Teaching Later British Literature
137 pages
English

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137 pages
English

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Description

A synthetic and adaptable framework for guiding students through British literary history from the 1780s through the 1940s.


Designed for both first-time teachers of survey courses in later British literature and more experienced instructors seeking a new way to approach familiar material, ''Teaching Later British Literature' seeks to recapture the interconnectedness within and among Romantic, Victorian and Modern literature. Focusing on some of the defining historical, intellectual and artistic preoccupations that individual works explore in common with their literary peers, the book also invites teachers to help their students to rethink the criteria by which periods are defined and to reconceive the relationship between texts written within these periods. 'Teaching Later British Literature' is suitable for reading alongside any of the anthologies used in courses that survey the second half of British literature—from the advanced high school classroom to the lower-division university lecture hall—and seeks to complement their already robust content by offering teachers a synthetic and highly adaptable framework for guiding students through British literary history from the 1780s through the 1940s.


Acknowledgements; Preface; English Romanticism; Introduction; Theme One: Revolution; Theme Two: Individualism; Theme Three: Poetry and Poetics; Theme Four: Nature; Theme Five: Orientalism; Schedule of Readings; Suggestions for Further Reading; English Victorianism; Introduction; Theme One: Democracy; Theme Two: Gender; Theme Three: Culture; Theme Four: The ‘Condition of England’; Theme Five: Empire; Schedule of Readings; Suggestions for Further Reading; English Modernism; Introduction; Theme One: Alienation/Disillusionment; Theme Two: Consciousness-Formation; Theme Three: Art-for-Art’s-Sake; Theme Four: Technology; Theme Five: Imperial Decline; Thematic Introduction; Schedule of Readings; Suggestions for Further Reading; Index.

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Publié par
Date de parution 05 avril 2019
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781783089369
Langue English

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Teaching Later British Literature
Teaching Later British Literature
A Thematic Approach
Albert D. Pionke
Anthem Press
An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company
www.anthempress.com
This edition first published in UK and USA 2019
by ANTHEM PRESS
75–76 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK
or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK
and
244 Madison Ave #116, New York, NY 10016, USA
© Albert D. Pionke 2019
The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
ISBN-13: 978-1-78308-934-5 (Hbk)
ISBN-10: 1-78308-934-2 (Hbk)
This title is also available as an e-book.
CONTENTS
Preface
Acknowledgments
Part I English Romanticism
1. Introduction
I. Periodizing the Romantics
II. Historicizing the Romantics
III. Canonizing the Romantics
IV. William Hazlitt’s “My First Acquaintance with Poets” as an Introduction to English Romanticism
2. Theme One: Revolution
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Romantic Responses to the French Revolution
III. Romantic Poetry and Revolution
3. Theme Two: Individualism
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Individualism in Blake’s Works on Religion
III. Individualism and Gender
IV. The Romantic Outsider
4. Theme Three: Poetry and Poetics
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Wordsworth’s Preface to Lyrical Ballads
III. Shelley’s Defence of Poetry
IV. Romantic Poetry about Poetry
5. Theme Four: Nature
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Nature in First-Generation Romantic Poems
III. Nature in Second-Generation Romantic Poems
IV. Nature in Clare’s “Pastoral Poesy”
6. Theme Five: Orientalism
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Scots Orient in Burns’s “Tam o’Shanter”
III. Coleridge’s Supernatural Orientalism
IV. Orientalism and “Old China”
Schedule of Readings
Suggestions for Further Reading
Part II English Victorianism
7. Introduction
I. Periodizing the Victorians
II. Historicizing the Victorians
III. Canonizing the Victorians
IV. Thomas Carlyle’s “Signs of the Times” as an Introduction to English Victorianism
8. Theme One: Democracy
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Guardianship Democracy in Past and Present
III. Radical Democracy, the Dramatic Monologue and “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point”
IV. Preventing the “Tyranny of the Majority” in On Liberty
9. Theme Two: Gender
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Literary Reflections on Womanliness
III. Extremes of Manliness in the Poetry of Robert Browning
IV. Gendered Complications in “Jenny”
10. Theme Three: Culture
I. Thematic Introduction
II. The Epic of the Present in Aurora Leigh
III. Arnoldian Criticism and the Culturing of Art
IV. Criticism as Art in The Renaissance
V. From Theory into Practice: “Andrea del Sarto”
11. Theme Four: The “Condition of England”
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Factory Reform through Poetry
III. The Condition of England as “Melancholy Madness”
IV. Medievalism as a Response to Industrialization
12. Theme Five: Empire
I. Thematic Introduction
II. “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”
III. National Chauvinism in “The Englishman”
IV. Of Markets and Goblins
V. Mirrors of Empire in “The Man Who Would Be King”
Schedule of Readings
Suggestions for Further Reading
Part III English Modernism
13. Introduction
I. Periodizing the Moderns
II. Historicizing the Moderns
III. Canonizing the Moderns
IV. Virginia Woolf’s “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown” as an Introduction to English Modernism
14. Theme One: Alienation/Disillusionment
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Alienation in Three Poems by Thomas Hardy
III. Alienation and Ireland in Yeats and Joyce
IV. Modern “Hollow Men”
15. Theme Two: Consciousness Formation
I. Thematic Introduction
II. The Reader as J. Alfred’s Analyst
III. The Psychology of Feminism in A Room of One’s Own
16. Theme Three: Art for Art’s Sake
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Imagism
III. Criticism, History and the Impersonality of “Tradition”
IV. Auden on Breughel on Icarus
V. Lawrence, the Novel and Decadence
17. Theme Four: Technology
I. Thematic Introduction
II. Futurism
III. The War to End All Poetry
IV. Auden’s Ironic Hindsight
18. Theme Five: Imperial Decline
I. Thematic Introduction
II. The Breakdown of Empire in Heart of Darkness
III. The Consequences of Empire in Heart of Darkness
IV. The Question of Racism in Heart of Darkness
Schedule of Readings
Suggestions for Further Reading
Index
PREFACE
Teaching Later British Literature: A Thematic Approach is designed primarily for the many thousands of teachers tasked each year with leading survey courses in later English literature (roughly 1789–1945). Both new teachers facing the intimidating task of distilling over 150 years of literary history into a single semester, and experienced teachers looking for new ways to approach familiar material will find ideas they can use in building their syllabuses and structuring their daily lectures and discussions. It may be that others seeking to refresh their memories or enhance their more casual readings will also find material of use to them. Certainly all readers are welcome.
In keeping with the format and contents of the relatively small number of widely available anthologies used in such survey courses, this book divides later English literature into three literary historical periods—Romantic, Victorian and Modern—and uses as textual examples works that are often included in these anthologies. The whole idea of literary periodicity has been the object of sustained critique by literary and cultural theorists since at least the 1990s, but the practical advantages of dividing literature into discrete times and movements has proven too convenient, and the textbook publishing market too well entrenched, to allow for much change on this front in such introductory courses. Since the aim of this book is, when they compete, to favor clarity over controversy, it preserves the traditional literary periods, even as it invites readers to rethink the criteria by which periods are defined, and reconceive the relationship between texts written within these periods.
Although it retains the convenient shorthand of literary historical periods, this book does depart substantially from the majority of anthologies by deemphasizing personalities. All anthologies worth their salt provide expansive biographical headnotes for individual authors and group all of the works written by those authors under their respective headnotes. Authors are typically arranged in chronological order by date of birth, and their works usually appear in the order of composition and/or first publication. Most survey courses then faithfully reproduce this format by leading students through a series of classes, each devoted to the works of a single author. This approach has many advantages, not least that of ensuring that courses enjoy a degree of uniformity that allows for the transfer of credits between institutions. One conspicuous disadvantage of proceeding in this fashion, however, is that the intellectual distinctiveness of the period can be lost in the details of particular writers, who tend to seem rather disconnected from one another and from the historical moment of which they are a part. Put another way, and allowing for the dynamism of individual instructors and the devotion of individual readers, the knowledge gained is often enumerative rather than synthetic.
This book seeks to recapture the interconnectedness within and among the three periods treated here by focusing on some of the defining historical, intellectual and artistic preoccupations that individual works classified as Romantic, Victorian or Modern explore in common with their literary peers. Each period is identified by its preoccupation with five major themes, and these themes, rather than the details of individual authors’ lives or collected works, structure the discussions that follow. Individual texts are then used to illustrate the range of opinions and the variety of approaches adopted in shaping and responding to these themes.
In many ways, these textual choices are arbitrary, although, hopefully, not nonsensical. Since literature is, at bottom, that subset of texts characterized by excess—of syntax, symbol and ultimately meaning—the interpretive possibilities of an individual work always exceed the limitations of a single thematic concern, no matter how broad. Similarly, for every text selected to illustrate a given

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