COMP. LIT. ???/POL 260

Hunter College, Spring 1995

Instructor: David A. Goldfarb

Hunter West XXXX, [TIME XXXX]
Office Hours: Hunter West 1303, [TIME XXXX]


What is "modern" about Modernism? This course will consider that question by studying the discourse of the "primitive" in literature and the arts, from Baudelaire through the Second World War. We will compare the development of these ideas in Western Europe to their analogues in Poland, which had a very different political stake in questions of the primitive. We will consider works by Breton, Eliot, Gombrowicz, J.-K. Huysmans, Wyndham Lewis, Pound, Bruno Schulz, S. I. Witkiewicz, and others.


Readings above are listed as they will be discussed in class and should be read in advance of the day they we will cover them.

Grades will be weighted as follows:
Paper I 40%
Paper II 40%
Proposal 10%
Term Paper 70%
or (Graduate Students only)
Oral Presentation 20%
Proposal 10%
Term Paper 50%
All options
Participation 20%


All assignments are optional for auditors.

You may write either two 7-8 page papers or one 15-16 page paper for this course. If you choose to write a longer paper, you must submit a 1-2 page proposal containing your prospective thesis and a sketch of your argument. You must cover at least four of the writers or artists whose work has been assigned for this course. If you are registered for Polish Modernism, two of them must be Polish.

All papers must be written in English, typed and double spaced. If you require bibliographic references, please use parenthetical citations with a list of works cited as described in the MLA Handbook 4/e. You will be evaluated on the logic and clarity of your argument and the solidity of your evidence for that argument. Specifics will be discussed in class.

The first paper is due XXXX. The second paper or final term paper is due XXXX. If you are concerned that you might not be prepared for this course, and you would like a graded assignment back before the drop date, you are welcome to turn the first paper in early.

This portion of your grade includes your productive oral participation in class, attendance, any ungraded in-class assignments, the extent to which your written assignments reflect that you are listening actively in class, and the improvement in your work over the course of the semester. Students enroll in the class with varying degrees of preparation. Even if you enter the class with a strong background in the subject, you must demonstrate that you are learning something from this class in order to do well in it. If you are studying the subject for the first time, do not fear that you will forever be lagging behind the more advanced students. Hard work will be rewarded!

You are strongly encouraged to discuss your papers, as well as all of the assignments, with me at my office hour. There will be no opportunities for extra credit, but if you would like to improve your performance on the written assignments, I will always accept drafts in advance, to be returned ungraded with comments and suggestions. If you choose to write two short papers, you are not required to submit proposals, but it would be a good idea to do so in any case. Most students who turn in drafts and take the suggestions seriously learn a good deal about their writing and improve their assignments by one- half to a full grade. If you would like feedback on your final papers before handing in the final draft, I will accept drafts for comment up to XXXX. The final paper is due XXXX.


6 November 1995