This is an advanced course in North-American literature which provides the opportunity for students to develop original ideas applying them to a specific research context. Students are supposed to develop advanced skills for analyzing and contextualizing literary texts, learning how to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous.
The course will study a selection of poetry by three great poets from the Modernist period of the 20th century, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens and Robert Frost, providing an overview of a movement that played an important role in the history of North-American literature. The focus will be on the major poems of the three poets, but we will also look at some of their prose statements. Students will be expected to show detailed knowledge of the works in question, and to develop their own independent analyses of the works, paying attention not only to thematic issues but also to questions of style and technique, and considering the relations between the various works and the literary and historical context in which they were created.
A general knowledge of the history of North-American literature. Some skills in literary analysis. C1 level in English.
We will consider the background history of Modernism and then study key texts by the three poets in the programme. Most of the course will be devoted to close analysis of the works, paying attention not only to thematic contents but also to questions of style, register,structure and imagery. Students will be expected to have some familiarity with metrical schemes (an extra lesson will be provided on this subject for those students unfamiliar with it).
A complete list of the poems to be studied will be found on the Moodle platform.
Robert Frost: COLLECTED POEMS, PROSE AND PLAYS. Library of America.
Wallace Stevens: COLLECTED POEMS AND PROSE. Library of America.
T. S. Eliot: THE POEMS OF T. S. ELIOT, VOL. 1. Faber & Faber.
Frank Lentricchia: MODERNIST QUARTET. Cambridge U.P.
A detailed list of the poems to be studied will be provided on the Moodle platform.
The final exam is intended to verify that students have reached an advanced level in their knowledge and understanding of the texts on the programme, that they are able to discuss literary questions in appropriate language, and can express autonomous judgments when analysing the texts.
The exam (written) consists of two parts:
First part (two hours):
A) Short answers to questions on passages taken from the poems, to verify a detailed knowledge of the texts;
B) Three longer comments on passages taken from the poems;
Second part (90 minutes):
Composition on an argument related to the programme.
The second part can be substituted by a paper of 3000-5000 words on a subject agreed upon with the 'docente'.
Lectures and seminar-type discussions