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Wallace Stevens and the 20th Century

Semester and Year FA 2008
Course Number K20.1421
Section 001
Units 2.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


Wallace Stevens holds an important place among modern American poets, yet his readers continue to puzzle over Stevens’ work, especially as it relates to the most pervasive concerns of the twentieth century. In his poetry, he writes very little about specific cataclysmic events of his time, yet Stevens ponders questions of faith in a secular world, considers heroism and loss in a century marked by two world wars, and probes our human relationship to nature in an increasingly industrialized and technological world. In this course, we will take a close look at Stevens’ relationship to the twentieth century.  While his poetry will be at the center of the class, we will focus our attention on how Stevens gives voice to the contradictions and complexities of the modern world.  Stevens’ own work will be the main text of this course, yet readings will include contextual material drawn from literary criticism, intellectual history, philosophy, and politics.

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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