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English Literature

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1. Literature of the 17th century. John Milton. “Paradise Lost”. John Bunyan. “Pilgrim’s Progress”.
The peculiarities of the English literature of the 17th century are determined by the events of the Engl. Bourgeois Revolution, which took place in 1640-60. King Charles I was beheaded in 1649& General Oliver Cromwell became the leader of the new government. In 1660, shortly after Cro-ll’s death, the dynasty of the Stuarts was restored.
The establishment of new social&eco-ic relations, the change from feudal to bourgeois ownership, escalating class-struggle, liberation movement and contradictions of the bourgeois society found their reflection in lit-re.
The main representatives of this period is: John Milton: was born in London&educated at Christ’s College. He lived a pure life believing that he had a great purpose to complete. At college he was known as the The Lady of Christ’s. he Got master’s degree at Cambridge.
It’s convenient to consider his works in 3 divisions. At first he wrote his short poems at Horton. (The Passion, Song on May Morning, L’Allegro). Then he wrote mainly prose. His 3 greatest poems belong to his last group. At the age of 23 he had still done little in life&he admits this in one of his sonnets. (On his 23d B-day) In his another sonnet he wrote on his own blindness. (On his Blindness)
Milton wrote diff. kinds of works. His prose works were mainly concerned with church, affairs, divorce & freedom. The English civil war between Charles I & Parliament followed by the 2nd civil war, 1641-1651. During these years Milton worked hard at his pamphlets, supported Cromwell (also wrote a sonnet “to Cromwell”). He wrote many journalistic works were he stood for the ideas of revolution. His most famous treatis is “the doctrine and discipline of Areopagitica”. He became unpopular when Charles II was made king in 1660, but it was from this time onwards that he wrote his 3 greatest works. (Paradise Lost (poem), Par Regained (poem), Samson Agonist(tragedy)) Based on Bilblical stories were he tried to find !for the ? of his time.
He considered several subjects for this great poems: the fall of the angels, the story of Adam&Eve,&their failure to keep to God’s commands, the revolt of Satan against God. His great epic poem “Paradise Lost” (first printed in 1667 was planned in 10 books, but written in 12. The scene is the whole universe including Heaven&Hell. The poem is written in a splendid blank verse&contains hundreds of remarkable thoughts put into musical verse. Blank verse adds to its splendor and greatness.
2. English enlightenment. D. Defoe. J. Swift.
The Age of Enlightenment was a period in Europe during the 18th century (1688-1789) when the writers wrote that science and the use of reason would help the society to develop. The Age of Enli-ment is often called "The Augustan Age” - that title was chosen by the literary circles for the admiration of Rome under the Emperor Augustus. The form of polite literature was poetry. At the beginning of the 18th century verse was preferable to prose. By the end of the century prose and verse exchanged their places.
At this period journalism started to play an imp-t part in the public life. Periodical newspapers had been published since the Civil War, and in 1702 the first daily newspaper was established. Newspapers and journals helped to share people`s views. The satirical journals: “the Tatler”, “The Spectator”, “The Englishman”. The leading form of literature became the novel. The hero of the novel was a representative of the middle class. The writers of the Age of Enlightenment wanted to improve the world. But some of them hoped to do this only by teaching. Interests ofcommon people, criticize social inequality, hypocrisy; vices in reason,Most of them wrote political pamphlets, moderates Daniel Defoe and radicals Jonathan Swift.
Daniel Defoe (1661-1731) novelist, poet, writer of political essays, publisher, the most prominent author of the Enligh-nt.The founder of the realistic novel in Europe.Born in London in the family of a merchant. Hetravelled a lot and knew several languages. Defoe wrote several comparative notes on manners and customs of different nations in the countries of Europe.
Defoe was forced into bankruptcy several times, and was persecuted for his participation in political plots.
His literature work he began in 1697 with pamphlets, satirical poems, essays. He decided to publish his first real book "An Essay upon Projects" in 1698. He wrote down the suggestions how to improve roads. He published magazines were published his works. in 1719 his masterpiece "Robinson Crusoe” appeared. Defoe published his novel "The Adventure of Colonel Jack”, in 1724 his well-known book “Roxana” appeared.
Despite his several bankruptcies, Defoe wrote with enthusiasm about trade. (+poems and novels)
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) prosiest, poet, prominent satirist.one of the famous English writers of the Age of Enlightenment.
In his "Battle of the Books" (1704) he supported the ancients. In the "Tale of a Tub" (1704) (his 1st considerable work) he attacked the religious ideas. Swift is known to students of literature as the writer of most bitter satire ever written in England ( "A Modest Proposal" ). Jonathan is still loved and valued in Ireland as one of the first and greatest of the fighters for Irish freedom.(was born in Dublin)
Jonathan's masterpiece, "Gulliver's Travels", appeared in1726. It is divided into 4 books, but the young people prefer to read only 2 of them; about Gulliver's voyages to Lilliput and Brobdingnag (where the people are giants). The Lilliputians fight wars which seem foolish. The King of Brobdingnag thinks that people are the most terrible creatures on the Earth. (poems (Verses on the death of dr. Swift)+novels).
3. Mature enlightenment (1740-1750).
The didactic social novel was born in this period. It was represented by works of Samuel Richardson (Pamela, Clarissa) and Henry Fielding (“The history of Tom Jones, a Foundling”).
S. Richardson – novelist, founder of the (семейно-бытовой) novel. 1st novel – Pamela (about a servant-girl who became the landlady because of her honesty and virtue; written in the form of correspondence, letters (переписка). Clarissa – the tragedy of a girl from a rich family who failed to keep to her parents’ commands. Plots of his novels are based on family stories. (melodramatic,didactic novels => success among readers in Europe)
H. Fielding’s works were the summit of the English enl. prose. His 1st novel “Joseph Andrews” – parody on “Pamela” The summit of his works “the History of Tom Jones,a Foundling “the hero,a charming man has a number of adventures and meets lots of pl from all walks of life. The novel gives an all-embracing picture of the 18thcen England. He also elaborated a theory of the novel. He envented социально-бытовой novel which he called “комичэпопеявпрозе”. (author=narrator, несколькопараллельныхсюжетныхлиний). In the introductory chapters he put forward the main requirements of a novel: to imitate life, to show the variety of human nature. +dramatist (plays: The Lottery, Love in several Masques, The Coffee-House Politician); poems Late enlightenment (sentimentalism) (1750-1790). The writers of this period expressed the democratic bourgeois tendencies of their time. They tried to find out a way out of the difficulties of the existing order. While the predecessors believed in the force of intellect, they considered feelings most important. Representatives: Oliver Goldsmith (The Vicar of Wakefield) and Lawrence Sterne (Tristan Shandy), Richard Sheridan (school for scandal).Poetry of Burns. L. Sterne. first novel – ‘Tristan Shandy” brought him success (though opinions differed) – quite original: with lyrical digressions => desire to concentrate on the inner world of a person, his feelings, thoughts. Sterne is thought to be the predecessor of лит-рапотокасознания 20 вв..
4. British Romanticism and its characteristic features. Two generations of British Romanticists. The Lake poets. Historical Novel. W. Scott.
Romantic period lasted ~ 30 years from the last decade of the 18th cent to the 1830. Rom-sm in lit-re was a reaction to the Fr. Revo-n and to the Enlightenment connected with it. The people were disappointed with the outcome of the revolution. This general discontent was reflected in the new trend in lit-re –Rom-sm. The Romantic period in E. had its peculiarities: during the 2nd half of the 18th cent E. went through the Ind-l Rev-n,that gave birth to a new class – the proletariat. The Industrial Revolution in England had a great influence on the cultural life of the country. The writers tried to solve the problems, but we can't treatall the Romantics of England as belonging to the same literary school. Rejection of reality, folklore, nature, exotic surrounding, inner world, outcast.
2 generations: The Elder: conservativeW Scott; W. Wordswort; S.T.Coleridge.
The Younger:revolutionary poets G.G. Byron, P.B. Shelley, J.Keats.
The Lake Poets lived in the beautiful Lake District in the N-W of E. At first-enthusiastic supporters of the Fr. Rev-n,but were disappointed later. They turned to nature and&to the simple problem of live, refused to accept the progress of industry. They resorted to popular forms of verse. The name of Sir Walter Scott(1771-1832) is closely connected with the genre of the historical novel (founder). It was he who introduced it into English Literature, because he was interested in the romantic aspects of Scottish history. His historical novels changed attitudes towards the past, he made the world aware of Scotland, his novels struck the reader with their epic quality. (Rob Roy, Guy Mannering). In 1802-1803 Walter Scott published a collection of Scottish legends under the title of "The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border”.
In hunting for ballads he also hit upon the goblin story out of which he developed his first verse-tale of Border chivalry, “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”(1805).
The great success of the collection encouraged Scott to make literature his main pursuit in life. In 1810 Walter Scott published the most powerful poem, “The Lady of the Lake”. "Waverley", his first historical novel was published in 1814. It was the beginning. It was a success. . But the success of the "Scotch Novels” was great and brought him a large income. He wrote several historical novels about England; the periods he chose there were the end ofthe 16th century (the Elizabethan Age) and the middle of the 17th century (the Bourgeois Revolution and the Restoration of Monarchy). Among those novels were: "Ivanhoe" (1820), "The Monastery” (1820), "The Abbot" (1820), "Quentin Durward” (1823), Kenilworth, Woodstock.
5. British Romanticism,its characteristic features. G.G. Byron, P.B. Shelley, J.Keats.
Romantic period lasted ~ 30 years from the last decade of the 18th cent to the 1830. Rom-sm in lit-re was a reaction to the Fr. Revo-n and to the Enlightenment connected with it. The people were disappointed with the outcome of the revolution. This general discontent was reflected in the new trend in lit-re –Rom-sm. The Romantic period in E. had its peculiarities: during the 2nd half of the 18th cent E. went through the Ind-l Rev-n,that gave birth to a new class – the proletariat. The Industrial Revolution in England had a great influence on the cultural life of the country. The writers tried to solve the problems, but we can't treatall the Romantics of England as belonging to the same literary school. Rejection of reality, folklore, nature, exotic surrounding, inner world, outcast.
2 generations: The Elder: conservativeW Scott; W. Wordswort; S.T.Coleridge.
The Younger:revolutionary poets G.G. Byron, P.B. Shelley, J.Keats.
The Lake Poets lived in the beautiful Lake District in the N-W of E. At first-enthusiastic supporters of the Fr. Rev-n,but were disappointed later. They turned to nature and&to the simple problem of live, refused to accept the progress of industry. They resorted to popular forms of verse.
George Gordon Byron – prominent representative of Rom-m, was born in London, 1788. Poet
1. The London period "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage”(after he’d traveled to several places) (parts 1, 2 ) (1812) "The Corsair" (1814) “Lara” (1814); wrote about the freedom (political, national, personal). =>left England for good =>
2. The Swiss period "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage” (part 3) "Manfred" (a philosophic drama);
3. The Italian period (1816-1823)"Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" (part 4)"Don Juan"(not finished, his masterpiece – satirical encyclopedia of life in Europe, were reflected all sides, aspects of contemporary life)(1818-1823)"Cain" (1821)“The Vision of Judgment" (1821);
4. The Greek period (1823-1824) Several lyrical poems.Died 36.
His main ideas were expressed in his poem "Song for the Luddites".
Persey B. Shelley.Poet (lyrical, satirical) (atheist- excluded from Oxford for that).Disappointment with the outcome of the revolution didn’t arouse pessimism in him. His poems “Queen Mab”, “The revolt of Islam”, “Prometheus Unbound” reflected his utopian revolutionary beliefs in better future based on harmony. His poems are full of brave lyrical images. His works are diverse: philosophical, political, love.
Beauty, passion, nature, political liberty, creativity & the sanctity of the imagination.also a revolutionary idealist, the lover of classical poetry, was very metaphorical.
J.Keats (1795) died of tuberculosis. Keats was attracted to the beauty of antique arts. (“Endymion”, “Hyperion”) his working period was not longer than some 5 years. In his poetry - Love for beauty & life& art, deep feeling of humanism. These are the most imp-t themes of Keats poetry. The style of his poetry was lofty and very lyrical. Keats was fond of writing odes. His talent made the poet mysterious and charming. Keats deeply felt the interdependence of Man and Nature and in his "Ode to a Nightingale” emphasized the contrast between the ugliness of Life and the beauty of the world of Nature
6. Critical realism. Bronte sisters.
Factories- working class, becoming poor.Workhouses were the only sources of relief. The workhouses were made to be deliberately unpleasant in order to discourage paupers from seeking their relief. The Victorian middle class assumed that the poor were impoverished due to lassitude.Since the poor had no voting rights, the state chose to recognize their existence only when they committed crimes,died or entered the workhouses.
History: reign of queen Victoria, the sharpening of class contradictions( proletariat vs capitalism), the parlament reform of 1832( the bourgeoisie betrayed the common people), The Chartist movement ( the People’s charter, for the rights of workers, protests against capitalism, for general voting); slavery was denounced; the last two thirds of the 19th c. England was the most powerful country with highly developed industry, stabilization; bourgeoisie divided: upper, middle, low; married aristocracy. Literature: political problems, pr of poverty, materialism( man has no soul, predetermined by the conditions of life), puritanical age( strict morality, holiness of the family life); romanticism-too aloof, deal with reality, needs of society, day-to-day realites, portrayed people typical of the time & the s-ty they come from, the personages are social types, not psychological, social novel. ), poverty, lust for money, hypocrisy; sympathy for the lower class- possessed moral qualities; social environment shaped the human character.
Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) Emily Bronte (1818-1848)Anne Bronte (1820-1849)
They began to write poetry and novels when they were very young. They died before their best- known books became the famous works of E. literature.
*”Wuthering Heights” (1847) the only novel by Emily Bronte. It`s about intense relationship btw Catherine Earnshaw&Heatcliff, which leads to many problems.
*”Jane Eyre” by Charlotte. Jane is a private teacher for the daughter of Edward Rochester they fall in love and are about to marry when she discovers that he already has a wife who is mentally ill. Years later the lovers meet again & marry. The novel is still popular.
These both novels have realistic and romantic elements
REALISTIC: People &their lives are affected by such motives as striving for wealth &position. Social obstacles to the marriage btw – Jane E. &Mr. Rochester; Catherine and Heathcliff. In “Wuthering Heights” – true life of 2 families is described (the Earnshows& the Lintons)
ROMANTIC: The novels are poetic and display the love of the Yorkshire landscape. There is mystery in both novels: Rochester`s wife; the author`s nightmare.
The peculiarities of their writing: -the creation of the feeling of claustrophobia (the feeling of being locked in with events) - the mixture of romantic and realistic features:
Realism versus Romanticism:*good sense-uncontrollable emotion*cold detachment-strong passion *middle class reasonableness-savage obsession*traditional society-wild nature*typical people-imaginary ghosts*conventional houses-haunted mansions*everyday life-unusual happenings*low-key prose-vivid l-ge
Contributions:
* A fragmented structure * A method of multi-narration&its effects * The flashback technique * Unparalleled emotional intensity * Freedom from social conventions.

7. Critical realism. Ch. Dickens. W.M. Thackeray.
The 19th century was characterized by sharp contradictions. In many ways it was the age of progress, great scientific discoveries, education but at the same time it was the age of profound social unrest, because there was too much poverty, too much injustice. This progress only enriched the few at the expense of the many. The basic social classes in England became now the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The workers fought for their rights. Their political demands were expressed in the People’s Charter in 1833. The Chartist movement was a revolutionary movement of the English workers, they introduced their own lit-re, which was the first attempt to create the literature of the working class. A lot of writers became aware of the social injustices around them and tried to depict them in their works. Thus this period was reflected in literature by the appearance of a new trend, the Critical Realism.
Ch. Dickens (1812-70)- an English writer (dramatist, actor) of novels who combined great writing with the ability to write popular stories full of interesting characters. His many books are mostly about life in Victorian England (politics, education, class struggle, social injustice,) and often describe the harsh conditions in which poor people lived. All his novels have sharp social orientation. Sympathy to a “small person” - the hero of the majority of his novels, the belief in virtue, emotion and sentimentality => popular today.“Oliver Twist” .“A Tale of 2 cities”.The Pickwick Papers (adventures, social satire) 1837. Pickwick is an embodiment of the greatest kind-heartedness&generosity.
Great Expectations is a novel (1811). It’s a story of a young man,Pip
David Copperfield is a novel. A boy in Victorian England is sent to London for a life of hard work&poverty. He becomes a successful writer,but marries a silly girl,Dora,without realizing that another woman,Agnes, really loves him.Doradies&David marries Agnes. The novel is based on D’s own life. (novels, short stories)
W.M. Thackeray. Prominent satirist-writer, historian, journalist, cartoonist. The works of Thackery&Dickens complement each other in presenting the life of the period, but Th. Directed his satire against the representatives of the upper classes of society whom he knew better.
His most outstanding works are: The Book of Snobs(1846-47), Vanity Fair(1847-48).
The Book of Snobs-he presents here a gallery of men&women of the ruling classes of England. He writes about the of the aristocracy;the evils of the bourgeoisie; the English military men of high rank who place themselves above the rank. All they are snobs. The book is a real encyclopedia of the life of the ruling classes in England. He puts snobbery as a typical feature of English character.
Vanity Fair.A Novel without a Hero.For Thackeray, everyone lives in Vanity Fair; vanity has become the desire for society's approval and rewards. (Rebecca Sharp, Amelia Sadley).
In this novel Th. Shows that people display the worst of their nature. Becky Sharp is a typical heroine of the day. The characters are divided inti 2 gr.:Rogues and dupes.

9. Aesthetiticism. O.Wilde. Neo-romanticism
Political background:
Br. became an imperialistic country; violent economic crisis; the worker’s movement became stronger; degradation of moral & cultural values.
Decadence-general crisis of bourgeois ideology & culture. It manifested itself in symbolism, impressionism, imagism, neoromanticism, futurism,etc.
The Decadents had no interest for the real world and for the industrialization of society, which they considered pointless and the cause of man's unhappiness. Arts and dreams, on the other hand, were their unique sources of inspiration and, in the end, their lives. They hated materialism and positivism, prefering instead the rejection of established norms. Aestheticism – a movement in search of beauty.
Motto: “Art for Art’s sake”Behind this expression lied the intense desire of making art an end in itself and justifying the role of the artist.Aesthetics protested against vulgar reality, bourgeois pragmatism; concentrated their art on pure form; rejected moral and social function of art; try to lead readers away from the problems of the day into the world of dreams and beauty.
O.WildeFrom his mother he inherited scornful attitude towards the hypocrisy of British bourgeois morals. He joined the Aesthetism movement & became the leading figure. Problems: of Good & Evil; good qualities of the poor; hypocrisy in human relations; the endings are tragic; criticism of upper classes.
-The happy prince and other tales;The house of pomegranates;-The picture of Dorian Grey;An ideal husband(play)
In his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), Wilde sharpened his pen to express his disillusion with and sarcastic vision of the aristocracy. His Poetry is rich in aphoristic paradoxes, witty dialogs.
Neo-romanticism.The term neo-romanticism is considered in opposition to naturalism. The naturalist in art stresses external observation, whereas the neo-romanticist adds feeling and internal observation. These artists tend to draw their inspiration from artists of the age of high romanticism, and from the sense of place they perceive in historic rural landscapes; and in this they react in general to the 'ugly' modern world of machines, new cities, and profit. Characteristic themes include longing for perfect love, utopian landscapes, nature reclaiming ruins, romantic death, and history-in-landscape. A more persuasive criticism is that neo-romanticism lacks an adequate conception of evil in the modern world.///protest against bourgeois rules; seacher for an escape from a life without beauty &interest.
R.Kiplingwas born in a rich family in India. Got a good education in England & then returned to India to indulge himself in journalism, then moved again to England & became famous. He introduced a new theme into Eng.lit-re: colonial life, asserted the right of Englishmen to rule over the native population.*the description of beautiful exotic things;*admiration for strength and activity =>pl like it
Tales, short tales - The light that failed; Kim; The Jungle Book; Poems - The seven seas, If.
J. Conrad was born in a family of a Pole. Studied at Krakow. In 1874 moved to Marseilles& became a sailor. In 1894 left the navy activities, moved to Kent & began writing. His hero is a strong energetic man, who opposes bourgeois society and look for a happy life. Paid much attention to the inner world of a man, his emotional state. He deals mostly with unconscious impulses (fear, attraction), not social motives. He is a master of nature description, but it’s isn’t his main goal, it’s directed at the main goal – description of the emotional world of a hero.
Novels - *Lord Jim; Youth; The Rover; Short tales - Heart of darkness.

10. Critical realism of the early 20thc.Galsworthy,Wells Features of Critical Realistic Writings:
1) The realists first and foremost criticized the capitalist society from a democratic viewpoint and portrayed the crying (extremely shocking) contradictions of bourgeois reality.
2) The greatness of the English realists lies not only in their satirical portrayal of bourgeoisie and in the exposure of the greed and hypocrisy of the ruling classes, but also in their sympathy for the laboring people.
3)Humor and satire are used to expose and criticize the seamy (dark) side of reality.4) The major contribution of the critical realists lies in their perfection of the novel.
Galsworthy(a Nobel Prize winner) , one of the most prominent of the 20th century English realistic writers, was born in a well-to-do bourgeois family. He studied law at Oxford, but took to literary work after graduation. The Island of Pharisees –attacked the British privileged classes for being content with the bourgeois way of life..The Man of Property was a landmark in the development of Galsworthy’s art. It established his place in literature as a representative of bourgeois realism in the 20th century English novel.upper middle class dictates the laws in the country.Continues the tradition of TOLSTOY.The idea of creating a series of novels portraying the history of English bourgeois life occurred to Galsworthy. The project was carried out in The Forsyte Saga, his masterpiece. The 1st serial ever made by BBC The FS.The ForsyteSaga gives a profound and true-to-life picture of the English bourgeois society during a period of forty years, beginning from the eighties of the 19th century up to the twenties of the 20th century.
Herbert George Wells (1866--1946)in a poor family, biologist,the inventor of social fantasies, his novel- science fiction, but connected with social prospects , his realism is pierced with satire & fantasy; a system of “technocracy”: the scientist & technicians can solve existing contradictions. Spoke for evolution, not revolution, realized the danger of discoveries. ,took a keen interest in Russia,visited Russia several times(“Russia in the darkness”). “The 1st man in the Moon”, “The invisible man”,”The war of the worlds”,”The time machine”-the problem of morality-whether people would be able to control machines they create. Also the author of several social novels,not as good as science fiction.
Themes: the fate of human civilization; morality, ethics &discovers; fate of mankind( after WW1)
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950).An Irishman,wrote music, book and art criticism. Demanded theateres should perform dealing with contemporary social & moral problems, make people think &suffer..His plays are 4 the eye.One should read this plays,not just go to the theatre.Changes. Stage remarks were not extended, begins to introduce context, gives an extended description of the scene, characters.1st cycle of dramatic works Widowers’ Houses. Mrs. Warren’s Profession-Plays unpleasant-showed the dirty of the rich income, wealth, the society is to blame for it. Plays pleasant- witty comedies: Arms & the man, The Man of Destiny.Ceaser& Cleopatra- destroyed dramatic illusions about some historical personages, showed the true motives of human actions. Wrote 50 plays. Based in paradoxical situations & dramatic discussions ; witty dialogues. simplification of English
Was a member of Fabian society-socialism goals by means of evolution,reforms,the? Of social injustice. Active in politics, reforms, women’s rights.; paradoxical situate, satire. He took the modern social issues as his subjects with the aim of directing social reforms.
Most of his plays are concerned with political, economic, moral, or religious problems, and, thus, can be termed as problem plays. * The Devil’s Disciple * Man and Superman * Major Barbara * Heartbroken House * The Apple Car

11. Modernism (1900-1940)
M-nism is a lit.&cult. movement, flourished in the first decades of the 20th century. The turn of the century was a key moment when a number of theories, to prove influential for Modernism, were elaborated, such as Einstein's treatise on relativity, Max Planck's on quantum theory, Freud's on the unconscious. It reflects a sense of cultural crisis , it opened up prospects of human possibilities. M-nism is marked by experimentation, manipulation of form, and by the realization that knowledge is not absolute. Marx, Freud, and Darwin had unsettled the human subject from its secure place at the centre of at least the human universe, and had revealed its dependence on laws and structures outside its control&beyond its knowledge. Historical& material determinism, psychoanalytic theories, conception of evolution and heredity conspired to threaten human self-confidence&provoke a feeling of ideological uncertainty. It engendered an aesthetics of experimentation, fragmentation, ambiguity, and nihilism. M-nism was built on a sense of lost community&civilization(embodied contradictions and paradoxes). Modernist literature transcends the limitations of the Realist novel with its concern for larger factors such as social or historical change; this is largely demonstrated in "stream of consciousness" writing. Examples can be seen in Virginia Woolf's “Kew Gardens”, “Mrs Dalloway”, James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. From R-сism to M-nism: in R-cism there was a belief in organic triad of correspondence btw the subject, the object (the perceived world), and the medium of expression( no fracture; no dissonance btw subject&object). In contrast, M-nismproceeded an awareness of discontinuity between subject and object. The triad of R-cism was replaced by the dyad of M-rnism: the subject (intellectual imagination)&the object/medium language. characteristics: Open Form, Free verse, Discontinuous(прерывистое) narrative, Intertextuality, Classical allusions, Borrowings from other cultures and languages, Unconventional use of metaphor, Multiple narrative points of view (parallax),Thematic characteristics, Breakdown of social norms and cultural sureties, Dislocation of meaning and sense from its normal context, Valorization(преувеличение) of the despairing individual in the face of an unmanageable future, Rejection of history and the substitution of a mythical past, borrowed without chronology, Stream of consciousness, Overwhelming technological changes of the 20th Century.
Virginia Wolf (1882-1941)Novelist and critic,a member of the Bloomsbury Group(nucleus of the intellectual circle of writers and artists)- Tries to experiment in almost all novels. Mrs Dalloway (1925),To the Lighthouse (1927),Orlando (1928)-identity is never fixed.we never know what we are.Her text is the game,she plays with the reader. and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929), with its famous dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Woolf is considered one of the greatest innovators in the English language. In her works she experimented with stream-of-consciousness and the underlying psychological as well as emotional motives of characters.
James Joyce(1882-1941)-Irish novelist. Irish Renaissance.France- marries. Dies in Switzerland. Second only to Shakespeare in his mastery of the English language.Definitely established “ stream of consciousness” as a valid way of writing fiction. 1914—Dubliners, short stories about the hard life of poor people in Dublin.1916– A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, a novel which is largely autobiographical, about a boy growing up in Dublin,prioritisesart.His view of life is grim.He doesn’t have any illusions.The person is flesh and bone with few ideas.1922– Ulysses, his masterpiece,a novel about three main characters in Dublin, told entirely through “stream of consciousness”,28000 words
12. Modernism (1900-1940)
M-nism is a lit.&cult. movement, flourished in the first decades of the 20th century. The turn of the century was a key moment when a number of theories were elaborated, such as Einstein's treatise on relativity, Max Planck's on quantum theory, Freud's on the unconscious. It reflects a sense of cultural crisis, it opened up prospects of human possibilities. M-nism is marked by experimentation, manipulation of form, and by the realization that knowledge is not absolute. Modernist literature transcends the limitations of the Realist novel with its concern for larger factors such as social or historical change; this is largely demonstrated in "stream of consciousness" writing. From R-сism to M-nism: in R-cism there was a belief in organic triad of correspondence btw the subject, the object (the perceived world), and the medium of expression( no fracture; no dissonance btw subject&object). In contrast, M-nismproceeded an awareness of discontinuity between subject and object. The triad of R-cism was replaced by the dyad of M-rnism: the subject (intellectual imagination)&the object/medium language. characteristics: Open Form, Free verse, Discontinuous(прерывистое) narrative, Intertextuality, Classical allusions, Borrowings from other cultures and languages, Unconventional use of metaphor, Multiple narrative points of view (parallax),Thematic characteristics, Breakdown of social norms and cultural sureties, Dislocation of meaning and sense from its normal context, Valorization(преувеличение) of the despairing individual in the face of an unmanageable future, Rejection of history and the substitution of a mythical past, borrowed without chronology, Stream of consciousness, Overwhelming technological changes of the 20th Century.
D. Lawrence came from a mining family(father was a drinking miner, mother-former school teacher=>conflict, reflected in Lawrence’s works, relations btw the sexes&the role of love&sex in human life). his manner of writing is more traditional, some scholars call him realist, but the psychological subtlety&basic understanding of man as a subconscious being place Lawrence among modernists. man is a predetermined by his subconsciousness, not society(as for realists). He was a real follower of Freud. “Sons&Lovers” (1913) can be considered a talented illustration of Oedipus Complex. His other novels deal with sex&love “The White Peacock”(1911); Women in Love, Lady Chatterley’s lover
13. The lost generation lit-re. Aldington. The WW1 writers are known as “lost generation” writers. The term was introduced by Gertrude Stein. She uses it metaphorically: old values & beliefs were lost in the war but unfortunately new moral values were not formed yet. Majority of these writers went through the war themselves. The classical example of novel about lost generation is “The Death of a Hero” by R. Aldington. He propagated the doctrine escapism(escape in beauty world from the ugliness of the war). This ideal world was shattered by the WWI. He came from it another man, he broke with imagists & continued to work in realistic trend. “The Death of a Hero”(1929)is a social novel disclosing tragic consequence & reasons of war. readers see that the war was inevitable, the protagonist tries to find the answer who is responsible for that? Everybody is guilty for the rivers of spilt human blood. This book is a cry for redemption for the writer. There are many autobiographical touches in the book. He unmasks the hypocrisy of the English society, respected families. Aldington wants to show that this is a pack of lies that the war is a noble deed, a salvation. His ideals are truth & beauty. he says that this generation was lost before the war started. War was not the source of the tragedy but rather result of it. “The Death of a Hero” is the first big & most successful of all his works. His other novels are:“Colonel’s Daughter”, “All Men Are Enemies”, “Very Heaven” All are about those people who came back from the war alive but still couldn’t find their place in life. The critics say that Aldington predominantly is the writer of one theme & one hero, & that he just treats this topic in different aspects. Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises (1926). A Farewell to Arms (1929), Hemingway used his experiences as a reporter during the civil war in Spain as the background for his most ambitious novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). Among his later works, the most outstanding is the short novel, The Old Man and the Sea (1952), the story of an old fisherman's journey, his long and lonely struggle with a fish and the sea, and his victory in defeat. Fitzgerald. His novels include The Great Gatsby, one of the classics of American literature. His writing defined the 1920s, an era Fitzgerald himself named "the Jazz Age." .This Side of Paradise in 1920 was a revelation of the new morality of the young; it made Fitzgerald famous. The Great Gatsby (1925). All of his divided nature is in this novel, the naive Midwesterner afire with the possibilities of the “American Dream” in its hero, Jay Gatsby
14. American Romanticism ( 1800-1850)
American writers began to develop an American voice in their writing style, separating them from the continental European writers, were still influence by the major philosophical movement of the time: Romanticism. Romanticism dominated the 19th century, in Europe and the United States.
History: Frontier- opportunity for expansion, growth freedom; spirit of optimism; immigration brought new cultures & perspectives; growth of industry in the north & the agrarian south; search of new spiritual roots, declaration of Independence.
Characteristics :Values feeling and intuition over reason, Places faith in experience and imagination ,Rejects civilization in favor of nature- source of knowledge/spirituality, Prefers youthful innocence to educated sophistication; common man as a hero;the inner world of the man;Champions individual freedom, Looks to the wisdom of the past; interest in the antique: ballads, tales.Finds beauty and inspiration in myth and the supernatural, Escapism.
Two Types of Romantics in America
Early: Irving & Cooper- their characters are never physically unbalanced; don’t suffer from inner contradictions; complicated reality has no effect on them; they are too near to the Enlighters; revolutionary optimism; belive in the principle of the Independence; see & criticize the distortions which they find in them. Late: Poe- theme of solitude; man struggles with dark forces of his own physics; themes of sorrow, suffering.
Washington Irving. Wrote under several pseudonyms;was intermediary b/n England & America; First found success as a satirist - A History of New York: funny, fake history that ridiculed America’s past. Influenced by British Romantic, Sir Walter Scott.
An American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle", appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. U.S. author, called the “first American man of letters” and the first to earn his living solely by his pen. Irving perfected the American short story, and was the first American writer to place his stories firmly in the United States. + “Tales of Traveler (short story); “The life & voyages of Columbus (biography); “The Life of G. Washington” (biography). Look for the ideal in the midts of the colonizers
James Fenimore Cooper wrote 32 novels; described his travellings to diff countries, potrays customs & life; The Spy bring into continuacy past & present, man & his fate. oRiginator of Am-n sea novel, loved sea: The Pilot; Invented American hero for the world; Cooper saw the virtue in American innocence; Wrote five novels chronicling the adventures of Natty Bumppo - Child of white parents, raised by Native Americans; -problem of Am pioneerism& civilization, social, economical. His most popular work, The Last of the Mohicans( describes nature of North America), ; The Leatherstocking Tales, has tremendously impacted the way many view both the American Indians and the frontier period of American history. The romanticized image of the strong, fearless, and ever resourceful frontiersman (i.e. Natty Bumppo), as well as the stoic, wise, and noble "red man" (i.e. Chingachgook).Freedom of life & uncivilized Indians. “The Pioneers”, “The Red Rover”, “Deerslayer”
Edgar Allan Poe
Created the “detective story” genre .Explored the criminal mind and the psychology of a killer with stories like “Tell Tale Heart” and “Hop-Frog”. As a writer, he was the master of the psychological thriller—wanted to discover the unsettling truth in the dark, irrational depths of the mind; his famous poem, "The Raven".dark and creepy tales like, "The Fall of the House of Usher" or "The Tell-tale Heart". Poe wrote quite a few gothic stories about murder, revenge, torture, the plague, being buried alive, and insanity. Many modern books and movies have "borrowed" ideas from Poe. Poe invented the detective story with tales like "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter". Sherlock Holmes and other fictional detectives would later be based on the characters that Poe created
15. AmericanRomanticism
American writers began to develop an American voice in their writing style, separating them from the continental European writers, were still influence by the major philosophical movement of the time: Romanticism. Romanticism dominated the 19th century, in Europe and the United States.
History: Frontier- opportunity for expansion, growth freedom; spirit of optimism; immigration brought new cultures & perspectives; growth of industry in the north & the agrarian south; search of new spiritual roots, declaration of Independence.
Characteristics : Values feeling and intuition over reason, Places faith in experience and imagination ,Rejects civilization in favor of nature- source of knowledge/spirituality, Prefers youthful innocence to educated sophistication; common man as a hero;the inner world of the man;Champions individual freedom, Looks to the wisdom of the past; interest in the antique: ballads, tales.Finds beauty and inspiration in myth and the supernatural, Escapism, against bourgeois morals, independence from English
Two Types of Romantics in America
Gothic Romantics—Poe, Hawthorne, Melville- late romanticists, lost faith in political justice of social political system of the country, look for renewed humanity, for clean & primitive life; H interested in study of utopian socialism; M – the exotic life of faraway islands; hopeless search of truth in the world, at times they rebel, but oppressed by their tragic destiny.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) struggled against puritanism; Short stories and novels deal with sin and redemption; First success was a collection of short stories— Twice Told Tales 1837; Achieved literary popularity with The Scarlet Letter in 1850
Melville
Melville's early years of sailing around the world provided much of the background material for his literary works. His first trip to Liverpool was the basis for his novel Redburn. His travels into the South Seas on a whaling vessel lead to Moby Dick. This also well as resulted in his jumping ship and staying on the Marquesas Islands with the cannibalistic tribe of Typee. He described this stay in Typee. Typee and Omoo became wildly popular with the public; but the public had no interest in Melville's allegories and ambiguities. By the time Moby Dick was published, the public had lost interest in Melville. It took seventy years before Moby Dick was popularly read and recognized as one of the greatest American novels of all time. + poetry; struggle for freedom of life of India
16. Transcendentalism - philosophical and literary movement 1836 to 1860. It originated among a small group of intellectuals who were reacting against the orthodoxy and the rationalism, faith centering on the divinity of humanity and the natural world. derived some of its basic idealistic concepts from romantic German philosophy and from such English authors as Wordsworth. Its mystical aspects were partly influenced by Indian and Chinese religious teachings. The beliefs that God is immanent in each person and in nature and that individual intuition is the highest source of knowledge led to an optimistic emphasis on individualism, self-reliance, and rejection of traditional authority. Believe most fundamental truths about life & death can be reached not through the mind’s logic but through deep & free intuition which is recognized as the highest power of the soul. The Soul of every individual is identical with the soul of the world & contains all that the world contains. disregard of external authority & optimism. Man was born “ tabolarassa”
Ralph Waldo Emerson in such essays as "Nature" (1836), "Self-Reliance," and "The Over-Soul" (both 1841), and by Henry David Thoreau in his book Walden (1854). The movement began with the occasional meetings of a group of friends in Boston and Concord to discuss philosophy, literature, and religion. Hedge Club, they were later dubbed the Transcendental Club by outsiders .treasured in the American frontier: As pioneers continued to move west, individuality, self-reliance, and intuition were extremely desirable traits for isolated farmers, miners, and trappers. The Colonies fought for their independence and the laws of the United States of American were assigned to protect and preserve individual freedoms. Emerson believed that since people where ultimately good and that they would always do the right thing if they followed their intuition. All people are open to this higher knowledge.
Thoreu embodied the transcendental themes of independence and self-reliance. He also believed in following one's own intuition, and to do so, one must simplify their life.His famous experiment in living close to nature, and his equally famous night in jail to protest an inhuman institution and an unjust war, are distilled in his best known works, Walden and "Civil Disobedience."
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet. He was seen as a champion of individualism, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries. Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first, then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series. Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Walt Whitman. American poet, essayist and journalist.1819-1892America's First Modern Poet: He embraced ideals of working class democracy more than any other of his contemporaries, and he experimented with free-verse and realistic imagery. His poems inspired many of the poets who came after him. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its obvioussexuality
17. CRITICAL REALISM ( since 1850)
Critical Realism as a trend in American literature reached full development after the Civil War(U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) between the industrial North and the agricultural, slave-owning South), This was the era of the millionaire manufacturer and the speculator, Business boomed after the war,The constant influx of immigrants provided a seemingly endless supply of inexpensive labor as well. In 1860, most Americans lived on farms or in small villages.As industrialization grew, so did alienation. The deep-going changes in the country, the new type of human relations that had come into being compelled them to see man as a product of his environment, to deal with actual facts and realities.they realized that the people must be represented as a whole, the life of the individual interlinked with that of other human beings. Critical Realism embraced all aspects of American life.
The realists used the theme of love to show up the immorality of bourgeois society which made love and marriage a matter of business; realists also showed how the bourgeois commercialization of art and the artist could destroy the noble role of art and reduce it to a commodity. The realists saw man on the background of social conflicts of the day andanalysed human nature and human emotions in relation to this background. The reader could imagine the past and the future of each literary personage because the development of the image was closely linked with the historical development of the present. The American realists rejected sentimentality and the "genteel tradition” in the style of writing. Their portrayal of life, as they found it, may sometimes have been rude and unpolished but it was always original and truthful. Mark Twain, Frank Norris, Stephen Crane, Jack London and Theodore Dreiser were among the many writers of that period .whose works were brilliant examples of mature realism. But American realism enriched world realism by advancing the problems of social injustice, the Negro and Indian questions, the fate of the young generation and the problem of emancipation of women. The American ruling classes used every possible means to prevent the development of realism in literature and the exposure of the true nature of capitalist society American authors armed with the methods of Critical Realism created great works of art which served to unmask the truth about the reactionary foundations of modern imperialism, and served to greatly influence the struggle for social justice.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the latter often called "the Great American Novel." Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer., he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which became very popular and brought nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well received. Twain had found his calling. He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age," and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature.” Twain's style, based on vigorous, realistic, colloquial American speech, gave American writers a new appreciation of their national voice. Twain was the first major author to come from the interior of the country, and he captured its distinctive, humorous slang and iconoclasm. It was a way of speaking truth and exploding worn-out conventions.Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language. Many of Twain's works have been suppressed at times for various reasons.the vast number of pieces written by Twain (often in obscure newspapers) and his use of several different pen names. .

18. Naturalism in American Literature (1880-1910)
The term naturalism describes a type of literature that attempts to apply scientific principles of objectivity and isolation to its study of human beings.characters can be studied through their relationships to their surroundings, that human beings as "products" should be studied impartially, without moralizing about their natures. Other influences on American naturalists include Herbert Spencer and Joseph LeConte. naturalistic writers believed that the laws behind the forces that govern human lives might be studied and understood. human beings governed by their instincts and passions as well as the ways in which the characters' lives were governed by forces of heredity and environment. The naturalist populates his novel primarily from the lower middle class or the lower class. His fictional world is that of the commonplace and unheroic in which life would seem to be chiefly the dull round of daily existence, as we ourselves usually conceive of our lives. But the naturalist discovers in this world those qualities of man usually associated with the heroic or adventurous, such as acts of violence and passion which involve sexual adventure or bodily strength and which culminate in desperate moments and violent death. The naturalist, however, discovers in this material the extraordinary and excessive in human nature. The naturalist often describes his characters as though they are conditioned and controlled by environment, heredity, instinct, or chance. But he also suggests a compensating humanistic value in his characters or their fates which affirms the significance of the individual and of his life. Characters.Frequently but not invariably ill-educated or lower-class. Their attempts at exercising free will or choice are hamstrung by forces beyond their control; social Darwinism and other theories help to explain their fates to the reader.
The "brute within" each individual, composed of strong and often warring emotions: passions, such as lust, greed, or the desire for dominance or pleasure; and the fight for survival in an amoral, indifferent universe. The conflict in naturalistic novels is often "man against nature" or "man against himself" despite external pressures that threaten to release the "brute within." Nature as an indifferent force acting on the lives of human beings. An indifferent, deterministic universe. Naturalistic texts often describe the futile attempts of human beings to exercise free will, often ironically presented, in this universe that reveals free will as an illusion.
Stephen Crane (November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900) was an American novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. Crane began writing at the age of four and had published several articles by the age of 16. Crane's first novel was the Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, which critics generally consider the first work of American literary Naturalism. He won international acclaim for his 1895 Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, which he wrote without any battle experience.. Late that year he accepted an offer to cover the Spanish-American War as a war correspondent.. While en route to Cuba, Crane's ship sank off the coast of Florida, leaving him adrift for several days in a dinghy. His trial was later described in "The Open Boat". Crane's writing is characterized by vivid intensity, distinctive dialects, and irony. Common themes involve fear, spiritual crises and social isolation. Crane is also known for short stories such as "The Blue Hotel", "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky", and The Monster. His writing made a deep impression on 20th century writers, most prominent among them Ernest Hemingway, and is thought to have inspired the Modernists and the Imagists. John Griffith "Jack" London was an American author, journalist, and social activist. Jack London, whose life symbolized the power of will. His vigorous stories of men and animals against the environment, and survival against hardships were drawn mainly from his own experience.. His years in searching for gold left their mark in his best short stories; The Call of the Wild, and White Fang. The Sea-Wolf, was based on his experiences at sea. His work embraced the concepts of unconfined individualism and Darwinism in its exploration of the laws of nature. London was a passionate advocate of unionization, socialism, and the rights of workers :novel The Iron Heel, his non-fiction exposé The People of the Abyss, and The War of the Classes. London's "strength of utterance" is at its height in his stories, and they are painstakingly well-constructed. Martin Eden. He wrote about the great questions of life and death, the struggle to survive with dignity and integrity, and he wove these elemental ideas into stories of high adventure based on his own firsthand experiences at sea, or in Alaska, or in the fields and factories of California.. Naturalism has been understood as a dialectic between free will and determinism. The appeal of naturalistic tales is often escape. The urban problems of unemployment, labor wars, and poverty are left behind for a spare scenario in which an individual can be tested. A stock naturalistic device involves taking an "overcivilized" man from the upper classes into a primitive environment where he must live by muscle and wit. London struggled to reconcile his radical, working-class identity with that of his middle-class, literary self.
19. At the beginning of the 20th century, American novelists were expanding fiction's social spectrum to encompass both high and low life and sometimes connected to the naturalism, realism, modernism.
Realism: to see man as a product of his environment, to deal with actual facts and realitie, the problems of social injustice, the Negro and Indian questions, the fate of the young generation and the problem of emancipation of women.Naturalism: . human beings governed by their instincts and passions as well as the ways in which the characters' lives were governed by forces of heredity and environment, "man against nature" or "man against himself". Modernism: the power of human beings to create, improve, and reshape their environment, including race relations, gender roles, and sexuality, "build a self", mad & madness.
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser was an American novelist and journalist of the naturalist school. His novels often featured main characters who succeeded at their objectives despite a lack of a firm moral code, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of choice and agency. Dreiser's best known novels include Sister Carrie (1900) and An American Tragedy (1925). Dreiser was born in Indiana in a strict Catholic family.. His first novel, Sister Carrie , tells the story of a woman who flees her country life for the city (Chicago) and there lives a life far from a Victorian ideal, the depiction of a country girl who pursues her dreams of fame and fortune through relationships to men. It has been called the "greatest of all American urban novels. His first commercial success was An American Tragedy, is a reflection of the dissatisfaction, envy, and despair that afflicted many poor and working people in America's competitive, success-driven society. As American industrial power soared, the glittering lives of the wealthy in newspapers and photographs sharply contrasted with the drab lives of ordinary farmers and city workers. The media fanned rising expectations and unreasonable desires. Such problems, common to modernizing nations, gave rise to muckraking journalism — penetrating investigative reporting that documented social problems and provided an important impetus to social reform. Though primarily known as a novelist, Dreiser published his first collection of short stories, Free and Other Stories in 1918. The collection contained 11 stories. Another story, "My Brother Paul", was a brief biography of his older brother, Paul Dresser, This story was the basis for the 1942 romantic movie, "My Gal Sal".Dreiser also wrote poetry. His poem, "The Aspirant," continues his theme of poverty and ambition, as a young man in a shabby furnished room describes his own and the other tenants' dreams, and asks "why? why?" Other works include Trilogy of Desire, which was based on the life of the Chicago streetcar tycoon Charles Tyson Yerkes and composed of The Financier (1912), The Titan (1914), and The Stoic. Dreiser was often forced to battle against censorship because his depiction of some aspects of life, such as sexual promiscuity, offended authorities and challenged popular opinion. Dreiser's great theme was the tremendous tensions that can arise among ambition, desire, and social mores.
20. American modernism - is a trend of thought that affirms the power of human beings to create, improve, and reshape their environment, with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology and practical experimentation, and is thus in its essence both progressive and optimistic. American modernism is an artistic and cultural movement in the United States starting at the turn of the 20th century with its core period between World War I and World War II and continuing into the 21st century.covered a wide variety of topics including race relations, gender roles, and sexuality. It reached its peak in America in the 1920s up to the 1940s.( 1920-1960) Celebrated Modernists include Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, and while largely regarded as a romantic poet.
Influenced by the first World War, many American modernist writers explored the psychological wounds and spiritual scars of the war experience. The economic crisis in America at the beginning of the 1930s also left a mark on literature. A related issue is the loss of self and need for self-definition, as workers faded into the background of city life, American modernists echoed the mid-19th-century focus on the attempt to "build a self"—a theme illustrated by Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Madness and its manifestationsseems to be another favorite modernist theme, as seen in Faulkner's That Evening Sun. Nevertheless, all these negative aspects led to new hopes and aspirations, and to the search for a new beginning, not only for the contemporary individuals, but also for the fictional characters in American modernist literature. Race relations between blacks and whites, the gap between what was expected of each of the two and what the facts were, or, better said, prejudice in the society of the time are themes dealt with in most of the modernist American literature. For instance, stereotypes such as the lack of education, dialectical English and portrayals of blacks as dangerous are not done away with in modernist literature, but remain present.. The African-American character in this short story proves out to be a kind, calculated and polite man whose good manners and carefully chosen vocabulary are easily noticeable from the first moment he appears in the story.
William Faulkner (1897-1962)
Faulkner created an entire imaginative landscape, Yoknapatawpha County, mentioned in numerous novels, along with several families with interconnections extending back for generations. Yoknapat-awpha County, with its capital, "Jefferson," is closely modeled on Oxford, Mississippi, and its surroundings. Faulkner re-creates the history of the land and the various races — Indian, African-American, Euro-American, and various mixtures — who have lived on it. Faulkner experimented brilliantly with narrative chronology, different points of view and voices (including those of outcasts, children, and illiterates), and a rich and demanding baroque style built of extremely long sentences full of complicated subordinate parts.
The best of Faulkner's novels include The Sound and the Fury (1929) and As I Lay Dying (1930), two modernist works experimenting with viewpoint and voice to probe southern families under the stress of losing a family member;Light in August (1932), about complex and violent relations between a white woman and a black man; and Absalom, Absalom! (1936), perhaps his finest, about the rise of a self-made plantation owner and his tragic fall through racial prejudice and a failure to love.
Most of these novels use different characters to tell parts of the story and demonstrate how meaning resides in the manner of telling, as much as in the subject at hand. The use of various viewpoints makes Faulkner more self-referential, or "reflexive," than Hemingway or Fitzgerald; each novel reflects upon itself, while it simultaneously unfolds a story of universal interest. Faulkner's themes are southern tradition, family, community, the land, history and the past, race, and the passions of ambition and love. He also created three novels focusing on the rise of a degenerate family, the Snopes clan: The Hamlet (1940), The Town (1957), and The Mansion (1959).

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