Upper Level English and Writing Studies Special Topics Courses
English and Writing Upper Level Special Topics Courses
To see what special topics courses are being offered in Literary Perspectives (ENG 110), please go to the ENG 110 topics page.
ENG 421: History of the English Novel II
In her essay "Modern Fiction,” Virginia Woolf contends that "for the moderns, the point of interest [in a story] lies very likely in the dark places of psychology. At once [Woolf argues] a different outline of form becomes necessary, difficult for the reader to grasp, incomprehensible to our predecessors.” The point that Woolf makes here is that works of modern fiction focus not so much on the external happenings or events in a character's life, but rather on what the author wishes to reveal about the psychology of his characters. This mode of storytelling—with its emphasis on psychology—demands that the modernist author invent new modes of fiction, or different ways of narrating his character’s life. For the modern novelist, the traditional omniscient narrative is replaced with impressionism, expressionism and stream of consciousness as the “new” form of the modern novel takes shape. This course traces the attempts of several modern authors whose approach to fiction enabled them to reshape the narrative patterns of the modern English novel. Students can expect to acquire a familiarity with the thematic, aesthetic, and philosophical assumptions that underlie modernist fiction.