Instructor: DR. STEPHEN OGDEN
From End of Empire to Third Way."
A number of short but highly influential post-World War II novels share a common inspiration: the mutual and open aggression between the British social establishment and young men of the lower-middle and working classes. The succession of labels given by generations of order and authority to deride this type—stroppers, louts, mods and rockers, hooligans, yobs, punks, lads and, recently, chavs and hoodies—are eloquent testimony in language to the enduring antagonism. In the historical context, the novels will be read against the rapid decline of Britain after her pyrrhic victories in the two World Wars: the martial masculinity bred to build and sustain Empire at once devalued and feared in the post-Colonial Welfare state. In the literary context, we will examine the development from the “angry young man” novel to today’s “new laddism”: the latter genre containing the attempts by Martin Amis and Nick Hornby to write a “Third Way” form of British masculinity capable of being accommodated within the feminism and socialism of New Labour's social legacy.
Note: cinema and popular music also took inspiration from these issues and samples from “Trainspotting” and “Quadrophenia” to "The Football Factory" will illustrate our study.
Kipling, Rudyard: Stalky & Co.
Greene, Graham: Brighton Rock
Stillitoe, Alan: Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Burgess, Anthony: Clockwork Orange
Amis, Martin: Success
Hornby, Nick: High Fidelity
15% Class participation
10% Class presentation
20% Group polemical project
20% Mid-term paper (approx. 2000 words)
35% Final paper (approx. 3000 words)