Modernism in Literature, 1910-1960


Course Description

The writers of the Modernist movement of the early and mid 20th century changed the face of literature forever. Stylistically, Modernist writing featured an emphasis on experimentation, objectivity, and a multi-layered, symbolic reading of texts. Philosophically, the writers focused on the individual by exploring the psychology of the self and by foregrounding the existential concerns relating to one’s place in a fragmented and absurd universe. This course will explore the following questions: What are some of the similar concerns in the works of the early Modernists and later writers? What characterizes the psychological dimensions of a work of Modernist literature? How does Modernist writing reflect the Weltanschauung of the time, brought about particularly by World War I and World War II? Does a dichotomy exist between the objectivity of the early Modernists (Pound, Eliot, Williams) and the subjectivity of the other writers of that period (Woolf and, later, confessional poets like Plath and Sexton)? Finally, what lasting influence do the Modernists have on our current view of the world with respect to the relativity of human experience, exemplified through the non-linear structure of a work of Modernist literature?

Books to Purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop during the weeks prior to the course beginning):

    • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, Grove Press (ISBN: 9780802144423)

    • James Joyce, Dubliners, Penguin Classics (ISBN: 9780140186475)

    • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Penguin Classics (ISBN: 9780241371947)


Please call 514-935-9585 or e-mail if you are interested in being added to the waitlist for this course. You will be contacted if space opens up.

Course Details

Location: Zoom

First Session: Thursday, September 21st, 2023

Course Length: 12 weeks, Thursdays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Discussion Team: Zsolt Alapi, Anne Fitzpatrick, Murray Shugar 

Degree Credit: 3.0 credits

Course Fee: 

$150.00 (standard tuition)
$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)
$135.00 (promotion for new students)

Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

Questions? Stuck? Give us a call at (514) 935-9585
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