LI676 – Early Twentieth-Century British Literature

Something happened around the turn of the twentieth century.  Skirts became shorn and old taboos fell by the wayside.   The body hidden under nearly a half-century of heavily draped clothing became visible again. It was definitely a shift in the spirit of the age. This shift is seen most dramatically in the arts—both the literary and the visual. Experience how the radical writers of the early twentieth century envisioned art as a means of challenging a world vision, of re-conceiving limitations. In our own times when the value of art is sometimes challenged, experience why modernist writers thought art matters. Beginning with Oscar Wilde’s rebellion against Victorian morality, this course will address how British / Irish modernism’s radical artistic experimentation transformed a way of seeing the world. It will conclude with modernism’s dialogue with postmodernism.

This  course includes visuals and some film, including Tom and Viv (a film about T. S Eliot and his first wife), LIfe of Pi, and the 2014 film, The Testament of Youth, which conjoins the modernist Vera Brittain’s struggles to become a writer with the trauma of World War I.

  Explore the many ways modernist re-imagined the world.