NEW COURSE ADDITION FOR FALL: Margaret Soltan’s 20th-Century Irish Literature
Twentieth Century Irish Literature II: THE MODERN IRISH LITERARY TRIUMPH
This course will attempt to account for the staggering achievement – out of all proportion to the small, peripheral nature of the Irish nation – of Ireland’s modern fiction writers. We’ll start with Samuel Beckett and James Joyce, and then move on to Edna O’Brien, John Banville, Colm Toibin, Anne Enright, and others. Our main text will be The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction (which Toibin edited), but we will also read several novels in their entirety. Our discussions will range from specific questions having to do with the particular elements of Irish history and culture that contributed to the country’s amazing literary achievement in our time, to much larger questions about art – how we define it and why we value it.
This is a no-lap (no technology of any kind, please), discussion-based, seminar. There will be an essay-style in-class midterm, and an essay-style in-class final exam. There will also be a 6 – 8 page paper due on the final day of class. Shortly before final papers are due, one class will be devoted to each of you briefly describing your paper.