English 150

Senior Seminar: The Modern Novel of Consciousness

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
11 Spring 2007 Hale, Dorothy J.
Hale, Dorothy
TTh 2-3:30 305 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

James, H.: Tales of Henry James; Joyce, J.: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Ford, F.M.: The Good Soldier; Woolf, V.: Mrs. Dalloway and The Waves; Faulkner, W.: The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying; Robbe-Grillet, A.: Jealousy and For a New Novel


" The representation of consciousness is as old as the novel itself?but new beliefs about the nature of the mind convinced many twentieth-century writers that the novel as a genre required reinvention. In this senior seminar, we will ask why for modernists such as James, Woolf, Joyce, and Faulkner the perfection of the novel as a genre lay in the representation of characterological consciousness, and why the task of representing consciousness demanded radical technical innovation. Most of our attention will be given to the careful reading of difficult experimental novels. We will consult key philosophers and psychologists?particularly Freud, Bergson, and W. James?to consider the relation between contemporary theories of the mind and the fictionalized consciousnesses they inspired. We will also consider how the call for a new novel, issued by the novelists themselves in aesthetic manifestoes, relates to recent narratological and sociological analyses of this experimental genre.

Our course reading will be the jumping-off point for the research paper (15-20 pages) that is due at the end of the term. Other required assignments include a prospectus, bibliography, and full rough draft of the final essay. "

Back to Semester List