Ten week course

The Age of ‘isms: Literary Modernism in Europe and America

Modernism was a period defined by radical thinking, boldly proclaimed in manifestos and expressed through a variety of different art forms. Within literature, pre-conceived notions of narrative and syntax were challenged, characters were developed using insights drawn from psychology, and poets explored the visual representation of their words on the page. As boundaries were extended, new ‘isms’ were born. Through following the development of Modernist literature in Europe and America, this course will compare the changes in the written word to the changes occurring within art, architecture, music and film.


Week 1   Early Modernism

              Selected poems by Charles Baudelaire


Week 2   Science .v. Religion

              Extracts from The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells


Week 3   The Cold Abyss of Oneself

              Selected parables and short stories by Franz Kafka


Week 4   Visualising the Future

              Selected writings by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti


Week 5   A City in Words

              Extracts from Ulysses by James Joyce


Week 6   Seeking the Essence

              Selected poems by Federico Garcia Lorca


Week 7   Writing as Witness

              Selected poems by Anna Akhmatova


Week 8   The Female Sentence

              Extracts from To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf


Week 9   Surrealism and the City

              Extracts from Last Nights of Paris by Philippe Soupault


Week 10 Extending Boundaries

              Selected poems by E. E. Cummings



Alternatively, to discuss a bespoke version, please contact me here

Cubist tenement building at Neklonova No. 30, Prague.
Designed by Josef Chochol.

Fallingwater, Pennsylvania – a house designed by
Modernist architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Shukhov Tower on the west bank of the Oka River,
central Russia – an example of Constructivist
architecture – designed by Vladimir Shukhov.