21L.487 | Spring 2002 | Undergraduate
Modern Poetry

Calendar

Session 4

I’ll lecture for some of this week’s class. If I lecture I’ll probably repeat what I’ve been thinking and publishing on the subject. To give you a sense of my current thinking on these issues, I append a recent essay (by me) on Ezra Pound and how modernism uses translation. You might as well read it as to have me repeat it to you-we can use the time more efficiently in this way and can open more comfortably into conversation. See the study materials section for the referenced essay.

Session 7

I’ll lecture for some of this week’s class. If I lecture I’ll probably repeat what I’ve been thinking and publishing on the subject. To give you a sense of my current thinking on these issues, I append a recent essay (by me) on Charlie Chaplin and how modernism poetry uses image-techniques derived from film. The point is not only that the poems allude to Chaplin, but that they often derive their own sense of literary aesthetics, paradoxically, from film aesthetics. You might as well read the argument as to have me repeat it to you. I should mention that this essay is a bit self-reflexive-it deals with the dynamic of teaching MIT students-and that it’s strictly a draft. I’ll be interested to hear if its account of MIT classroom dynamics reflects your own sense of those dynamics. See the study materials section for the referenced essay.

SES # TOPICS
1 Introductions

Origins of Modernism I

Symbolist Textuality, Aestheticism, Relation to Image the Flaneur and the City

2 Origins of Modernism II

The End of Victorianism

Ethics and Aesthetics

Oratory and the Performative

Darwin and Social Change

3 Origins of Modernism: III

World War I

The End of the Discourse of Rationalism

The Empire Break Down

4 Modernism and Orientalism

The Ideogram

Gender and Translation (‘Feminizing’ Asia)

The War at Home

F.S. Flint

5 The Modern Image and Sculpture

Early Wittgenstein and the Status of the Image

6 Montage and Film-history

Radio Aesthetics

The Photographic Image and the Liteary Image

The Image as Repository of Desire

7

Chaplin as Everyman, Chaplin as Subversive

Modern Irony and Chaplin’s Sentimentalilty

‘Machine’ Aesthetics

8 The Psychology of Self-revelation

Time, Change, and the Image in ‘Prufrock’

The Image as Repoistory of Meaning

9 The “Mythic Method” and History

The Working Papers to “The Waste Land”, and Ezra Pound’s Editing

Anthropology, Distance, and Irony: “The Golden Bough”

10 The Status of Allusion

Speech, Speechlessness, and the Buddha

11 Williams: “Waste Land” as the “Great Catastrophe”

Free Verse and the American Idiom

“‘Medical’ Aesthetics: Why a ‘Contagious Hospital’?”

12 Words as Things

Constructionism and Objectivism

The Gendered ‘Gaze’

Class Distinctions in High Modernism

13-14 Harlem Renaissance

Jazz, Race, and Gender

15 Woolf

Mr. Ramsay and the Limits of Reason: Lines

Mrs. Ramsay and the Expansion of Consciousness: Circles

16 Woolf (cont.)

Lily’s Androgynous Vision

17 Yeats

Pound

Stevens

Doolittle

Auden

Conquest

Ashbery

Art, Disillusionment, and Modernist Form

Aestheticism as Ritual, as Religion

18 Yeats (cont.)

“Sailing to Byzantium”: What’s the Problem? [Stanzas 1 and 2]

19 Yeats (cont.)

“Sailing to Byzantium”: Where to Look for a Resolution? [Stanzas 3 and 4]

20 Yeats (cont.)

Stevens

Stevens, Repetition, and Language: Emerson meets Heidegger

21 Stevens (cont.)

Displaced Spirituality and Modernrist Compensaion [“Sunday Morning” - Stanzas 1 and 2]

22 Stevens (cont.)

Versions of “Sunday Morning”

Transcendenence and the Image

Keats and Stevens: The Last Stanza of “Sunday Morning”

23-25 Student Presentations
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Spring 2002
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