Literature American


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Literature American

  1. 1. H. Bloom – ‘strong author’, need to be different, liberate from previous generation, freedom against heritage. E. Hemingway – each book should be different, original, write above the times they live in, there is no escape from the past. Melville – not intend to be writer, was on ship, 2 adventure novels ‘Typee’, ’Omoo’, ‘Moby Dick’ > 1851, character Ishmael – young man, captain – Ahab (hidden), navy leg, is famous for his abstract thinking like Shakespeare; writing become profitable. Major American Themes vs. universal themes Individualism vs. democracy Civilization vs. nature Materialism vs. idealism (spiritual election) North vs. South East vs. West The Age of Discovery (16th) and The Age of Book No written records of Indian literary forms – until 19th century (based on oral tradition); 350 languages spoken by Indian native tribes (but they don’ understand each other); great diversity Textualisation – started in 19th (euro Americans and native Americans) 1992 – Jubilee of discovery of America (at that time native tribes were put into reservations) 1636 – Harvard was established. 1707 – Jamestown First written records of colonization were in Spanish, French & Italian. American colonial literature: Captain John Smith – explorer, author of the first book about settlement, ‘A true relation’ ; ‘The General history of Virginia, New England & summer Isles’ > story of Pocahontas; he promote colonization, some of his ideas were democratic; his work may be treated as propaganda – pamphlet; ‘Description of New England’ > instead of gentlemen’s the first colonist should be farmers, fishermen etc., practical aspect, but also writes about pleasures of coming to America (Arcadian delight), makes a list of people who are needed in the colonies. In 1614 he visited America for the last time. Literature of colonies had roots in religious reformation of Martin Luther and John Calvin. First Puritan colonists who settled New England came in 1620 to Plymouth (also Pilgrims). Next come to America in 1630 and settled around Boston and then to other areas. They wanted spiritual freedom; God punished the nation and the officials. They were influenced by J.Calvin’s dogmas >
  2. 2. predestination and grace; symbolic signs; link between Puritanism and Catholicism; certain aspects were forbidden like: doming, gambling, theatre, (hunting but not for pleasure). Family (father) was for them very important and education also. They writing tends to be practical and simple. 1636 – First printing press 1st book printed in America is ‘The Bay Psalm Book’ (translated from Latin into English); no ornamentation needed, text was meant to serve community. William Bradford – self-educated man, ‘instrument of God’. A governor of Plymouth; his language refers to the Bible; looks for signs of God’s prominence, writes about the hardship, thankfulness to the God, of prominence. ‘Of Plymouth Plantation’- tells the story of non-conformists, pilgrims from their beginning in England until 1466; the history of their journey. The Mayflower Compact > 1st document signed in America in the democratic system. John Winthrop - 1st governor of Massachusetts Bay. ‘A model for Christian Charity’ ??? ‘A city upon a hill’ > refers to the words from the Bible (to Matthew), creating community that would be in harmony with God. Thomas Morton – not that interested in religion, practical aspect, started May Pole (celebrate the spring); invited Indians, he was an outsider, twice arrested, angered by Puritans; ‘New English Canaan’ Roger Williams – he did not accept puritan beliefs; defended tolerance diversity; expelled from the community, he lived with Indians than; returned and establish his own community on Rode Island (all people accepted there); ‘A key into the languages of America’ > gives description of Indian life from time he lived with them. 1692 – crisis (neighbour turned against neighbour, witchcraft) Cotton Masher – he saw trials; ‘Magnalia Christi Americana’ ; ‘Wonders of the invisible world’ Arthur Miller ‘Salem Witch’ > metaphor of witches to the situation in USA in 1950’s, accusation of innocent people, McCarthy & his supporters; the crusade. His later poems describe nature. Edward Taylor – physician (doctor), minister; he did not want to publish, wasn’t puritan; very ornamental style, rich figures of speech, metaphors etc.; really emotional in his poetry; his poetry published in 1931 (leading poet of the Puritan period) Michael Wigglesworth – ‘The Day of Doom’ > 1662, one of the best example of Calvinistic dogmat of sin, punishment; vision in the form of ballad; internal rhymes within the poem, about destruction of the world; memorized by children in the colonies.
  3. 3. Jonathan Edwards – about angry God, uses different images, addressing members of the congregation, everything’s God’s will, tone, gesture, mimics. Benjamin Franklin – scientist, politic & writer, he wrote ‘Autobiography’ > about his life from the point of view of success; it was to show how to behave to his son; made a list of 13 virtues: silence, order etc. His models > Jesus & Socrates Enlightenment > Oświecenie Washington Irving –first American short story writer; recognized internationally; anticipate Mark Twain’s humour; spent much time in Europe (17 years); collecting fairytales, studying customs etc; his stories are set in America but relate to Europe; published his stories in sketchbook; ‘The Legend of sleepy Hollow’; ‘Rip Van Winkle’> story about a lazy guy who spends time drinking, in the forest (mountains) he meets a group of dwarfs, he goes to sleep and sleep for 20 years ( wake up after revolution). James Cooper –‘The last of the Mohicans’; ‘The Leather – Stocking Tales’; ‘The Deerslayer’, ‘The Pathfinder’, ‘The Pioneers’, ‘The Prairie’ > common character white man Natty Bumppo > frontier man, trapper, scout; his function was to open up the territory for Indians; expert in tracking and shooting animals – not for fun( at the same time Christian code of nature), innocent, unspoilt, like Adam ; different Indian names: Hatcheye, Leather Stocking, Deerslayer & Pathfinder. Edgar Allan Poe – he was romantic but also rational and pragmatic, addicted to drugs and alcohol; mathematical mind and poetic imagination; ‘Ligeia’, ‘The pleasure of the Red death’, ‘The Cask of Amontillado’, ‘The Philosophy of Composition’ > rules for a poet to follow in order to be successful in writing, ‘The Poetic principle’, ‘The Rationale of Verse’ > all about poetry, max length 100 lines, music very important; ‘The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym’ > 80 pg, , mood – melancholy & gloom, believed in life after death, interested in human mind, ‘The House of The Usher’ > sexual unity of twins’, forerunner of psychoanalytical approach; dream and wakefulness, life & death, sanity & madness, pleasure & horror, perversity & love., house is like a human mind, Roderick – who is mad, ‘The Purloined Letter’ > detective Auguste Dupin, sb is blackmailed him and he must find the letter. Detective story writers – Oscar Wilde ‘The Portray of Dorian Gray’; Dostojewski, Wilson. 3 Great American prose writers – Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville (1819 – 1891) Edgar Allan Poe: 1. The Fall of the House of Usher 2. Manuscript Found in a Bottle 3. The Purloined Letter > Dupin 4. The Murder in the Rue Morgue > Dupin 5. The Mystery of Marie Roget > Dupin 6. The Black Cat 7. The Pit and the Pendulum > in Spain (tortures) 8. The Premature Burial > buried alive 9. The Masque of the Red Death > Medieval Italy
  4. 4. 10. The Oval Portrait Oscar Wilde 1. Portrait of Dorian Gray 2. The Tell-Tale Heart > man kill man ( inspired by Dostojewski) 3. Ligua > master of logical thinking, her mind is more important than body 4. The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether > doctors ill, patients no 5. The Power of Words > physical power of words 6. Berenice > female figures 7. William Wilson Melville 1. Mardi 1. Moby Dick 2. Pierre 3. Confidence – Man 4. Benito Cereno 5. Bertleby, the Scrivener 6. Billy Budd > about a sailor N. Hawthorne – his characters turn into demon 1. The Scarlet Letter > about Puritans 1. The House of Seven Gables > Puritan notion of sin 2. The Marble Faun 3. The Blithedale Romance > highly romantic, utopia vision 4. Twice – Told Tales 5. Mosses from an old Manse 6. Young Goodman Brown 7. Rapacini’s Daughter 8. The Minister Black Veil 9. Ethan Brand 10. Wakefield 11. My Kinsman, Major Molineux Emerson 1. Nature 1. Self Reliance 2. American Scholar > intellectual declaration of independence 3. The Poet 4. The Over – Soul > instead of God 5. Experience Transcendentalism – spiritual principle in every aspect of reality, nature is the symbol of spirit Henry David Thoreau 1. Walden 1. Civil Disobedience > rebellious spirit, refusal to pay taxes
  5. 5. Margaret Fuller – 1st feminine voice, female right Whitman Walt – (1819-1892) 1. Leaves of Grass 1. A woman wits for me 2. To a prostitute 3. Song of myself 4. Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking 5. Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 6. When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d Henry Longfellow (1807-1882) 1. The Song of Hiawatha 1. The Secret of The Sea Emily Dickinson – personal writing, few poems, writes about madness, truth M. Twain 1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Ernest Hemingway – main character Nick Adams, uses the iceberg technique > believed that, like an iceberg, which only reveals one-eighth of itself above water, a story should also only reveal the most essential information and the reader completes the story with its own phantasy. 1. Indian Camp 1. Big Two – Hearted River > themes of initiation 2. The Sun Also Rises > people living in Paris, main character Jake Barnes 3. For Whom The Bell Tolls > about Spanish Civil War 4. A Farewell to Arms William Faulkner - 1897-1962 Nobel Prize Winner in 1949, his novels are set in a country called Yohnapatawpha > Mississippi; interested in Stream of Consciousness 1. Soldier’s Pay 1. Flags in The Dust 2. The Sound and The Fury > Stream of Consciousness; Campson family, 4 sections and narrators; Benjy – idiot, his sister Caddy, brother Quentin, Jason – represents pragmatism 3. As I Lay Dying > about Bundren family, cemetery far away in Jefferson, mother – Addie Francisco Fitzgerald 1. The Great Gatsby 1. The Value of The Ushes ??? 2. Tender is the Night John Dos Passos 1. Three Soldiers 1. Manhattan Transfer 2. The 42nd Parallel
  6. 6. 3. 1919 4. The Big Money Newsreel – gives his novel a sense of unity & historical & social context Camera eye – uses stream of consciousness Robert Frost – 1874-1963, His work frequently employed themes from the early 1900s rural life in New England, using the setting to examine complex social and philosophical themes. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) 1. Richard Cory 1. Miniver Cheery > showing life of a child 2. Luke Harergal 3. Richard Cory > rich, gentleman, killed himself 4. The Road Not Taken > new landscape, 5. MendingWall > spring time, 2 people, 2 contrasting viewpoints William Carlos Williams 1. The Red Wheelbarrow Ezra Pound – creator of the term ‘imagism’ 1. The Cantos Imagism – reliance on image, that has ability to express feelings of three human life. John Barth 1. The Floating Opera 1. Lost in The Funhouse Donald Barthelmy 1. Snow White Thomas Pynchon 1. V 1. Gravity’s Rainbow Features of postmodernism: • Playfulness • Used for purposes of parody • Literary models of expressions re exhausted • Fiction is self-conscious, direct allusion to the process of writing • Theme of mirror – self-reflexivity • Labyrinth / Maze – reader may feel lost
  7. 7. • Lack of the structure Literature of Exhaustion – analyses writing of American writers