RCHUMS 318 - Critical Approaches to Literature
Section: 001 Classic Modernism: Art, Philosophy, Myth
Term: FA 2017
Subject: RC Humanities (RCHUMS)
Department: LSA Residential College
Requirements & Distribution:
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The period of classic modernism in the first half of the 20th century saw an extraordinary outpouring of artistic and critical activity, much of it experimental and avant-garde in nature, entailing a radical break with the past. A finely articulated body of critical thought emerged that emphasized the autonomy of the work, its self-sufficiency and even indifference to other areas of human endeavor, such as philosophy or religion. The defining gesture was the “self-reflexive turn” – the work’s centripetal reference to the materials and means of its own making. At the same time, modernist artists turned to sources located deeply within the western tradition: the myths of Dionysus and Orpheus; Greek sculpture; Pre-Socratic philosophy and its quest for essential Being. This course will examine the convergence in literature and the visual arts of the heritage of Greece and modernist aesthetic radicalism.

    I. Dionysus, Apollo, Orpheus: Spatial Modalities
  • Thomas Mann, Death in Venice
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus,
  • Wassily Kandinsky: paintings
    II. Earth and Sea: Elemental Powers
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
  • Henry Moore: sculpture
  • Barbara Hepworth: sculpture
    III. The River: Change; Destruction; Transformation
  • William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  • Jackson Pollock: paintings
    IV. Time, Again
  • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
  • Frank Stella: paintings

Intended Audience:

All interested students welcome.

RCHUMS 318 - Critical Approaches to Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0393309320
Sonnets to Orpheus, Author: by Rainer Maria Rilke ; translated by M.D. Herter Norton., Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. Norton pap 1992
ISBN: 0156907399
To the lighthouse, Author: Virginia Woolf ; foreword by Eudora Welty., Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1st Harves 1989
ISBN: 067973225X
As I lay dying : the corrected text, Author: William Faulkner., Publisher: Vintage Books 1st Vintag 1990
ISBN: 080214442X
Waiting for Godot, Author: Samuel Beckett., Publisher: Grove Press 2011
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