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Restoration and After: British Literature, 1660-1800

Class at Faculty of Arts |


For the latest details see the current course syllabus above. THE COURSE IS OPEN ONYL TO DALC MA STUDENTS AND THOSE ERASMUS STUDENTS AFFILIATED DIRECTLY WITH OUR DEPARTMENT. OBJECTIVES In the eighteenth century Britain achieved, politically, economically and culturally, the position of a great power in Europe. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the complex aesthetics of this sophisticated age, as reflected in e.g. the daring libertine lyrics of the Restoration, intricate political allegories, theatre culture, the bristling topicality of Augustan satires, as well as the imaginative flights of mid- and late- eighteenth century fiction. Students will be given the opportunity to read major texts, think about the central intellectual practices of the age and to imagine the relations among books, people and politics in Restoration and eighteenth-century Britain. MATERIAL 1/ most texts are available on moodle (shorter texts in Word; longer essays or novels are scanned in pdf) 2/ some texts can easily be obtained in book form; several can be easily downloaded in different versions from the internet, most poems are available in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, volume 1 A.Behn – Oroonoko (some editions in our library room 107; also on moodle, downloaded from Literature Online) A.Pope – The Rape of the Lock T.Smollett – The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (library) L.Sterne – A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (library; also on moodle, downloaded from Literature Online) Selected texts include drama (Congreve), verse (Pope - The Rape of the Lock; Dryden, Rochester, the graveyard poets etc.), prose (e.g. Smollet - Humphry Clinker, Sterne - A Sentimental Journey or Goldsmith - The Vicar of Wakefield). ASSESSMENT Credit requirements include (Erasmus students get a grade) - active participation in discussion (keeping up with the reading schedule is a must; if you come to class unprepared or without texts, this will count as an absence); - attendance (a maximum of three absences); - a class presentation (20 mins long) = a conference paper. Each class member will select one topic from the list below for an in-class presentation. This should be concerned with an interpretation of a text passage or poem(s) from the perspective required by the topic and an introduction of important themes for further discussion in class. Texts and topics to choose from:

1. Dryden on good and bad writing – comparing “MacFlecknoe” with “To Oldham” and “To Congreve”.

2. The philosophy of libertinism in Rochester’s poems.

3. The narrator in Behn’s fiction.

4. Form and sound in Pope’s poetry.

5. Smollett and the epistolary.

6. The poetic persona in Gray’s “Elegy”.

7. Sterne and irony. NOTE: presentations are intended primarily for MA students. OR - in case there are more students than topics above, possible FURTHER participants of the course write a max 1,000-word literary essay on the same topic. Deadline for submission is one week prior to the date that the topic is covered in the seminar. Students MUST attend the course on the date the presentation itself takes place. If they are unable to do so, they must write a second essay on a different topic.

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