Dates: 10, 17, 24, 31 May 2019
Fridays: 10.30 – 12.30
Course code: 18TON384
This course looks at The Waste Land and Four Quartets by T S Eliot and Orlando and The Waves by Virginia Woolf, considering them in the context of the Modernist Experiment.
“On or about December 1910, human character changed.” The outbreak of modernism in England during the early twentieth century is defined by the shared interest of modernist writers to cut ties with established forms and subjects embraced by their Victorian predecessors. Modernist poets mixed informal and elevated language, experimented with free verse, and presented complex allusions and fractured images. Novelists similarly experimented with form and technique, moving away from the narratives of the nineteenth century to create new forms of expression.
This course looks at two major figures of the modernist period, exploring the themes and techniques which they embraced. The first half of the course is dedicated to T S Eliot, looking at The Waste Land and Four Quartets. The second focuses on Virginia Woolf, considering two of her experimental novels: Orlando, dedicated to Knole and Vita Sackville West, and The Waves where her experimentation with the stream-of-consciousness technique could be said to reach its climax. Through close readings of these two important writers, we will attempt to gain an understanding of the techniques and preoccupations of Modernism, and stimulate interest in other works of the period.
Week 1: T S Eliot, The Waste Land
Week 2: T S Eliot, Four Quartets
Week 3: Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Week 4: Virginia Woolf, The Waves
This course is suitable for beginners, intermediates or advanced students.
This course allows you to spend time exploring a subject for interest, among like-minded people, without formal assessment.
Intended learning outcomes
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- engage with the works of two key writers of the modernist period.
- examine the selected texts in the light of their socio-historical context and literary experimentation.
- interpret literary texts in a critical way, illustrating arguments with carefully chosen examples.
- demonstrate knowledge through the construction of critical arguments and present and defend those arguments.
About the tutor
Sarah Anthony studied for her Masters degree with the Open University specialising in postcolonial nineteenth century literature. For the last 12 years she has taught undergraduate students and adult learners in courses ranging from Shakespeare to the postmodern. She currently teaches for the University of Kent and the WEA.