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OLLSCOIL NA hÉIREANN, GAILLIMH NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, GALWAY
SEMESTER II EXAMINATIONS, 2007/2008
THIRD & FOURTH ARTS EXAMINATION
EN386: Literature and Culture: (Post) Modernism
Professor A. Minnis Professor G. Watson
Professor H. McDermott Dr. S. Mooney Dr. J. Kenny
TIME ALLOWED: THREE HOURS
ANSWER TWO QUESTIONS: ONE FROM EACH SECTION
PLEASE USE A SEPARATE ANSWER BOOK FOR EACH SECTION SECTION A: Modernism (Dr Mooney) 1. ‘No age can have been more rich than ours in writers determined to give expression to the differences which separate them from the past, and not to the resemblances which connect them with it’ (Virginia Woolf, ‘How It Strikes a Contemporary’). Discuss this statement in relation to the work of two authors on the course.
2. What are the most important fictional AND/OR poetic innovations introduced by modernist writers? You should refer to twoauthors on the course.
3. The single most important characteristic of modernist writing is its iconoclasm. Discuss in relation to two authors on the course. 4. ‘Modernist literature turns away from the external world towards the interior of the individual consciousness.’ Discuss this statement in relation to two authors on the course.
…/Contd. 5. ‘While some modernist writers are excited by modernity, others mourn a lost wholeness associated with the past.’ Discuss this statement in relation to two authors on the course. SECTION B: Postmodernism (Dr Kenny) Texts: Lolita, The Third Policeman, A Clockwork Orange, American Psycho, OnBeauty and Being Just. 6. While it is often argued that postmodernism is primarily an internationalist phenomenon, some consideration of national or local factors is important when exploring postmodernist narrative styles and themes. Discuss with reference to at least two texts from this part of the course. 7. Postmodern fiction has often focused on impossibility rather than possibility, on dystopias rather than utopias. Discuss with reference to at least two texts from this part of the course. 8. Choosing any two texts from this part of the course, compare and contrast the ways in which they explore the artistry of language. 9. Ugliness, not beauty, is the primary postmodern aesthetic. Discuss with reference to at least two texts from this part of the course. 10. To suggest that works by just a few writers are symptomatic of general postmodern trends is to miss the key postmodern point that one of the defining aspects of contemporary literature and culture is extreme individualism and diversity, not uniformity. Discuss with reference to at least two texts from this part of the course.