Faculty of Arts


The Modern Novel

Please note: this is archived course information from 2012 for ENGLISH 356.


What is modernity and what makes a novel modern? This course will pose and provide answers to this question through the study of novels from a variety of cultures and decades from the early twentieth to the early twenty-first centuries. Including in our focus works from Europe, Asia and America, we will consider not only the stories novels tell about modernity but also the formal innovations - of structure, style and voice - novelists have made in their attempts to respond to a world undergoing rapid social, technological and political change. Important foci and themes include the immigrant experience, loneliness and intimacy and America as icon and agent of modernity.

Our texts include examples of the graphic novel, the modernist novel, the twentieth-century Bildungsroman, the thriller, the love story, the hybrid novel, and the science fiction novel.

Availability 2012

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Dr Eluned Summers-Bremner


Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth
Franz Kafka, The Trial
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man  
Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr Ripley
Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun
W. G. Sebald, The Emigrants
Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

Recommended Reading



ENGLISH 356: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage II in English



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