English 246K

Literature in English, 1900-1945


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2010 Goble, Mark
Goble, Mark
TTh 9:30-11 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

James, H.: "In the Cage"; Dos Passos, J.: Manhattan Transfer; Crane, H.: The Complete Poems of Hart Crane; Fitzgerald, F. S.: Tender is the Night; Stein, G.: Everybody's Autobiography; Cendrars, B.: Hollywood; West, N.: Novels and Other Writings; Adorno, T.: The Stars Down to Earth; Williams, W. C.: Complete Collected Poems 1906-1938; Agee, J.: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Kittler, F.: Discourse Networks 1800/1900; Loos, A.: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Gibson, W.: Pattern Recognition

Description

This course surveys a range of Anglo-American texts from the first half of the twentieth-century—with a strong emphasis on US figures—that explore different versions of a modernist fascination with media aesthetics.  Working with an expanded sense of what counts as modernism, our readings and screenings will revisit period debates about the values, limits, and possibilities of particular aesthetic mediums (poetry, painting, music), and contextualize these debates within a history of media from the turn-of-the-twentieth-century to the present.  Film will be a major focus in the course, which will include examples of both experimental cinema (Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand’s Manhatta, Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, Borderline, starring H. D. and Paul Robeson) and Hollywood features (Sherlock, Jr., A Star is Born, The Women, His Girl Friday).  Our discussions with consider such topics as urban form and the scene of early cinema, montage and the poetics of assembly, screwball comedy and “classical Hollywood” sexuality, celebrity, publicity, and modern “personality,” literary constructions of “spatial form,” and the idea of communications in the network culture made possible by the telegraph and telephone.

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