ENGLISH 361 - The Victorian Novel
Section: 001 Fiction and the Meaning of Life
Term: FA 2019
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

What gives a life—or a particular event in a life—meaning? What makes a novel—or a particular detail in a novel—meaningful? Are these two questions related? Put differently, how is an individual’s attempt to make sense of their life, or see their life as meaningful, like or unlike a reader’s attempt to interpret a literary text?

We will pursue these questions as they are raised by and addressed in a series of British novels from the second half of the nineteenth century. In this era, the meaningfulness of individual lives and even the meaning of human existence as such came under newly widespread and urgent questioning (for reasons we’ll explore). As we shall see, this questioning led novelists to rethink and reimagine fundamental aspects of the novel itself as a literary form.

Novels we will read likely include Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens; Middlemarch, by George Eliot; The Story of an African Farm, by Olive Schreiner; and Tess of the d’Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy; as well as one or two twentieth-century novels in which characters look back to Victorian novels for help in making sense of their own lives.

ENGLISH 361 - The Victorian Novel
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
P
28513
Open
1
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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