Modernism towards Postmodernism

This module will trace the evolution of English literature in a period of convulsive social and political change that takes us from the Boer War to the Cold War, from the Victorian Age to the Space Age, and from British imperialism at its peak to its ignominious post-War decline. It will also attend to the dynamics of literary history, focusing on the strain of radical experimentation that characterizes so much twentieth-century writing. We will examine the ways in which modernist writers from Eliot to Woolf found ways to renew and re-shape the language of literature; and we will consider how post-modernist writers, from Beckett to Pynchon, found solutions to the problem of how to follow the mighty achievements of their literary predecessors.