The Lost Generation: Americans in Paris in the 1920s

"You young people who served in the war – you are all a lost generation.” (Gertrude Stein). This course looks at the American writers who lived in Paris in the 1920s including work by Fitzgerald and Hemingway, and their controversial French contemporary Colette.

Dates: 7, 14, 21, 28 February 2019

Thursdays: 10.30 – 12.30

Course code: 18TON372

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This is a revised repeat of a similar course held in 2010.

"You young people who served in the war – you are all a lost generation.” (Gertrude Stein). This course explores the work of Americans living in Paris in the 1920s, including Fitzgerald and Hemingway,  and their controversial French contemporary Colette, author of Cherie

The term ‘Lost Generation’ is attributed to Gertrude Stein and refers to the group of young American intellectuals who came to maturity in or just after World War I and who lived in Paris from the end of the war until the start of the Great Depression. The 1920s was a decade of disillusionment and shattered dreams as well as a time of change and increased freedom of expression. Writers of the day were stirred to articulate and reflect the mood of the people. This course will look at a sample of the writing of significant members of the Lost Generation and one of their European contemporaries: the remarkable French writer, Colette. 

Required reading in weekly order

Week 1: Introduction and extracts of poetry and prose (handout in class).

Week 2: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and the Damned, and The Great Gatsby.

Week 3: Ernest Hemingway, ‘Soldier’s Home’ and ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ (photocopies of these 2 short stories will be available on request).

Week 4: Colette, Chérie.

Additional information

No prior knowledge needed.

The course is suitable for beginners, as well as students with some prior knowledge.

This course allows you to spend time exploring a subject for interest, among like-minded people, without formal assessment.

There will be discussion activities during the course or between sessions.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • have a clear idea of what is meant by the term ‘lost generation’ and be able to put the writing into historical context.
  • identify and be able to discuss the key issues that the texts address.
  • analyse the writing, identifying modernistic techniques and their effectiveness in creating a sense of their times.

    About the tutor

    Denyse Straker studied for her BA through the University of Kent’s part-time programme at the Tonbridge Centre. She went on to do a research MA on depictions of child abuse in literature at the School of European Culture and Languages in Canterbury. She has been teaching Comparative Literature at Kent since 2001, and has taught a wide range of topics on the short course programme at Tonbridge as well as on undergraduate courses at Canterbury.  She is particularly interested in American Literature and Women’s Studies as well as specialising in Travel Literature.

    Location

    Tonbridge
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    Time

    to

    £ Cost

    £60

    Contact

    Tonbridge Centre
    tonbridgeadmin@kent.ac.uk
    +44(0) 1732 352316