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ENGL204: Cultural and Literary Expression in Modernity

Unit 5: The Shift to Post-Modernism   Now that we have a better grasp of “modernism,” we will attempt to identify and evaluate the distinctive features of a new literary moment:  the post-modern.  How does “post-modernism” differ from “modernism,” and what concerns do they share?  As we move through some of the most provocative and challenging works of the 20th century in this unit, we will situate the post-modernist’s poetics within the Modern Period and its ever-evolving understanding of the relationship between representation and reality.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 20 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 6 hours

☐    Subunit 5.1.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 5.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 5.1.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 5.1.4: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 5.4: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 5.5: 3 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Define “postmodernism” as both a historical period as well as a movement in literature, culture, and the arts.
  • List the tenets of postmodernism and explain the basic premises of deconstruction as both a theory and a movement in literary and cultural studies.
  • Compare and contrast the postmodern elements found in the work of a range of literary figures, including Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, and Vladimir Nabokov.
  • Define and explain the genre of Magical Realism.

5.1 Features of Post-Modernism   5.1.1 An Introduction to Post-Modernism   - Lecture: Yale University: Dr. Paul Fry’s “The Postmodern Psyche” and “The Political Unconscious” Links: Yale University: Dr. Paul Fry’s “The Postmodern Psyche” (YouTube) and "The Political Unconscious" (YouTube)

 Also available in: (The Postmodern Psyche)  
 [HTML, Adobe Flash, Mp3 or
QuickTime](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-300/lecture-15)  
 [iTunes
U](http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/15-the-postmodern-psyche/id341652697?i=63753405)  

 Also available in: (The Political Unconscious)  
 [HTML, Adobe Flash, Mp3 or
QuickTime](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-300/lecture-18)  
 [iTunes
U](http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/18-the-political-unconscious/id341652697?i=63753401)  

 Instructions: Please watch the lectures linked here (each of the
two lectures is about 50 minutes in length).   
    
 Terms of Use: Paul H. Fry, Introduction to the Theory of Literature
(Yale University: Open Yale Courses),
<http://oyc.yale.edu> (Accessed February 23, 2011).  License:
[Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/).  The
original versions can be found
[here](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-300#sessions).

5.1.2 What Is a Text? Re-Defining Textual Boundaries in the Post-Modern World   - Reading: Ubu.com: Roland Barthes’ “The Death of the Author” Link: Ubu.com: Roland Barthes’ "The Death of the Author"(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down the webpage, click on the link “The Death of the Author,” and read the entirety of this essay.
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.1.3 Some Tenets of Postmodernism   - Reading: Purdue University: Dr. Dino Felluga’s “General Introduction to the Postmodern” Links:  Purdue University:  Dr. Dino Felluga’s “General Introduction to the Postmodern” (PDF)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entirety of Dr. Felluga’s introduction to Postmodernism.
 
Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of Dr. Dino Felluga, 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. 

5.1.4 Introduction to Postmodern Critique: Deconstruction   - Lecture: Yale University: Dr. Paul Fry’s Introductory Lecture on “Deconstruction I” and “Deconstruction II.” Link: Yale University: Dr. Paul Fry’s Introductory Lecture on "Deconstruction I" (YouTube) and Deconstruction II (YouTube)

 Also available in: (Deconstruction I)  
 [HTML, Adobe Flash, Mp3 or
QuickTime](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-300/lecture-10)  
 [iTunes
U](http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/10-deconstruction-i-jacques/id341652697?i=63753391)  

 Also available in: (Deconstruction II)  
 [HTML, Adobe Flash, Mp3 or
QuickTime](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-300/lecture-11)  
 [iTunes
U](http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/11-deconstruction-ii-paul/id341652697?i=63753397)  

 Instructions: Please watch the entire lectures linked here.  Each
of the two lectures is about 50 minutes in length.  
    
 Terms of Use: Paul H. Fry, Introduction to the Theory of Literature
(Yale University: Open Yale Courses),
<http://oyc.yale.edu> (Accessed February 23, 2011).  License:
[Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/).  The
original version can be found
[here](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-300#sessions).

5.2 Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”: Re-Defining the Dramatic Genre   - Reading: Samuel-Beckett.net: Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” Link: Samuel-Beckett.net: Samuel Beckett’s“Waiting for Godot”(HTML)

 Also available in:  
 [eText Format for the
Kindle](http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Godot-English-Tragicomedy-ebook/dp/B002HK4CI2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1278957665&sr=1-1)
(Available for Purchase for $3.95)  
    
 Instructions: Please read the entirety of Acts I and II of
Beckett’s play.  There is a link to move on to Act II at the very
bottom of Act I’s webpage.  
    
 Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.3 Academic Analysis of Beckett's Godot   5.3.1 The Relationship Between Language and Being in “Waiting for Godot”   - Reading: Florida State University: Dr. Aspasia Velissariou’s “Language in Waiting for Godot” from Journal of Beckett Studies Link: Florida State University:  Dr. Aspasia Velissariou’s “Language in Waiting for Godot” from Journal of Beckett Studies (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entirety of Dr. Velissariou’s essay on Beckett’s play.
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.3.2 Re-Conceptualizing Identity in “Waiting for Godot”   - Reading: University of Central Florida: Florida Philosophical Review’s version of Dr. John Valentine’s “Nihilism and Eschaton in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot” Link: University of Central Florida:  Florida Philosophical Review’s version of Dr. John Valentine’s  “Nihilism and Eschaton in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot” (PDF)
 
Instructions: To view this PDF document, please follow the link above and find the essay title under the Table of Contents; click on the title to open a dialog box with a link to the PDF.  Please download and read the entirety of Dr. Valentine’s article on Beckett’s play (12 pages).
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.3.3 Questioning the Possibility of Representation   - Reading: Yale University Press: Excerpt from Peter Brooks’ Realist Vision “Chapter I: Realism and Representation" Link:  Yale University Press:  Excerpt from Peter Brooks’ Realist Vision “Chapter I: Realism and Representation" (PDF)

 Instructions:  Please follow the link; above the description of the
book, find and follow the link "Excerpts" to open the PDF document.
 Please read the entirety of the excerpt from the first chapter of
Brooks’ text.   

 About the Link:  Yale University Press has made available for
download online this excerpt from Brooks’ text, which the press has
published in print.  

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

5.4 Borges and New Frontiers in Short Fiction   5.4.1 The Figure of the Labyrinth and the Complexity of Structure in Borges’ Short Stories   - Reading: Swarthmore College: Paul Willenberg’s “Biographical Sketch” of Jorge Luis Borges and version of Borges’ “The Library of Babel” Links:  Swarthmore College:  Paul Willenberg’s “Biographical Sketch” of Jorge Luis Borges (HTML) and version of Borges’ “The Library of Babel” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entirety of Willenberg’s biography of Borges and his version of Borges’ short story by clicking on the link for “The Library of Babel” in the column on the left-hand side of the screen.
 
About the Links:  Paul Willenberg maintains this website on Borges through Swarthmore College’s server.
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

5.4.2 Magical Realism   - Reading: Emory University: Dr. Deepika Bahri’s Introduction to “Magical Realism” and Monograffi.com’s “What is Magic Realism Art” and “Magic Realism Time Capsule” Links:  Emory University:  Dr. Deepika Bahiri’s Introduction to “Magical Realism” (HTML) and Monograffi.com's “What is Magic Realism Art” (HTML) and “Magic Realism Time Capsule” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of Dr. Bahri’s introduction to “Magical Realism” and Monograffi.com’s “What Is Magic Realism Art” and “Magical Realism Time Capsule.”  Please also scroll across and view all of the examples of Magic Realist art provided by the third hyperlink above.
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

5.4.3 “The Death of the Author”: Roland Barthes’ Theories and the Question of Authorship in Lolita   - Reading: Roland Barthes’ “The Death of the Author” Link:  Roland Barthes' "The Death of the Author" (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down the webpage, click on the link “The Death of the Author,” and re-read the entirety of this essay. 
 
About the Link:  Barthes’ essay was originally published in English in the American journal Aspenin 1967.  This website reproduces the original text of the essay. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Lecture: Yale University: Dr. Amy Hungerford’s Lecture on “Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (cont.)” Link: Yale University: Dr. Amy Hungerford’s Lecture on “Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (cont.)” (YouTube)

    Also available in:
    HTML, Adobe Flash, Mp3 or QuickTime
    iTunes U
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entirety of Dr. Hungerford’s lecture online by clicking on the hyperlink to the video.    
     
    Terms of Use: Amy Hungerford, The American Novel Since 1945 (Yale University: Open Yale Courses), http://oyc.yale.edu (Accessed February 22, 2011).  License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0.  The original version can be found here.

5.5 Vladimir Nabokov   5.5.1 Lolita and Issues of Sexuality   - Reading: Random House Press: Excerpt from Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita Link: Random House Press:  Excerpt from Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entirety of the excerpt from Nabokov’s novel.

 Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyrights and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above. 
  • Lecture: Yale University: Dr. Amy Hungerford’s Lecture on “Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita” Link: Yale University: Dr. Amy Hungerford's Lecture on "Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita" (YouTube)

    Also available in:
    HTML, Adobe Flash, Mp3 or QuickTime
    iTunes U
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entirety of Dr. Hungerford’s lecture online (about 50 minutes in length) by clicking on the hyperlink to the video.
     
    Terms of Use: Amy Hungerford, The American Novel Since 1945 (Yale University: Open Yale Courses), http://oyc.yale.edu (Accessed February 22, 2011).  License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0.  The original version can be found here.

5.5.2 Linguistic Play in Lolita   - Lecture: Yale University: Guest Lecture by Andrew Goldstone Link: Yale University: Guest Lecture by Andrew Goldstone (YouTube)

 Available in:  
 [HTML, Adobe Flash, Mp3 or
QuickTime](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-291/lecture-6)  
 [iTunes
U](http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/06-guest-lecture-by-teaching/id341650421?i=63751923)  
    
 Instructions: Please watch online the entirety of Andrew
Goldstone’s lecture on *Lolita* (about 50 minutes).  
    
 Terms of Use: Amy Hungerford, The American Novel Since 1945 (Yale
University: Open Yale
Courses), [http://oyc.yale.edu](http://oyc.yale.edu/) (Accessed
February 22, 2011).  License: [Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/).  The
original version can be
found [here](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-291/lecture-6).

5.5.3 Moral Relativism and Nabokov’s Work   - Reading: Random House Press: Martin Amis’ “On Lolita” Link: Random House Press: Martin Amis' “On Lolita (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entirety of Amis’ essay on some of the moral dimensions of Nabokov’s novel. 
 
About the Link:  Random House Press has made available online Amis’ essay through the press’ website.
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.