On the completion of this module students should typically be better able to:
- read literary texts in an informed and critical manner;
- discuss literary texts coherently;
- write about them in a well-structured and well-argued manner;
- understand the complexities of literary modes and kinds.
This module considers aspects of the three main literary genres - poetry, drama and prose fiction - with the emphasis mainly on pre-twentieth century writing. Within each genre the module picks out one aspect for special attention: in the case of poetry the focus is on longer forms, whether 'intergral' (the verse narrative) or 'composite' (the sonnet sequence); within drama the focus is on comedy; and within prose fiction the focus is on 'the uncanny'; broadly speaking here the genre is defined by content rather than by form.
to introduce students to texts from a range of genres;
to enable students to understand the usefulness of the concept of genre;
to introduce students to the ways in which genres change over time;
to help students develop critical skills appropriate to different genres.
Weekly lectures and seminars will focus on the set texts listed in the bibliography. Lectures will relate the set texts to their generic and historical contexts, and will seek to show how awareness of such contexts can inform critical interpretation. In seminars students will be able to develop their active understanding of the texts and of concepts of genre, often by means of detailed discussion of selected passages from the set texts.
** Reference Text
Stephen H. A. Stephen (ed.) (1995) 'Sir Orfeo' in Middle English Romances
A.C. Cawley 'The Franklin's Tale' in Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
ed. A.C. Cawley (Everyman)
William Shakespeare The Sonnets
Congreve The Way of the World
2nd. ed. Brian Gibbons (New Mermaids, 2nd edn.)
Jane Austen Northanger Abbey
ed. John Davie (World's Classics)
Joseph Conrad 'The Secret Sharer' in Typhoon and Other Tales
ed. Cedric Watts (World's Classics)
James Hogg Confessions of a Justified Sinner,
ed. J. A. Cuddon (Everyman)
Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays
ed. Peter Raby World's Classics)
William Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing
ed F. H. Mares (Cambridge)
This module is at CQFW Level 4