Virginia Woolf once famously said of Middlemarch that it was “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people” and George Eliot’s novel is widely considered one of the best novels, written in English, of the 19th Century. Gustav Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is considered by many as one of the best novels ever written and is perhaps the first ‘modern’ novel ever published. In this course, we will tackle them both, exploring the provincial worlds of England and France, looking closely at these two different heroines and the authors behind each of them. We will dive deep into the language and structure of these novels, how they compare to each other as well as to their contemporaries, and what influences these works have had on the novels that came after them, paying close attention to historical and social contexts in which both writers created their works. Students will be responsible for class presentations and critical essays. Students are additionally required to attend all literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events, held most Wednesdays at 7pm. Students interested in enrolling in this course will be required to submit a four to six-page writing sample, either creative or scholarly.
Corequisites: Enrolled students are required to attend all literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events, held most Wednesdays at 7pm