20th Century British Poetry & Prose, Spring 2010

23554 ENGL 4500.01 TR 12:30-1:45pm ART-234


This is a study of works by major figures in modern and contemporary literature usually classified as “British.” The course examines the responses of British novelists and poets to the central issues of the 20th century. Authors will include Ford, Forster, Joyce, Eliot, Pound, Woolf, Yeats, Orwell, Ballard, Rushdie, Ishiguro, Greene, Murdock, and others.

Required Materials

Required Texts

These books should always accompany you to class, as we will make heavy use of them in our daily discussions. Please do not come to class without the assigned text of the day: we need the book for class activities, in-class writing, and all aspects of our study. If you do not have your book in-class, you will be counted absent.

Supplementary Documents

At several points throughout the semester, your reading assignments will entail short stories, essays, and poems not included in the required texts above. These additional readings will be made available to you as PDFs. You will need to download them, print them, and bring them to class with you on the day we are covering them. Failure to do so will earn you an absence.

Pen and Paper

You should also bring an ink interface of some sort, as well as dead trees on which to take notes. Notes should not only reflect good listening skills, but individual interest in every topic discussed in class. You should not sit in class like you’re watching TV: learning requires active participation.

Networked Devices and Other Stuff

Materials, like cell phones, food, magazines, iPods, etc., should be left in your car. They are not needed for our class and should, therefore, not accompany you. Anything that has the potential to distract you or the class, should not be in class. If I ask you to put away a device, I expect you not to use it and to not bring it to subsequent class meetings. See the Electronic Devices course policy for more.

Rated R

Finally, since class lecture and discussion will often touch on the controversial, this college classroom is not an appropriate place for children. Please leave them at home. Please note that this class will cover mature subject matter: if you are easily offended by discussions of religion, politics, sex, and other adult concerns, you might not enjoy the study of literature at the college level.

Course Policies

Students are held accountable for knowing and practicing each of the course policies. Consider them like the law: the excuse “I didn’t know” will carry no weight. Since these policies are applicable to every course I teach, they are available on a separate page.

As a Macon State College student and as a student in any of my classes, it is your responsibility to read, understand, and abide by the MSC Student Code of Conduct from the MSC Student Handbook (PDF).

Course Requirements

There are two major requirements for ENGL 4500, each of which must be successfully completed to pass the course. Assignments are weighed on a point system, depending on their importance. For example, a reading quiz might have 10 points while an exam might have 200.


Three exams will be given that will test your knowledge of the subject matter (texts, lecture material, and vocabulary), your ability to synthesize this material, and your creativity in going beyond the discussion and lecture materials. The final exam will include vocabulary, identification, and interpretation. All exam grades will be based upon objective knowledge of the material, thoroughness, depth of insight, precision, and originality.

Daily Work

Regular class attendance, question posing, and active participation in classroom discussions are required. Participation, effort, and attitude will count significantly in this course. Quizzes, other class activities, and homework assignments not explicitly outlined above will be considered daily work.


This schedule represents the ideal outline for our semester, but it is tentative and subject to change. It reflects only an overview of readings and assignments, but does not always indicate other specific class-session assignments or activities. All PDFs may be downloaded via the Humanities Index Google Group; students should request access after the course introduction.

01/07/10 – Course Introduction (Optional Intro)

01/12/10 – Poems by Hardy (PDF); Wells “Country of the Blind” (PDF)
01/14/10 – Conrad “The Secret Sharer” (PDF)

01/19/10 – Forster Howards End (1-155)
01/21/10 – Forster (cont.)

01/26/10 – Forster (156-243)
01/28/10 – Joyce “The Dead” (PDF); Poetry of World War I (PDF)

02/04 – Ford The Good Soldier
02/06 – Ford (cont.)

02/09 – Eliot The Waste Land (PDF) (PDF Notes on Eliot)
02/11 – Poems by Yeats (PDF)

02/16 – Exam #1, Part 1
02/18 – Exam #1, Part 2

02/23 – Woolf Mrs. Dalloway
02/25 – Woolf (cont.)

03/02 – Mansfield “The Daughters of the Late Colonel” (PDF); Poems by Auden (PDF)
03/04 – Poems by Auden and Thomas (PDF)

03/09 – Spring Break
03/11 – Spring Break

03/16 – Poems by Thomas; Poetry of World War II (PDF)
03/18 – Lessing “To Room Nineteen” (PDF); O’Brien “Sister Imelda” (PDF)

03/23 – Burgess A Clockwork Orange; (PDF notes on Burgess)
03/25 – Burgess (cont.)

03/30 – Exam #2, Part 1
04/01 – Exam #2, Part 2

04/06 – Hill – “How Soon Can I Leave?” (PDF); Ballard “The Drowned Giant” (PDF)
04/08 – Ballard “The Enormous Space” (PDF), Chapters 1 and 2 from Crash (PDF)

04/13 – Ishiguro The Remains of the Day
04/15 – Ishiguro (Cont.)

04/20 – Poems by Heany (PDF)
04/22 – Heany (cont.); Rushdie “Chekov and Zulu” (PDF)

04/27 – Kurieshi The Buddha of Suburbia
04/29 – Kurieshi (Cont.)

05/04 – Final Exam, 1-3p



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