ENGL 648: The Verse Novel
 
 

This course will offer students a comprehensive understanding of the cultural and economic background of Victorian poetry. It will also provide an opportunity to examine five important Victorian poems in close detail, alongside a limited number of theoretical and cultural readings. The course will seek to have students achieve two goals: 1) the acquisition of a thorough understanding of Victorian poetics and polemics; 2) the production of a solid piece of scholarly writing. Each seminar will offer a forum in which to build on each student's ideas through scholarly dialogue and critique.


The course will explore the especially fraught relationship poetry had to Victorian society. Facing the formation of a mass market, new technologies of book production, and the rise of the novel, poetry felt its generic parameters especially strongly and often responded to its new situation by addressing the changes occurring in society and culture. One important result is the verse novel, which rose to prominence in the 50s and 60s to interrogate such issues as genre, gender, form, ideology, domesticity, and nationhood. This course will explore five incredibly diverse long poems that have been dubbed at one time or another "verse novels": Alfred Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Robert Browning's Ring and the Book, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh, Arthur Clough's Amours de Voyage, and George Meredith's Modern Love. A number of theoretical questions will be raised by these concerns: is there a relationship between genre and ideology? Is there more than a homological relationship between gender and genre? What part does sex play in the formation of culture? Is it possible to apply narratological insights to poetic form? What are the effects on culture of a market economy?


For background on the dates we will be discussing, see Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History (BRANCH):


http://www.branchcollective.org

 

Poetry in an Age of Prose

Me

HEAV 430

Hours by appointment

felluga@purdue.edu


You

  1. -HEAV 206

  2. -W 6:00-8:50 pm


August 22, 2012—1819

Don Juan, Canto I


August 29, 2012—

1842/ 1855/ 1881

Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Lady of Shalott"; "The Palace of Art" (Reader)


Robert Browning, "My Last Duchess"; "Fra Lippo Lippi" (Reader)


Dante Gabriel Rossetti, "The Sonnet" (Reader)


Lee Erikson, The Economy of Literary Form


September 5, 2012—1857

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh


Nancy Armstrong, Desire and Domestic Fiction


September 12, 2012—1857

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh


Monique Morgan, Narrative Means, Lyric Ends


September 19, 2012—1858

Arthur Hugh Clough, Amours de Voyage


Michael McKeon, Origins of the English Novel


Background: Alison Chapman, “On Il Risorgimento


September 26, 2012—1858

Arthur Hugh Clough, Amours de Voyage


Stefanie Markovits, “The Case of Clough”


October 3, 2012—1859

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King


Herbert F. Tucker, “Trials of Fiction” and Epic


October 10, 2012

Proposal Workshop Today


October 17, 2012—1862

George Meredith, Modern Love


Kenneth Crowell, “Modern Love and the Sonetto Caudato


October 24, 2012—1862

George Meredith, Modern Love


Dino Franco Felluga, “The Verse Novel”


October 31, 2012—1869

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King


November 7, 2012—1869

Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book, 1. ‘Ring and the Book’ and 5. ‘Count Guido’


November 14, 2012—1869

Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book, 7. ‘Pompilia’ and 10. ‘Pope Innocent’


November 21, 2012—1621

Thanksgiving Break


November 28, 2012—1869

Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book, 11. ‘Guido’ and 12. ‘Book and the Ring’


December 5, 2012—1869

Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book