Saturday, October 11, 2008


[Marcantonio Raimondi: The Dream of Raphael (1508)]

Novels since 1900

This site presents the fossil remnants of a course I taught for one semester at Auckland University in 2008. Having inherited both the booklist and the structure of lectures, I wasn't able to introduce nearly as many innovations as I would have liked.

For instance, the reading list would have been very different if I'd had my way (for further details, see the blogpost here), and there would have been far more interactive tutorials and far fewer formal lectures.

Anyway, I haven't substantially revised it. It is what it is. I did try and give a kind of potted history of twentieth-century culture as an accompaniment to the discussion of the eight novels, so there's probably some material here which may continue to be of general interest. I feel a certain fondness for some of the connections I managed to make in the heat of the moment.

Student responses were, I would have to say, somewhat mixed. Quite a lot of them enjoyed the New Historicist gestures towards more social history and contextualisation of the novels; others would clearly have preferred to stay with the previous emphasis on New Critical close readings.

You can't please all of the people all of the time. As long as you please yourself, though ... I guess that's the main thing.



[Maggie Taylor: Girl with a Bee Dress]


[Leonora Carrington: Labyrinth]

  1. A Portrait of the Artist (1916)

  2. My √Āntonia (1918)

  3. A Passage to India (1924)

  4. The Floating Opera (1957)

  5. The End of the Road (1958)

  6. The Comedians (1966)

  7. Cat’s Eye (1988)

  8. Tracks (1988)

  9. Atonement (2001)


[Rembrandt van Rijn: The Anatomy lecture of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (1632)]