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No Way Home: Domesticity and Modern Literature
ENGL 270
Fall 2007
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: COL 271

The early 20th century, situated between an expiring Victorianism and the beginnings of Modernity, witnessed a battle over the very nature of domesticity. This battle was played out in popular culture, in politics, in the sciences--and in the British novel. The famous battle between Virginia Woolf and Arnold Bennett, possibly the most popular novelist of his time, has to be read in the context of a larger debate: What constitutes the life of the home? What are the limits of human privacy? What are the limits of fiction in addressing these questions? In this course, we will examine these problems systematically in three large units. In the first, we will consider Edwardian responses to changing ideas of the home life. Arnold Bennett's great but infrequently read novel THE OLD WIVES' TALE will be at the center, but we will also consider the fiction of James, Forster, and Wells. Part two will look at the problem more broadly and through other discourses: aesthetics, psychoanalysis, socialism and feminism. Readings will be divided evenly between theoretical writers like Freud, Raymond Williams, and Rita Felski, and literary authors like Wilde, Shaw, and Kate Chopin. Part three will then focus on a single author, Virginia Woolf, drawing on her work in the novel and essay, as modern debate about the nature of home life.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-22-2024
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