This course takes the “impression” as a cue to explore fiction, philosophy, and visual art of the period from roughly 1874, the year of the first Impressionist exhibition, to 1925, well into the Modernist period, in order to understand how and why “impressionism” came to have such central importance for writers, artists, and other thinkers. We will ask how and why this idea developed over time, how it influenced and was influenced by movements in realism and Modernism, and how the idea of the impression continues to influence the arts today. This class will be both international in scope, focusing on works by French, British, and American authors, and interdisciplinary, encompassing works of different literary genres, including the novel, the short story, and the sketch, as well as works of painting, photography, philosophy, psychology, and criticism. Each week will include discussions of numerous paintings of the period, and we will often focus on the relationships between different artistic media. The course will also include field trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Authors to be covered include Zola, Maupassant, Pater, James, Crane, Hemingway, Ford, and Woolf. This course will satisfy the department’s genre requirement for prose fiction.
To be determined