- Unit value:
This unit is designed to offer students a 'potted BA' in European Literature with the variation that canonical European texts are compared thematically and technically with those of other culture provinces.
Texts studied on the coruse follow a loose chronological framework in that they being with those of the Provencal Troubadours and end with the postmodernist observations of DeLillo, Rushdie and others but are further categorised into thematic groups such as Concepts of Love; Terror, Horror and Psychology; The Mechanics of Poetry, etc. The course treats literature very much as a branch of the history of ideas, and Isaiah Berlin's model is generally followed in this regard.
As well as the key literary texts, critical methods are also presented throughout the course and students are expected to apply and compare these as a part of their assessment. Many of the assessed elements of the course focus on the comparison of quite obscure, unnamed fragments of the text; this ensures that independent thinking and a direct application of literary knowledge are essential in order for the student to achieve a pass.
Scope and syllabus