Wednesday, November 8, 2017

War Poetry



1. Watch these brief videos:

Overview of Poetry of WWI

French and German Poetry

2. Choose one of the poems in your packet and comment on it in some detail here. What aspect of the experience of war does it explore? What perspective does the poem adopt (i.e. through whose eyes are we experiencing war and its consequences?) Is the poem in favor of or critical of the war? In either case, how is this argument made in the course of the poem? Is there anything else you find surprising, moving, or otherwise notable about the poem?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Rebecca West: The Return of the Soldier



[Posted by JOSIE and MALCOLM]

1. What are your thoughts on the decision to cure Chris? How does shell shock relate to the overall ideas of masculinity and identity?

2. Do you see any connections between the themes of wealth, social status, and nationality in The Return of the Soldier and the novels that we previously read? What does this story tell us about Britishness at the time of the First World War?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Ford, The Good Soldier

Max Beckmann, Party in Paris, 1931


[Posted by JOSIE & MAX]

1.What do you think is the purpose of having an unreliable narrator? Why did Ford decide to use this Method?

2. What is Ford doing with Nancy? What does her character say about the problems that the characters in this novel face? 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The War Begins: 1914-1915


Comment in some detail about one of the pieces—literary or historical—from the beginning and first full year of the war. Does your cultural research relate to themes that you note in either the Richardson or Ford novels?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dorothy Richardson: The Pointed Roofs


[Posted by MALCOLM and ELIZA]

There are moments in Pointed Roofs when Richardson hints at differences between the English and the German characters. For example, Miriam feels “at ease sitting amongst” the German girls and is happy to not be sitting with the English girls, even though she is English herself (pg. 92). Have you noticed any other signs of this divide? Does this say anything about the economic and cultural rivalry that existed between Great Britain and Germany?

Why do you think that Miriam claims to have no religion? Does this have something to do with her upbringing or is this a personal choice? How is this reflected in her character throughout the novel? (pg. 59)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

1913

Pablo Picasso, Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar, and Newspaper, 1913

Our cultural focus this week is on the seismic artistic upheavals of 1913. Choose one article, poem, story, etc. from a literary journal (one of modernism’s “small magazines”) and one article, etc. from a mass-produced commercial magazine or newspaper dating from this period. 

It might be particularly interesting to find a story or review directly relating to one of the moments of "culture shock" from that year (e.g. the Armory Show in New York,  the premiere of The Rite of Spring in Paris, Schoenberg's "skandalkonzert" at the Great Hall of the Muzikverein in Vienna , or the Psychoanalytic Conference in Munich, etc.)   Take notes as you read and then publish your comments on the piece by Friday, Sept. 29. Comments should include:
1.     A brief summary of each piece.
2.     A substantial quotation from each of your chosen texts, followed by your own interpretative commentary.
3.     Further commentary on the cultural significance of what you have read. This might include connections to other things we’ve read in our course and/or other things you’ve read in your research, insight into cultural norms of the period, and even reflections on the relationship of the content to contemporary life.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Or or around December, 1910...


Choose one article, poem, story, etc. from a literary journal (one of modernism’s “small magazines”) and one article, etc. from a mass-produced commercial magazine or newspaper. Take notes as you read and then publish your comments on the piece by the end of the class period. Comments should include:
1.     A brief summary of each piece.
2.     A substantial quotation from each of your chosen texts, followed by your own interpretative commentary.
3.     Further commentary on the cultural significance of what you have read. This might include connections to other things we’ve read in our course and/or other things you’ve read in your research, insight into cultural norms of the period, and even reflections on the relationship of the content to contemporary life.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Forster, Howards End

[Posted by Brooke and Brenna]

Please consider each of the following questions in preparation for discussion on Wednesday. Choose at least one of these questions to answer in some detail here—and be sure to quote a passage from the text to lend support to your commentary.

1. What is the makeup of Margaret and Henry’s relationship: love, money, security, companionship, or something else? 


2. When thinking about helping Leonard Bast, why do they differ on opinions? 


3. Why do you think Margaret was not angry that Henry did not give her Howards End when Mrs. Wilcox passed?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Imagining Modernity

Cyril E. Power, The Tube Train
Select one text that you found especially compelling—it could be a poem, a manifesto, or an essay. Choose a brief quotation from your text that you think is an especially noteworthy representation of "modern" life and reflect on why you think this quotation is significant to the work as a whole. Keep your comments short—one paragraph will do.