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Modernism Module, Spring 2003

This page contains the assignments from the Modernism module "Looming Moderns: Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Beckett" with links to the online readings and to supporting materials.

Friday, April 11

  • We will not have a class meeting today, as I will be giving a conference paper. Please read "The Twentieth Century" (anthology 1991) in preparation for the Modernism module.

Monday, April 14

  • James Joyce, "Eveline" (anthology 2277) and "Clay" (anthology 2280) from Dubliners (1914)

    • The Modern World, which produces excellent author pages, has an extensive one devoted to Joyce.

    • R.L. Callahan of Temple maintains Work in Progress, an excellent Joyce site including articles, maps of Joyce's Dublin, and much more.

    • Edward J. Maloney and David F. Fanning of Ohio State maintain the James Joyce Resource Center, with a bibliography of books, a timeline, and "casebooks" of references to Joyce scholarship grouped by critical approach.

    • Yet another very good site: The James Joyce Portal

Group I Response: open response.

Wednesday, April 16

  • Speeches on Irish independence (anthology 2233)

  • William Butler Yeats, "Easter 1916" (anthology 2249)

Group II Response: open response.

Friday, April 18

  • Joyce, "The Dead" (anthology 2284) from Dubliners (1914)

Group III Response: open response.

Monday, April 21

  • Joyce, Chapter 13 of Ulysses (1922, anthology 2312). Also look over the materials from Finnegans Wake (1939, anthology 2339) to get the flavor of them. Class discussion will concentrate on Ulysses.

    • The more you read and read about Ulysses, the more you will (might?) appreciate Ulysses for Dummies.

Group IV Response: open response.

Wednesday, April 23

  • T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1917, anthology 2347) and companion readings

Group V Response: open response.

Friday, April 25

  • Virginia Woolf, "The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection" (1929, anthology 2382)

Group VI Response: open response.

Monday, April 28

  • Woolf, first part of Mrs. Dalloway (1925, anthology 2387-2439)

Group I Response: This novel is famous for its virtuosic narration. Discuss the way Woolf creates action, the way the narration shifts from one topic to the next, or anything else about the way the story is told. Also, given the difficulty of following the novel on a first reading, please feel free to ask for clarifications.

Wednesday, April 30

  • Woolf, rest of Mrs. Dalloway (1925, anthology 2439-2485)

Group II Response: Follow the example of the last Frankenstein responses by discussing something we touched on in the first part of the novel that is developed or transformed in the latter part.

Friday, May 2

  • Woolf, from A Room of One's Own (1929, anthology 2486)

Group III Response: Discuss some aspect of the ways that Woolf employs the conventions of fiction to construct this lecture. Why is this more than a transcript of a political speech?

Monday, May 5


  • Samuel Beckett, Krapp's Last Tape (1958, anthology 2771)

    • Apmonia: a site for Samuel Beckett by The Modern World, has an impressive array of top-notch information available from its long front page, including a biography, articles, reviews, notes on productions, and an image gallery.

    • The University of California at Santa Barbara hosts The Samuel Beckett Endpage, a strong site although probably second to Apmonia.

Group IV Response: Discuss some aspect of the way that the specifically dramatic functions of this text work. You might discuss props, stage directions, directorial decisions, room for actors' decisions to come into play, or anything else that applies to this text that would not apply to non-dramatic fiction.

Wednesday, May 7

  • Beckett, Endgame (1958)

    Group V Response: Discuss any aspect of the play with an eye toward staging it; give an example, in other words, of a decision you would need to make in directing the play and what the decision would imply about your interpretation of Endgame.

    Friday, May 9

    Last day: wrapping up, questions about the final paper or exam, weeping.

    Friday, May 16


    Note: Please, please, please get these papers in on time. I am not allowed to accept any work after 5:00 on Friday of finals week, so there is not much leeway here. It is almost impossible to pass the class with no credit for the final paper.

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