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The Poetry of Philip Larkin and the Crisis of Modernity
Aug 21, 2014 @ 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm| $10
This lecture and discussion will focus on Philip Larkin, one of England’s most beloved and accessible poets of the 20th century. In particular, we’ll look at the way Larkin’s poetry encapsulates the emotional challenges modernity poses to the individual.
On the one hand, these changes offered a remarkable degree of personal freedom, with secularization and sexual revolution undoing many of the bonds that previously structured social behavior. Paradoxically, rather than offering us pure joy – “a brilliant breaking of the bank, a quite unlosable game” (from his poem “High Windows,”) – these new freedoms laid the groundwork for an increasingly atomized society, with people forced to face the challenges of life without the comforts of community and tradition.
In this class, we’ll use Larkin’s own poetry and sociological theory to better understand modernity and how it’s shaped us. The class will be both a combination of lecture and active discussion.