Skip to main content Skip to navigation

EN916 Modernism and Mythopoeia: Lawrence, Joyce and Yeats

This module is an opportunity to reread three major writers in the light of an important philosophical and formal theme. Despite the differences between these authors, their common use of myth is an important clue to the nature of modernism at large. For their essays, participants may write on any aspect of these authors or take up questions of myth in relation to authors not read on the course. It should also be emphasised that the interest of the module lies in the literary works and not in the, now very outmoded, anthropology that modernist interest in myth sometimes involved. The best preparation, therefore, is to think about the literary works themselves rather than the general conceptions of myth. Discussion of Ulysses will assume some knowledge of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The brief reading list is meant to suggest some questions and lines of thought. Since much of the thinking about myth has been in German an ability to read German is an advantage but it is not necessary. Lists for individual authors will be distributed during the term.



Indicative Set Reading


Primary Texts
James Joyce, Ulysses (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1886)
D.H. Lawrence, The Rainbow (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Women in Love (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); The Plumed Serpent (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987 )
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1993 ); Twilight of the Idols (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1968); The Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life in Untimely Meditations trans. R. J. Hollindale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983)
W.B. Yeats, The Major Works ed. Edward Larrissey (OUP, 1997)

Background Reading

T.W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer Dialectic of Enlightenment (London and New York: Verso, 1986)
Michael Bell, Primitivism (London: Methuen, 1972); ed. Context of English Literature1900-1930 (London: Methuen, 1980); Literature, Modernism and Myth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)
Hans Blumenberg, Work on Myth (London: MIT Press, 1985)
Karl Heinz Bohrer, Mythos und Moderne (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1983)
P. Bridgewater, Nietzsche in Anglosaxony (University of Leicester Press, 1972)
Ernst Cassirer, The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, vol.ii: Mythical Thought (Newhaven: Yale University Press, 1965)
T. S. Eliot, Review of Ulysses in The Dial 75 (1923)
Richard Ellmann, and Charles Feidelson eds. The Modern Tradition: Backgrounds of Modern Literature (London: Oxford University Press, 1965)
Burton Feldman, and Robert D. Richardson eds. The Rise of Modern Mythology 1680-1860 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972)
Colin Falck, Myth, Truth and Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989)
John B. Foster, Heirs to Dionysus (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981)
Manfred Frank, Gott im Exil: Vorlesungen uber die Neue Mythologie (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1988)
James Frazer, The Golden Bough abridged ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1992)
Leszek Kolakowski, The Presence of Myth (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1988)
Michael Levenson, A Genealogy of Modernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984)
Claude Levi-Strauss, The Savage Mind, (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 1966)
Marc Manganaro, Myth, Rhetoric and the Voice of Authority: A Critique of Frazer, Eliot, Frye and Campbell (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992)
Odo Marquard, Abschied von Prinzipiellen (Stuttgart: Reklam, 1987)
Alexander Nehamas, Nietzsche, Life as Literature (Cambridge Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1984)
Friedrich Nietzsche, ?On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense? in Philosophy and Truth: Selections from Nietzsche?s Notebooks of the Early 1870s trans. and ed. Daniel Breazale (New Jersey and London: Humanities Press, 1990)
The Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1980)
Also in Untimely Mediations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983)
K.K. Ruthven, Myth (London: Methuen, 1976)
J.P. Stern, Nietzsche (London: Fontana, 1978)
John B. Vickery, The Literary Impact of the Golden Bough (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973)
G-B Vico, The New Science ed. T. Burgin and M. Fisch (Ithaca N.Y., Cornell University Press, 1968)
Percy Wyndham Lewis, Time and Western Man, (London: Chatto and Windus, 1927)
W.B. Yeats, A Vision (New York: Collier, 1967