era Extremities: Madness, Revolution, Sublimity, and the Celtic Fringe|
Spring 2018 not offered
This course examines the Romantic fascination with psychological, political, aesthetic, and geographical extremes. We will explore how Romantic writers, who were by turns attracted and repelled by these extremities, found literary means of investigating and representing them. In the process, they refashioned forms such as the Gothic tale and verse narrative, and they reconsidered artistic categories such as sublimity, disorder, and fragmentation. Some questions we will ask include, How did the idea of extremity shape Romantic ideas about literary form? How did various sorts of extremity become aligned with one another? How did writers present the relationship between the center and the periphery, between norm and deviation? Were extreme experiences or states of being, whether individual or collective, aberrant parts of life, or were they intrinsic to what it meant to be human, or to be a society? Did extremity offer wisdom as well as danger, and, if so, how were the two related to one another? Might one grow from extremity toward a maturity that was at once stable and wiser for having ventured into those dangerous places?
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|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Brit Lit)
Poetry by Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, and others.
Austen, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Prose by Smith, Burke, Radcliffe, Godwin; and much more.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Two essays (5 p.), midterm and final exams. This course also carries a research option.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course satisfies the English Department's History II requirement for the major and the research option requirement for senior thesis writers.. Pre-requisite overrides will be granted to students with any 200-level English course. There is very little overlap between this course and ENGL288: Romantic Poetry. Some texts, such as TINTERN ABBEY, are read in both courses but in very different contexts.