English 292—Topics in British Literature Professor Suzanne Keen
TuTh AB winter term 2009.                                                                        
Washington Hall 4                                                                                                     
Class begins at 8:30 a.m. unless otherwise arranged.
                                              
A Comic Novel Sequence: Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time   
        
To be young and Bohemian during the social whirl of the 1920s; to witness the ominous rise of fascism; to serve in Britain’s war against Nazi Germany; to pursue careers in writing, arts, journalism, politics, and high society while a nation reinvents itself; to look on in amusement and horror at the trippy excesses of the 1960s, from Swinging London to the English version of the Summer of Love: Anthony Powell’s comic masterpiece, A Dance to the Music of Time, covers the whole panorama from the perspective of his protagonist Nick Jenkins.  This seminar centers on novel reading, but British poetry, art, fashion, politics, economics, and history of the half-century from 1921 through 1971 will be liberally mixed into our discussions and into students’ seminar papers.  (HL, Later British Distribution). Course website at http://sakai.wlu.edu.

Links:

John Gould's Dance website.
Anthony Powell Society.
Poems for the first day. Poets of the Great War.

Graded work:

20%            Participation and faithful attendance
15%            Paper #1: 1000 word close reading of a passage/poem with allusion,
15%            Paper #2: 1000 word motif-tracing with reference to culture or history
30%            Paper #3: 1500-2000 words research paper
20%            Final examination (failure with grade of 59 or lower results in E grade)

Required Texts:

Morgan, Kenneth O. Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford. ISBN-13: 978-0-19-285397-4
Powell, Anthony. A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement. Chicago. ISBN 13: 978-0-226-67714-9
—. A Dance to the Music of Time: 2nd Movement. Chicago. ISBN 13: 978-0-226-67716-3
—. A Dance to the Music of Time: 3rd Movement. Chicago. ISBN 13: 978-0-226-67717-6
—. A Dance to the Music of Time: 4th Movement. Chicago. ISBN 13: 978-0-226-67718-4
Spurling, Hilary. Invitation to the Dance: A Handbook. Arrow Books ISBN: 0-09-948436-6