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ENGL204: Cultural and Literary Expression in Modernity

Unit 1: The Turn of the Century   We will start by situating ourselves in the late 1800s, taking stock of the various social changes and artistic trends that were beginning to challenge predominant 19th-century assumptions, values, and social configurations.  It may seem strange to begin this course in Fin-de-Siècle Paris, but, as we will see, much of the art and literature produced in late-1800s France would lay the foundation for 20th-century innovations in English poetry and literature.  We will also account for those voices that continued to promote the old-guard imperialist views and Victorian values so inherent to mainstream British literature of the 1800s.  

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 23 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 7 hours

     ☐    Subunit 1.2.1: 1 hour

     ☐    Subunit 1.2.2: 2 hours

     ☐    Subunit 1.2.3: 1 hour

     ☐    Subunit 1.2.4: 1 hour

     ☐    Subunit 1.2.5: 1 hour 

     ☐    Subunit 1.2.6: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 1.3: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 1.5: 4 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast turn-of-the-twentieth-century literatures from France and England.
  • Identify and explain the thematic preoccupations of modern poetry, especially the “Art for Art’s Sake” movement and the aesthetics of "Décadence."
  • Explain the importance of the metropolis to the themes and ideas of modern art and literature.
  • Explain the significance of the British Empire and especially the role of colonialism and imperialism in the novelistic work of Joseph Conrad.

1.1 The Décadence Tradition   1.1.1 Definition of Décadence   - Reading: Archive.org: Max Simon Nordau’s “Degeneration” Link: Archive.org: Max Simon Nordau’s "Degeneration" (HTML)

 Also available in:  
 [PDF](http://www.archive.org/details/degenerationtrfr00norduoft)  

 Instructions: To read “Book I” of Max Simon Nordau’s
“Degeneration,” please follow the link above, then go to the upper
left corner under “View the Book,” and click on “Read Online.”  Read
all of Book I (pp.1-44).  In this reading, you will discover a
famous explication of the end of the nineteenth century (fin de
siècle) and its climate of decadence and world-weariness (ennui) as
well as modernism’s rejection of the past.  
    
 Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.2 Rejection of Middle-Class, Victorian Culture   - Reading: Dr. Ruth Nestvold’s “Literature at the Turn of the Century: 1800-1918” Link: Dr. Ruth Nestvold’s “Literature at the Turn of the Century: 1800-1918” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of Dr. Nestvold’s essay concerning the relationship between Modernist and Victorian culture and values.  Dr. Nestvold has made this text available through her personal website.
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  

1.1.3 Decadence and Eroticism in Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal   - Reading: Fleursdumal.org’s version of Charles Baudelaire’s “Bénédiction,” “L'Albatros,” and “Élévation” from his Fleurs du Mal Links: Fleursdumal.org’s version of Charles Baudelaire’s “Bénédiction” (HTML), “L'Albatros” (HTML) and “Élévation” (HTML) from his Fleurs du Mal.

 Instructions: Please click on each link above, scroll down the
webpage, and read only the 1954 English translation of each poem
from *Fleurs du Mal*.  Note how Baudelaire often parodies the tastes
and hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie, so make sure to look for this not
so hidden disdain for the very audience that often reads his work.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

1.1.4 The Figure of the Flâneur in the New Urban Landscape   - Reading: Thelemming.com: Dr. Heather Marcelle Crickenberger’s “The Flâneur” Link: Thelemming.com: Dr. Heather Marcelle Crickenberger’s “The Flâneur” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of Dr. Crickenberger’s useful introduction to the figure of the flâneur.  You may wish to follow many of the hyperlinks embedded within the text.  Make certain to consider how Baudelaire’s notion that “one must shock the bourgeoisie” is incorporated into the daily practice of the flâneur.  Also, consider how the flâneur, a man-about-town, is so busy despite his cool and detached strolling about the city.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2 “Art for Art’s Sake”: Décadence Arrives in Britain and Other Examples of Decadent Literature   1.2.1 Introduction to Oscar Wilde and Aestheticism   - Reading: Sweet Briar College: Dr. Christopher L.C.E. Whitcombe’s essay “Art for Art’s Sake” and the OSCHOLAR Library’s version of Dr. Megan Becker-Leckrone’s essay “Oscar Wilde (1854-1900): Aesthetics and Criticism” Links: Sweet Briar College:  Dr. Christopher L.C.E. Whitcombe’s essay “Art for Art’s Sake” (HTML) and the OSCHOLAR Library’s version of Dr. Megan Becker-Leckrone’s essay “Oscar Wilde (1854-1900): Aesthetics and Criticism” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of Dr. Whitcombe’s essay as well as the entirety of the OSCHOLAR Library’s version of Dr. Becker-Leckrone’s essay.  Consider whether art is created for its own end and whether it can escape its political, historical, and cultural situation.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.2.2 Self-Consciousness and Anti-Romantic Aesthetics in Oscar Wilde’s “The Critic as Artist” Essay   - Reading: The Corpus of Electronic Texts: Oscar Wilde’s “The Critic as Artist” Link: The Corpus of Electronic Texts: Oscar Wilde's "The Critic as Artist" (HTML)

 Also available in:  
 [eText Format in Google
Books](http://books.google.com/books?id=ENEVAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Critic+as+Artist&hl=en&ei=dSs7TKTYNoT58Aa0zrinBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q&f=false)
(Available for Free)  
    
 Instructions: Please click on the link for “The text” in the
left-hand column of the screen and scroll down and read the entirety
of Wilde’s essay.  Please note that this is part of a larger
anthology so the pagination for this reading is pp. 93-217.  Ask
yourself if the artist should be engaged actively in social and
political critique or if the artist’s primary objective is the
aesthetic pursuit of transcendent beauty.  Are either of these
exclusively possible or is all art, as an aesthetic pursuit,
inevitably socially dependent and politically engaged?  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.3 The Figure of the Dandy   - Reading: Reading: J.K. Huysmans’ Against the Grain: “Chapters 1 and 2” Link: J.K. Huysmans' Against the Grain (PDF) "Chapters 1 and 2"

 Instructions: Please read the entirety of chapters 1 and 2 of
Huysmans’ text (10 pages).  The term “dandy” refers to a man who
places particular importance on physical appearance, refined
language, and leisure.  As you read this section, consider the ways
in which Huysmans’ text fits the characteristics of a “dandy” and in
what ways it does not.  Is the text “decadent”?  Why or why not?  
    
 Terms of Use: The materials above is available for viewing in the
Public Domain.

1.2.4 Symbolism in Art   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Nicole Myers’ “Symbolism” Link: Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History:Nicole Myers’ “Symbolism” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the introductory materials, and then click on
the “View Slideshow” tab on the upper left corner of the website to
start the slideshow of symbolism in art presentation.  Consider how
literary pursuits of symbolism compare and contrast to visual
symbolism.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.5 Symbolism in Poetry   - Reading: Blackcatpoems.com: Arthur Rimbaud’s “Dawn,” “Departure,” “Eternity,” and “Sleep” Links: Blackcatpoems.com: Arthur Rimbaud’s “Dawn” (HTML), "Departure"(HTML), "Eternity"(HTML), and "Sleep" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on each link above, and read Black Cat Poems’ version of Rimbaud’s poems “Dawn,” “Departure,” “Eternity,” and “Sleep.”  How does symbolism in poetry function as compared with symbolic prose and symbolism in the visual arts?
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.2.6 Symbolism Migrates to the U.K.   - Reading: Duisburg-Essen University’s version of W.B. Yeats’ “The Symbolism of Poetry” Link: Duisburg-Essen University’s version of W.B. Yeats’ “The Symbolism of Poetry” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entirety of Duisburg-Essen
University’s version of Yeats’ essay.  How does your previous
estimation of the function of symbolism in poetry compare with
Yeats’ explanation of symbolic poetry?  
     
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.3 The Rise of the Modern Metropolis and Economic Contexts   1.3.1 Brief History of Paris and Its Reorganization under Haussmann   - Reading: Mt. Holyoke College: Dr. Robert M. Schwartz’s “Mapping Paris: Haussmann and the New Paris” Link: Mt. Holyoke College: Dr. Robert M. Schwart's “Mapping Paris: Haussmann and the New Paris” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of Dr. Schwartz’s website concerning Haussmann’s Paris.  What unique perspective does the study of architecture give to conceptions of “modernism?”  Consider the advantages and disadvantages to urban renewal. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.2 Social Dynamics in the New Metropolis   - Reading: San Jose State University: "Georges Haussmann" Link: San Jose State University: "Georges Haussmann" (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entirety of the essay on Haussmann's
Paris.  Consider how architecture can either affirm or critique
political power.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use on the
webpage above.

1.3.3 Expressions of City Life in Baudelaire’s Tableaux Parisiens   - Reading: Fleursdumal.org: Charles Baudelaire’s “Paysage,” “Le Soleil,” and “À une passante” Links: Fleursdumal.org: Charles Baudelaire’s “Paysage” (HTML), “Le Soleil” (HTML), and “À une passante” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on each link above, scroll down the webpage, and read only the 1954 English translation of each poem from Tableaux Parisiens.  The poems describe Baudelaire’s imaginative interactions with the Parisian cityscape.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.  

1.3.4 Intersection of the Arts: Aubrey Beardsley’s Sketches, the Pace of Modern Urban Life, and His Relationship to Wilde   - Reading: Victorian Web’s “The Life of Aubrey Beardsley,” “Aubrey Beardsley's Works in Art and Literature: A Preliminary List,” and “Illustrating Wilde: An examination of Aubrey Beardsley's interpretation of Salome” Links: Victorian Web’s “The Life of Aubrey Beardsley,”(PDF), “Aubrey Beardsley's Works in Art and Literature: A Preliminary List” (HTML), and “Illustrating Wilde: An examination of Aubrey Beardsley's interpretation of Salome” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on each link above, and read the
entirety of “The Life of Aubrey Beardsley” and “Illustrating Wilde”
articles.  Furthermore, after clicking on “Aubrey Beardsley’s Works
in Art and Literature: A Preliminary List,” click on and view each
individual link on the page to study Beardsley’s art works.  Think
about the inherent tensions between the Victorian and the emerging
“modern” world.  

 Terms of Use: The VictorianWeb articles above have been reposted by
the kind permission of George Landow from Brown University, and can
be viewed in its original
form [here](http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/beardsley/bio1.html),
and [here](http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/beardsley/primorac.html)
respectively.  Please note that this material is under copyright and
cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission
from the copyright holder.

1.4 Fictions of Empire   1.4.1 Historical Overview of British Imperialism   - Reading: Victorianweb.org: “The British Empire" Link: Victorianweb.org: "The British Empire" (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the Victorian Web’s introduction to the British Empire in its entirety (2 pages).
 
Terms of Use: The VictorianWeb article above has been reposted by the kind permission of George Landow from Brown University, and can be viewed in its original form here.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

1.4.2 Rudyard Kipling and “The White Man’s Burden”   - Reading: Fordham University: Professor Paul Halsall’s version of Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” Link: Fordham University: Professor Paul Halsall’s version of Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entirety of Kipling’s text, a classic
example of jingoism.    

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.5 Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness   1.5.1 Conrad and the Ethics of Empire   - Reading: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness Link: Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (PDF)

 Also available in:  
 [HTML](http://www.online-literature.com/conrad/heart_of_darkness/1/)  
    
 Instructions: Please read Joseph Conrad’s novel *Heart of Darkness*
in its entirety (59 pages).  As you read Conrad’s novel, consider
the ways in which the book represents the “fictions of Empire” that
we have explored earlier in our course.   
    
 Terms of Use: The material above is available for viewing in the
Public Domain. 

1.5.2 New Directions in Theme and Style: The Relationship between Heart of Darkness and Victorian Literature   - Reading: Victorianweb.org: Dr. Philip V. Allingham’s “White Lies and Whited Sepulchres in Conrad's Heart of Darkness” Link: Victorianweb.org: Dr. Philip V. Allingham’s “White Lies and Whited Sepulchres in Conrad's Heart of Darkness (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of Dr. Allingham’s critical article on Conrad’s novel (5 pages).
 
Terms of Use: The VictorianWeb article above has been reposted by the kind permission of George Landow from Brown University, and can be viewed in its original form here.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.