ENGL 313
George Eliot and Henry James Fall 2018 Division I;

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George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans) and Henry James trace dramas of consciousness that ramify in the context of 19th century social transformations. Eliot records the frictions of provincial and cosmopolitan lives; James writes about what it meant for American and European societies around the turn of the 20th century to be mutually exposed to and by one another. Their work explores gender and class fluidity, and the relations of ethical, economic, and aesthetic value. Both evoke fraught political contexts–for Eliot, the failed mid-century European revolutions and pressures of British imperialism, and for James, post-Civil War American consciousness and the struggle between American and European imperialisms. By placing texts in relation to one another–for instance, James’ Portrait of a Lady with Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, What Maisie Knew with The Mill on the Floss, The Turn of the Screw and The Beast in the Jungle with The Lifted Veil–we’ll consider how and to what ends these writers link such issues as law, sacrifice, gambling, gender, and the supernatural. In tracing the relation of their work to one another, we will mark the shift from crucial preoccupations of the 19th century to the modern novel, and the innovations of prose style that accompany them.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 15-20
Class#: 1699
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation and two papers, approximately 20 pages altogether
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preference: English majors
Materials/Lab Fee: cost of books
Distributions: Division I;
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories B

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