European Modernism

This course explores major themes in European modernism. Class discussions focus on the following themes: the preoccupation with historicity; the mobilization of anachronistic structures and ghostly temporalities by the avant-garde; the ethics of forgetting and encyclopaedic form. Authors included in the syllabus are T. S. Eliot, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce and Pirandello. (Offered at the University of Perugia)

  1. Introduction: Overview and aims of the Course
  2. Modernism: Tradition and Historicity 
    1. Reading:
      • T.S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”;
      • Paul de Man, “Literary History and Literary Modernity”
  3. T.S. Eliot: the demands of tradition
  • “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
  • The Waste Land
  • Little Gidding
    1. Supplementary materials:
      • T.S. Eliot, Dante (the essay)
  1. Haunted Historicity: Ghostly Modernisms
  • The Spiritualist Temptations of Modernism (Pirandello’s Mattia Pascal)
  • Joseph Conrad and the madness of the time: The Secret Agent
  • Joyce’s ghostly temporalities (Ulysses IX; Finnegans Wake I.7 [excerpt from the Haunted Inkbottle])
    1. Supplementary materials:
      • Helen Sword, Ghostwriting Modernism
  1. Revisions of courtly love, or the love song of J. Augusta Joyce
  • Giacomo Joyce
  • Finnegans Wake II.4
    1. Supplementary materials:
      • Excerpts from A Portrait of the Artist

Course site at UniPg