ENGL 351 Spring 2013 Ford Madox Ford

In this course we will study the work of Ford Madox Ford, arguably the most versatile and representative, and perhaps the most entertaining, among modernist novelists. An important editor as well as prolific writer, Ford lived at the heart of both pre-War English and post-War Parisian literary life, and his work brilliantly reflects the development of literature from the early modernism of the fin-de-siecle and Edwardian eras to the post-War high modernism of writers such as Woolf and Joyce. Ford's novels offer a panoramic view of the enormous shift from the Victorian world of the late 19th century to the startlingly modern social landscape of the 1920s. He writes of the decline of a still powerful European aristocracy; of Anglo-American cultural relations; of sexuality, adultery, strange fidelity, and shifting gender relations; of competing forms of religious belief in an increasingly secularized society, and of a new Bohemian intellectual class; of women's suffrage and class ferment; of international betrayals, trench warfare, and the transformed England that World War I left in its wake. We will study his short novel The Good Soldier, whose literary impressionism led to its being called "the finest French novel in the English language"; The Fifth Queen, a trilogy of innovative historical novels concerning Henry VIII's ill-fated wife Katherine Howard; and his epic World War I tetralogy, Parade's End, which has been described as the greatest war novel in English.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation in class discussions, two 8- to 10-page papers
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Prerequisites: a 100-level English course, or a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement examination in English Literature or a 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate
Enrollment Preference: English majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories C
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 3618
ENGL351-01(S) SEM Ford Madox Ford Division 1: Languages and the Arts Stephen J. Tifft
MR 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Hollander 240 3618
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