Letteratura inglese III 2014-15
History, Trauma, Recovery in Modern and Contemporary Anglophone Countries
This course focusses upon the question of ‘trauma’ and its relevance upon twentieth- and twenty-first-century Anglophone fiction, film and culture. We shall tackle the methodological and theoretical definitions of the term ‘trauma’ and verify its connections with modernity by reading poems by some of the most famous so-called Trench Poets (Sassoon, Owen, Graves) and the novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf to verify the impact the First World War had upon British and, more widely, European culture.
Thus, we shall analyse ‘war’ and the rewriting of ‘history’ as other powerful keywords of Western ideology and culture; we shall address such questions in the context of turn-of-millennium fiction and film, namely in the cases of Pat Barker’s and Ian McEwan’s fiction relating, respectively, to the First and Second World Wars.
We shall conclude by dealing with the historical and personal traumas inscribed within Age of Iron, by J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Laureate for Literature in 2003. This novel deals with the very delicate reality and memory of South African apartheid as well as with corporeal illness and the ways in which possibilities for collective ‘regeneration’ are envisioned both within and outside fiction.
Poetry and other related Primary Texts downloadable from LION, or from free website http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/):
Rosenberg, Isaac, “Dead Men’s Dump”
Sassoon, Sigfried, “Repression of War Experience”
Owen, Wilfred, “Anthem for Doomed Youth”; “Dulce et decorum est”
Graves, Robert, “Recalling War”
Rivers, W. H. R. The Repression of War Experience, 1918,
Barker, Pat, Regeneration, London, Penguin, 1992
Coetzee, J. M., Age of Iron, London, Secker and Warburg, 1990
McEwan Ian, Atonement, London, Vintage, 2002
Woolf, Virginia, Mrs Dalloway, London, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1925
General History of Literature (one of the two following books):
Carter, R., J. McRae, The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland, London, Routledge, 2008, chapters on the Twentieth Century pp. 284-457 (in BAU, non circulating 820 A 9)
Sanders, A., The Short Oxford History of English Literature, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004 (or other editions), chapters 8, 9, 10 (in Bau)
Luckhurst, R., The Trauma Question, London, Routledge, 2008, pp. 1-76