Minot State University College of Arts and Sciences

Minot State University College of Arts and Sciences


Minot State University College of Arts and Sciences

Program in English Literature, Division of Humanities

English 352: The British Novel, #4006

Tuesday and Thursdays, 11-12:15

Room 306 Hartnett

Edward Munch, “The Scream” 1893.

Associate Professor Robert E. Kibler

Office: 229 Hartnett Hall West

Hours: T/Th 1-2, Wednesdays, 5-6, and by appt.

Telephone: 858-3876/cell: 720 2716 (not before 8 am, nor after 9 pm.)


Website (syllabus and course materials posted here):


Required Texts:

Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory

Eksteins, Modris. The Rites of Spring

Lawrence, D.H. The Rainbow.

Lawrence, D.H. Women in Love

Bowen, Elizabeth. In the Heat of the Day.

Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse.

Joyce, James. Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.

Green, Henry. Concluding.

Overview of Course: Phillip Larkin tried to capture a sense of the great divide separating the late 19th Century Victorian world from that of 20th Century Modernity. This separation, already in evidence in the closing years of the 19th century, became profound with the advent of World War I—The Great War, the War to End All Wars—begun in August 1914. “Never such innocence again,” Larkin wrote. The steady old nineteenth century truths, where God was in his heaven and all was right with the world, collapsed. The first industrial strength war resulted in millions of dead, and the term shell-shock entered the vocabulary. But the war ushered in more than shell shock to the European theatre. An age of disbelief, of cynicism, of fragmentation came with it. T.S. Eliot was stunned to recognize that the mass death of war had“undone so many.” Gertrude Stein termed those who fought as the “Lost Generation,” and the world, it seemed, continued to spiral down a dark hole. Yet both individually and in a collective sense, people handled this new fragmentation differently. In the novels we shall read this term, early 20th century artists and the people whom they depict endure the dark “lost” time of the early Modernist era, and burst through, so to speak, into a separate peace with themselves and with the world as it existed afterwards. We shall hold a dialogue with a few of the key writers from this period, in an attempt to discover what values and truths remain embodied in the separate kinds of human understanding they achieve.

Course specifics:

Our course is centered on dialogue. Plan on coming to class, coming to class prepared, and sharing your informed ideas with the rest of us. As part of this plan of work, we need to collectively identify the issues or questions each author seeks to answer, as well as the answers they provide through their novels. We also need to consider their worlds through our own contemporary lens. In order to help us think about what we read, each of us will send one-page responses via e-mail to everyone else in the group, no later than 9 pm the evening before each class. I will never intrude on these emails to talk about grammar, style, or ‘wrong thinking,’ so to speak—though I may make occasional suggestions about how you are responding, i.e., you could be more specific, et cetera. Everyone gets full credit for their responses so long as they are posted no later than 9 pm before each class. I also realize that each of us will probably doze three or four times during the term—but make no mistake. Our course grades are dependent on offering everyone our thoughts about what we have read prior to class, and talking at length to further our thoughts during class.

We also need to take the opportunity to extend our thoughts beyond what email and class discussion will accommodate, so please expect to write two eight (8) page papers in answer to questions of your choice for the term, or if you prefer, one large critical study of sixteen (16) pages. Here then is the breakdown of formally evaluated class assignments:

1. Class participation (including quizzes)25%

2. E-mail Response journals25%

3. Analytic essay #125%

4. Analytic essay #225%

**I also reserve the right to add daily quizzes.

Lecture Materials

Lecture materials will generally appear on my website. Also check site under “lecture materials” for updates to the syllabus.

We are a discussion group, so your presence is vital to our literary engagement. Please come to class. Let only death keep you away. I reserve the right to lower the term grade by one letter for every third absence. In other words, you can miss two classes without penalty. No more. If you have an emergency, or some unusual situation comes up, please let me know about it. We will probably be able to work something out to keep you and your grade on track for the term. Additionally, I will offer at least one movie for your extra credit viewing pleasure. Probably two. Watching these movies and offering a brief two page analysis of them will boost your class participation grade.

Tentative Course Schedule

Please note that what follows is only a rough map of our work for the term. We will vary greatly, depending on your interest, understanding, passion, and performance. Learning does not really occur in three hour-long doses each week, despite the schedule, so please keep a copy of the syllabus with you so as to note adjustments when we make then. But to start, here is the plan:

Tuesday 12 Jan.

Intro, syllabus, plan of work.

Hardy poem The “Oxen”. Yeat’s “The Coat,” and Pound’s “Metro”

Th 14 Jan

Lecture on the 19th century: Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, the fin de siècle, and Modernity. Hardy’s poems.


T. 19 Jan

Fussell. War newspapers.

Th 21 Jan


Film on the Great War.

T 26 Jan.

Rites of Spring

Th 28 Jan.

Rites of Spring

Tuesday 2 February.

Rites of Spring

Th 4 Feb.

Intro Lawrence and Lawrentian poems.

T 9 Feb.


Th. 11 Feb. Kibler out of town. Carry on.


T 16 Feb.


Th. 18 Feb.

Rainbow, introduction Women in Love

T. 23 Feb.

Women In Love

Th. 25 Feb.

Women in Love

Paper #1 graded Abstract due.

Tuesday 2 March

Women in Love.

Paper #1 identified as graded abstract.

Th 4 Mar.

Women in Love

T 9 Mar.

Women in Love plus Movie

Th. 11 Mar.

Women in Love Movie

T. 16 Mar.

Intro Joyce, Woolf, Stream of Consciousness

To the Lighthouse

Th 18 Mar.

To the Lighthouse

T. 23 Mar.

To the Lighthouse

Th 25 Mar.

To the Lighthouse

Paper #1 due.

T 30 Mar.

Portrait of the Artist as Young Man

Thursday 1 April


T. 6 Apr.


Th. 8 Apr.

Portrait and intro Bowen, Green, WWII, and Heat of the Day

T. 13 Apr.

Heat of the Day

Th. 15 Apr.

Heat of the Day

Paper #2 graded Abstract due, or large paper Prospectus due.

T. 20 Apr.

Heat of the Day

Th. 22 Apr.

Heat of the Day

T. 27 Apr.


Th. 29 Apr.


Tuesday 4 May.


Th. 6 May. Final Class.


Class Review

Paper #2 due, or large paper due day of final.