Thursday, February 15, 2007

Mid-Term Topics

See the Course Syllabus for the assignment criteria.

  1. Author Marie Corelli enjoyed overwhelming popularity in all class levels in Britain, from Royalty to maids-of-all-work, and her fiction was admired by some of the literary notables among her contemporaries. Yet for all that, she was nearly universally despised among critics, and remains practically unknown today. From your recent reading of, and course lectures on, Sorrows of Satan, analyse Corelli's literary qualities in terms of the text's relation to World War I, and render your own critical judgement of its literary merit.
  2. Understanding Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room as an Impressionist rendering of fragments of experience, select any one fragment -- in length from one to three pages of text -- and give a close reading of its Modernist form. Organise your close reading around your own critical stance toward both the Modernist project and Virginia Woolf's upper-middle-class resentments and condescensions.
  3. In his "Author's Introduction" to The General, C.S. Forester notes wryly that Adolf Hitler misread, perhaps to his own eventual cost, the book's portrayal of the British officer class at the time both leading up to and during the First World War. Concentrating on the narrational comments outside the dialogue, give your understanding of Forester's double-edged representation of the British Officers' conduct and character.
  4. Open Topic. No later than February 21st, receive approval in writing of a hard copy of a thesis paragraph of your own devising that sets up a scholarly analysis of the course authors, texts and ideas.

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