Fall 2023 Undergraduate English Courses

358:358 Early Twentieth Century Fiction

01   CAC   MTH3   08184   GOLDSTONE    HH-B3

What do James Joyce, Dashiell Hammett, Mulk Raj Anand, and Zora Neale Hurston have in common? All significant writers of English-language fiction, all activein the first half of the twentieth century, these writers lived through an epoch  of global social upheaval—world wars, revolutions, mass migrations, the rise anddecline of empire—and their work registers and responds to a world of crisis.  Yet Joyce, the Irish experimentalist, writes nothing like  Hammett, the pioneerof hard-boiled detective fiction; Anand, the committed Indian leftist, adopts very different perspectives from Hurston, the supreme Harlem Renaissancenovelist. This course is a study in what is and is not shared in the fiction of these four writers and others of their era. Students will learn to analyze theforms and themes of exemplary fictions of the early twentieth century and to understand the variety of these fictions as a result of social contestation andcollaboration. Readings include case studies in literary modernism (Joyce,  Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner), detective fiction (Dorothy Sayers, Hammett),Harlem Renaissance fiction (Jean Toomer, Hurston), and Indian writing in English (Tagore, Anand).Students can expect a weekly average of 150 pp. of reading, often challenging, always worthwhile. A major aim of the course is to practice reading widely andwell. Every class period will include lecture and small- and large-group discussion. The major writing assignments consist of two papers and a take-homefinal.