English 21012: Literature II
Course Unit Director: Noelle Gallagher (email@example.com)
Like Literature I, Literature II focuses on the relationships between texts, considering how judgments about “literary quality” and “literary importance” are used by critics to shape, change, and challenge the collection of texts we refer to as the English literary canon. We focus on texts written between 1750 and 2000. The course is organized into 4 units, each of which explores a different text identified as “canonical.” In treating these key texts, we will consider literary precursors, contemporaries, and successors, asking why some texts are considered to be “masterpieces” or “works of genius” while others—sometimes quite similar—are relegated to the dustbin.
The following is a list of the books that you will be asked to purchase for this course, and may wish to begin reading over the summer. Additional course readings will be provided closer to the start date of the course. Please note that although the following texts are available in different editions, you are strongly encouraged to buy those recommended below, as they often include essential essays or appendices, and lecturers/instructors will refer to page numbers from these editions in class.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, ed. Claudia L. Johnson (New York: Norton Critical Editions, 1998). ISBN 978-0-393-96791-3
Samuel Richardson, Pamela, ed. Peter Sabor (London: Penguin, 1981). ISBN 978-0140431407 (If you wish to begin reading, focus on volume 1).
Alfred Lord Tennyson, Selected Poems, (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2008). ISBN 978-0140424430 (If you wish to begin reading, focus on In Memoriam).
Gerard Manley Hopkins, Selected Poetry, ed. Catherine Phillips (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). ISBN 978-0199537297 (focus on ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland,’ ‘God's Grandeur,’ ‘The Windhover,’ ‘Pied Beauty,’ ‘The Bugler's First Communion,’ ‘Felix Randal,’‘To Seem the Stranger’, ‘To What Serves Mortal Beauty’, and ‘Spelt from Sybil's Leaves’
T. S. Eliot, Selected Poems (London: Faber, 2009). ISBN 978-0156806473 (If you wish to begin reading, focus on ‘Tradition and the Individual Talent,’ ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,’ ‘Portrait of a Lady,’ and ‘Preludes’).
George Eliot, Middlemarch, ed. Gregory Maertz (Broadview,2004). ISBN: 9781551112336
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway ed. David Bradshaw (Oxford: Oxford World’s Classics, 2008) ISBN 9780199536009
Michael Cunningham, The Hours (London: Fourth Estate, 2003). ISBN: 9780312243029