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ML2206 Histories of Representation

2018-9: Term 2 only

Convenor: Dr Ruth Cruickshank


Formative: Group Presentation 0%

Comparative Commentary: 30% 1,500-2,000 words

Essay: 70% 2,000- 2,500 words


Referring to examples of short stories and visual art, this course examines the relationship between the aesthetic trends spanning the nineteenth to the twenty-first century known as

Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, Postmodernism. We will explore the similarities and differences between the way writers and artists have sought to respond to, represent and make sense of their changing worlds. We will compare the different structural and thematic characteristics to situate evolving literary aesthetics in the different contexts of their production.

Set Texts

 E.T.A. Hoffmann, ‘The Sandman’ (1816):

Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ (1839): http://www.classicreader.com/book/451/1/

Anton Chekhov, ‘The Darling’ (1898), translated by Constance Garnett: http://www.classicreader.com/book/2046/1/

Guy de Maupassant, ‘The Necklace’ (1884): http://www.bartleby.com/195/20.html

Katherine Mansfield, 'Bliss' (1918)


James Joyce, 'Araby' (1914) http://fiction.eserver.org/short/araby.html

John Barth, 'Lost in the Funhouse' (1968) http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/fms/Colleges/College%20of%20Humanities%0and%20Social%20Sciences/EMS/Readings/139.105/Additional/Lost%20in%20the%20Funhouse%20-%20John%20Barth.pdf

Italo Calvino, 'The Count of Monte Cristo' (1967) http://www.ruanyifeng.com/calvino/2011/02/the_count_of_monte_cristo_en.html

Secondary Literature: General, Theoretical, Introductory

A sample of the secondary background reading for each aesthetic trend is below, and many more resources, including the texts for group presentation, are available on Moodle. Whilst they are not compulsory, you will enhance your ability to enjoy the course and respond to the questions raised in it, as well as to research your essay questions and to revise for your examination.

Pam Morris, Realism (London: Routledge, 2003)

Pericles Lewis, The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Peter Brooker, The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Steven Connor, The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism (Cambridge: CUP, 2006)



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