2007-08 AM Patterns of Participation: Literature and Criticism in the 19th and 20th Centuries

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  • Time: Thursdays 2-4 pm


Introduction. Technicalities.


[meeting postponed, Akkreditierung]


Nineteenth-Century Concepts of Criticism: Oscar Wilde, “The Critic as Artist” (1889)

Questions for next week's discussion (15.11.07):

Wilde: The Critic as Artist

How does Wilde arrive at the position in the final paragraph?

What are the implications of this essay for public society? (For example, do they participate or not?)

Arnold: The Function of Criticism at the Present Time

What is Arnold's definition of literature in this essay?

What is his definition of criticism?

What other definitions of criticism are there? What is he against?

What does Arnold say about the relation of criticism to the public, politics, practice, and creativity?

What differences are there between England and the continent?

p.s.. My comments for each session can be found on stud-ip under "discussion".--Lindsay 21:58, 12 November 2007 (CET)


Nineteenth-Century Concepts of Criticism: Matthew Arnold, “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time” (1864)

Genreral questions for session on 29.11.07:

How does this poem try to address a public event and discussion? What kind of effect does it hope to create? Is it successful? If so, how is this effect achieved?


[meeting postponed, Conference]


Public Poetry: Alfred Tennyson, “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” (1854) (presented by Andreas Sprenkel & Gordon Barnard)

Secondary Reading:

The handout can be downloaded following this link:

Handout to the presentation "The Charge of the Light Brigade"


Public Poetry: W. B. Yeats, "Easter 1916." (1919)

Questions for our discussion (Dec.06.2007)

1. What impression do the rhyme and the metre create?

2. What is the main theme of the poem? Can you explain how it develops?

3. Can you describe the speaker's position on the event "The Easter Rising"?



Public Poetry: W. H. Auden, "Spain 1937". / "September 1, 1939".

Etexts and Other Links on Auden

Questions: Spain - Spain 1937

1) "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow" do structure the poem. What perception of time does Auden have? Does it differ from mankind`s perception?

2) The poem can also be read as a call to action. What`s your opinion?

3) How does the poem discuss the ethics of killing?

Questions for the poem: September 1, 1939 by W. H. Auden

1. What does the poem tell us about the political event that took place?

2. Who does the speaker consider to be responsible for the situation?

3. Soon after writing the poem, Auden began to turn away from it, because he found it selfflattering.–Why?

Secondary Reading:

Melanie Williams, 2004

the following item needs to be re-scheduled.


Writers as Critics:

Woolf, Virginia. Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown (1924)

Presentation by Julia Jung, Ann-Katrin Ahlers

Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader (1925)

Virginia Woolf’s contributions to the Times Literary Supplement

Please read the text carefully and think about

- what Virginia could have wanted to achieve with this essay (which function does criticism have in it?),

- how reader and writer are connected and

- if Virginia Woolf applies her own criteria of character creation to (within) the description of Mrs Brown.



Exclusionist Writing? V. Woolf. Selected Texts from Monday and Tuesday (1921) <http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91m/>


Implicit and Explicit Politics in James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)


Implicit and Explicit Poetics in James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)


Course Evaluation. - Eliot and the Poetics of Modernism: T. S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent", 1922 -- E-Text on Bartleby vs.

Wordsworth, "Preface to the Lyrical Ballads" (1800-1802) -- E-Text on Bartleby

Wordsworth, "Preface to the Lyrical Ballads" (1800)


Feedback on Course Evaluation.

Harrison, Tony. "Three Poems from Bosnia". Laureat's Block and other Poems, 2000.

Final Discussion. – Discussion of Term Paper Projects.