25 episodes

This course examines major works by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, exploring their interconnections on three analytic scales: the macro history of the United States and the world; the formal and stylistic innovations of modernism; and the small details of sensory input and psychic life.

Warning: Some of the lectures in this course contain graphic content and/or adult language that some users may find disturbing.

Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner Yale University

    • Books

This course examines major works by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, exploring their interconnections on three analytic scales: the macro history of the United States and the world; the formal and stylistic innovations of modernism; and the small details of sensory input and psychic life.

Warning: Some of the lectures in this course contain graphic content and/or adult language that some users may find disturbing.

    1. Introduction

    1. Introduction

    Professor Dimock introduces the class to the works of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner, the premiere writers of American modernism. She orients their novels along three “scales” of interpretation: global geopolitics, experimental narration, and sensory detail. Invoking the writings of critic Paul Fussell, she argues that all three writers are united by a preoccupation with World War I and the implications that the Great War has for irony in narrative representation.

    Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

    This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

    • 43 min
    2. Hemingway's In Our Time

    2. Hemingway's In Our Time

    Professor Wai Chee Dimock discusses Hemingway’s first book In Our Time, a collection of vignettes published in 1925 that launched Hemingway’s career as a leading American modernist. Professor Dimock examines a cluster of three vignettes from In Our Time to show how Hemingway’s laconic style naturalizes problems of pain and violence amidst the ethnic tensions of the American Midwest. Drawing on the theoretical writings of critics Elaine Scarry and Susan Sontag, and the artistic representations of painter Edvard Munch, Professor Dimock shows how language probes the empathetic boundaries of communal suffering in “Indian Camp” and “Chapter II.” She concludes with a discussion of “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife” that shows how inter-ethnic conflict between Native Americans and whites is neutralized by the primitive impulse of peacekeeping, the opposite of the violence she reads in the two other vignettes in this cluster.

    Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

    This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

    • 49 min
    3. Hemingway's In Our Time, Part II

    3. Hemingway's In Our Time, Part II

    Professor Wai Chee Dimock continues her discussion of Hemingway’s In Our Time, testing four additional clusters of chapters and vignettes. She offers readings of each cluster that focus on Hemingway’s logics of expressivity, substitution, and emotional resilience. She concludes that Hemingway mixes tragedy and comedy as genres of writing to produce a humor that vacillates between irony and farce.

    Warning: This lecture contains graphic content and/or adult language that some listeners may find disturbing.

    Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

    This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

    • 50 min
    4. Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

    4. Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

    Professor Wai Chee Dimock begins her discussion of The Great Gatsby by highlighting Fitzgerald’s experimental counter-realism, a quality that his editor Maxwell Perkins referred to as “vagueness.” She argues that his counter-realism comes from his animation of inanimate objects, giving human dimensions of motion and emotion to things as varied as lawns, ashes, juicers, telephones, and automobiles. She concludes with a short meditation on race in The Great Gatsby and encourages a closer reading of the novel’s instances of racial differentiation.

    Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

    This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

    • 48 min
    5. Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Part II

    5. Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Part II

    Professor Wai Chee Dimock concludes her discussion of The Great Gatsby by evaluating the cross-mapping of the auditory and visual fields in the novel’s main pairs of characters. Beginning with an analysis of the Jazz Age, she argues that linkages between what is heard and what is seen have important implications for the overarching themes of The Great Gatsby, including notions of accountability, responsibility, illusion, and disillusion. She focuses on the linked characters of Daisy and Jordan Baker, Gatsby and Nick Carraway, to show how their convergences and divergences tell the entire store of Gatsby’s decline and fall.

    Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

    This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

    • 50 min
    6. Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury

    6. Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury

    Professor Wai Chee Dimock begins her discussion of The Sound and the Fury by presenting Faulkner’s main sources for the novel, including Act V, Scene 5 of Macbeth and theories of mental deficiency elaborated by John Locke and Henry Goddard. Her main focus is on the experimental subjectivity of the novel’s first section which is narrated by Benjy Compson, a mentally retarded 33 year old who is completely innocent of his family’s decline and fall in 1920s Jefferson, Mississippi. Professor Dimock traces Benjy’s preoccupation with his sister Caddy and her sexual innocence through his sense of smell, and the repeated phrase “Caddy smelled like trees.” She concludes by observing that Faulkner protects Benjy from the loss of Caddy by allowing him to move seamlessly between the present and the past, shielding him in his own memories.

    Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

    This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

Matt MacNeil ,

ummm uhhh ummm enunciation could be better.

I was really interested in the sound of this, but the professor can be infuriating to listen to. Every other word is 'ummm' or 'uhhhh' and her enunciation needs work.

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