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1950’s to Present1950’s to Present
&&
Contemporary LiteratureContemporary Literature
1970’s to Present1970’s to Present
1970’s to Present1970’s to Present
1970’s to Present1970’s to Present
1970’s to Present1970’s to Present
1970’s to Present1970’s to Present
2
All the time periods
•Romanticism (Gothic)
•Transcendentalism
•Realism
•Naturalism
•Modernism
•Harlem Renaissance
•Postmodernism
•Contemporary
3
Postmodernism: What is it?Postmodernism: What is it?
This period began after WWII and overlaps inThis period began after WWII and overlaps in
time with Modernism and Contemporary.time with Modernism and Contemporary.
It’s very similar in its themes and forms toIt’s very similar in its themes and forms to
Modernism, except it seems to celebrateModernism, except it seems to celebrate
“insanity”, or the idea that there are no universal“insanity”, or the idea that there are no universal
truths, more than Modernism.truths, more than Modernism.
One of the main ideas in Post-Modernism is theOne of the main ideas in Post-Modernism is the
“death of the subject”, the idea that when I say“death of the subject”, the idea that when I say
“I”, there really is no “I”, only a bunch of societal“I”, there really is no “I”, only a bunch of societal
brainwashing, of images and words that I groupbrainwashing, of images and words that I group
together under the heading of “I”.together under the heading of “I”.
4
• Postmodernism is a term that encompasses
a wide-range of developments in philosophy,
film, architecture, art, literature, and culture.
• Originally a reaction to modernism, referring
to the lack of artistic, intellectual, or cultural
thought or organized principle.
• Started around 1940s, exact date is
unknown.
• Peaked around the 1960s and 1970s with the
release of Catch 22 and Slaughterhouse
Five.
5
What do Modernist and Post-
Modernist Writing Share in
Common?
• Fragmentation – in plot, characters, theme,
images, and overall storyline.
• Loss is a huge theme in modernist works.
• The destruction of the family unit.
• Characters may be given little or no physical
description, and one or more characters is
usually an "outcast."
• Authority figures are often untrustworthy,
reflecting the question of truth.
• Movement away from religion.
• The reversal of traditional roles
6
What do Modernism and Post-
Modernism Share in Common,
• Ambiguous ending
• Often setting is more than just the setting or,
maybe there is no setting at all.
• The use of improper grammar to reflect dialect.
• More sexuality shown in a blatant way
• More use of the first person narrative, reflecting
the lack of universal truth, i.e. there are only
individual truths.
How Did it Come About?How Did it Come About?
• The aftermath of WW II ushered in an ageThe aftermath of WW II ushered in an age
of rapid developments in science andof rapid developments in science and
technology.technology.
• The postwar years offered manyThe postwar years offered many
Americans increased opportunities forAmericans increased opportunities for
economic and cultural growth, but theeconomic and cultural growth, but the
individual person seems lost in the fast-individual person seems lost in the fast-
paced, computerized world.paced, computerized world.
88
What was going on during the
years of Post-Modernism?
• WWII ended in 1945
• Cold War with U.S. Russia begins in 1949
• 1950’s society splits between
conservative, family oriented values,
versus those left out of the American
Dream, as seen in the Civil Rights
Movement, Beat Poets, Unions, etc.
• A rise in technology: computers introduced
in the 1960s: now a daily part of life
99
Cultural Changes in Post Modern
times:
• Often called “The Information Age”, where
so much new information is coming at us
that humans find it hard to adapt
• The culture of this time period is called
“Consumer Society”, since our economy’s
success is founded on an ever expanding
appetite for, and consumption of, material
goods. We define ourselves by our
brands.
1010
What else during this time period?
• 1960s-70s: Vietnam War
• 1970s: Nixon resigns in disgrace
• 1979: Hostage Crisis with Iran
• 1980’s: Berlin wall taken down, end of
Cold War
• 1990’s: Rise of Terrorism and rise of
“Islamophobia”
Contemporary fictionContemporary fiction
• Contemporary fiction allows for multipleContemporary fiction allows for multiple
meanings and multiple worlds, usesmeanings and multiple worlds, uses
nontraditional forms, and comments upon itself.nontraditional forms, and comments upon itself.
• However, it embraces traditional storytellers asHowever, it embraces traditional storytellers as
well as postmodern risk-takers.well as postmodern risk-takers.
• It features cultural diversity, criss-crosses theIt features cultural diversity, criss-crosses the
boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, andboundaries between fiction and nonfiction, and
uses subjects, images, and themes from theuses subjects, images, and themes from the
past fearlessly.past fearlessly.
Contemporary NonfictionContemporary Nonfiction
• Contemporary nonfiction has become aContemporary nonfiction has become a
field equal to fiction, though questionsfield equal to fiction, though questions
about terminology and accuracy still giveabout terminology and accuracy still give
rise to controversy.rise to controversy.
• New Journalism (or Literary Journalism)New Journalism (or Literary Journalism)
has added personal and fictional elementshas added personal and fictional elements
to nonfiction, enhancing its popularity withto nonfiction, enhancing its popularity with
today’s readers.today’s readers.
Contemporary PoetryContemporary Poetry
• By the early 1950s, many writers and readersBy the early 1950s, many writers and readers
felt that modernist poetry – impersonal, allusive,felt that modernist poetry – impersonal, allusive,
difficult – was no longer appropriate. The timesdifficult – was no longer appropriate. The times
called for a more personal and accessiblecalled for a more personal and accessible
approach that challenged complacency andapproach that challenged complacency and
convention.convention.
• Landmarks in the revolt against modernist poetryLandmarks in the revolt against modernist poetry
included poems by Alan Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath,included poems by Alan Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath,
and Ann Sexton.and Ann Sexton.
1414
Influential works:
• Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
• Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
• Lost in the Funhouse – John Barth
• The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
• White Noise – Don DeLillo
• Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
• The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
1515
• Alice WalkerAlice Walker
• Wallace StevensWallace Stevens
• E. E. CummingsE. E. Cummings
• Maya AngelouMaya Angelou
• Anne SextonAnne Sexton
• James BaldwinJames Baldwin
• Richard WrightRichard Wright
• Sandra CisnerosSandra Cisneros
• Amy TanAmy Tan
• Orson Scott CardOrson Scott Card
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P moder contemplit

  • 1. 1950’s to Present1950’s to Present && Contemporary LiteratureContemporary Literature 1970’s to Present1970’s to Present 1970’s to Present1970’s to Present 1970’s to Present1970’s to Present 1970’s to Present1970’s to Present 1970’s to Present1970’s to Present
  • 2. 2 All the time periods •Romanticism (Gothic) •Transcendentalism •Realism •Naturalism •Modernism •Harlem Renaissance •Postmodernism •Contemporary
  • 3. 3 Postmodernism: What is it?Postmodernism: What is it? This period began after WWII and overlaps inThis period began after WWII and overlaps in time with Modernism and Contemporary.time with Modernism and Contemporary. It’s very similar in its themes and forms toIt’s very similar in its themes and forms to Modernism, except it seems to celebrateModernism, except it seems to celebrate “insanity”, or the idea that there are no universal“insanity”, or the idea that there are no universal truths, more than Modernism.truths, more than Modernism. One of the main ideas in Post-Modernism is theOne of the main ideas in Post-Modernism is the “death of the subject”, the idea that when I say“death of the subject”, the idea that when I say “I”, there really is no “I”, only a bunch of societal“I”, there really is no “I”, only a bunch of societal brainwashing, of images and words that I groupbrainwashing, of images and words that I group together under the heading of “I”.together under the heading of “I”.
  • 4. 4 • Postmodernism is a term that encompasses a wide-range of developments in philosophy, film, architecture, art, literature, and culture. • Originally a reaction to modernism, referring to the lack of artistic, intellectual, or cultural thought or organized principle. • Started around 1940s, exact date is unknown. • Peaked around the 1960s and 1970s with the release of Catch 22 and Slaughterhouse Five.
  • 5. 5 What do Modernist and Post- Modernist Writing Share in Common? • Fragmentation – in plot, characters, theme, images, and overall storyline. • Loss is a huge theme in modernist works. • The destruction of the family unit. • Characters may be given little or no physical description, and one or more characters is usually an "outcast." • Authority figures are often untrustworthy, reflecting the question of truth. • Movement away from religion. • The reversal of traditional roles
  • 6. 6 What do Modernism and Post- Modernism Share in Common, • Ambiguous ending • Often setting is more than just the setting or, maybe there is no setting at all. • The use of improper grammar to reflect dialect. • More sexuality shown in a blatant way • More use of the first person narrative, reflecting the lack of universal truth, i.e. there are only individual truths.
  • 7. How Did it Come About?How Did it Come About? • The aftermath of WW II ushered in an ageThe aftermath of WW II ushered in an age of rapid developments in science andof rapid developments in science and technology.technology. • The postwar years offered manyThe postwar years offered many Americans increased opportunities forAmericans increased opportunities for economic and cultural growth, but theeconomic and cultural growth, but the individual person seems lost in the fast-individual person seems lost in the fast- paced, computerized world.paced, computerized world.
  • 8. 88 What was going on during the years of Post-Modernism? • WWII ended in 1945 • Cold War with U.S. Russia begins in 1949 • 1950’s society splits between conservative, family oriented values, versus those left out of the American Dream, as seen in the Civil Rights Movement, Beat Poets, Unions, etc. • A rise in technology: computers introduced in the 1960s: now a daily part of life
  • 9. 99 Cultural Changes in Post Modern times: • Often called “The Information Age”, where so much new information is coming at us that humans find it hard to adapt • The culture of this time period is called “Consumer Society”, since our economy’s success is founded on an ever expanding appetite for, and consumption of, material goods. We define ourselves by our brands.
  • 10. 1010 What else during this time period? • 1960s-70s: Vietnam War • 1970s: Nixon resigns in disgrace • 1979: Hostage Crisis with Iran • 1980’s: Berlin wall taken down, end of Cold War • 1990’s: Rise of Terrorism and rise of “Islamophobia”
  • 11. Contemporary fictionContemporary fiction • Contemporary fiction allows for multipleContemporary fiction allows for multiple meanings and multiple worlds, usesmeanings and multiple worlds, uses nontraditional forms, and comments upon itself.nontraditional forms, and comments upon itself. • However, it embraces traditional storytellers asHowever, it embraces traditional storytellers as well as postmodern risk-takers.well as postmodern risk-takers. • It features cultural diversity, criss-crosses theIt features cultural diversity, criss-crosses the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, andboundaries between fiction and nonfiction, and uses subjects, images, and themes from theuses subjects, images, and themes from the past fearlessly.past fearlessly.
  • 12. Contemporary NonfictionContemporary Nonfiction • Contemporary nonfiction has become aContemporary nonfiction has become a field equal to fiction, though questionsfield equal to fiction, though questions about terminology and accuracy still giveabout terminology and accuracy still give rise to controversy.rise to controversy. • New Journalism (or Literary Journalism)New Journalism (or Literary Journalism) has added personal and fictional elementshas added personal and fictional elements to nonfiction, enhancing its popularity withto nonfiction, enhancing its popularity with today’s readers.today’s readers.
  • 13. Contemporary PoetryContemporary Poetry • By the early 1950s, many writers and readersBy the early 1950s, many writers and readers felt that modernist poetry – impersonal, allusive,felt that modernist poetry – impersonal, allusive, difficult – was no longer appropriate. The timesdifficult – was no longer appropriate. The times called for a more personal and accessiblecalled for a more personal and accessible approach that challenged complacency andapproach that challenged complacency and convention.convention. • Landmarks in the revolt against modernist poetryLandmarks in the revolt against modernist poetry included poems by Alan Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath,included poems by Alan Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, and Ann Sexton.and Ann Sexton.
  • 14. 1414 Influential works: • Catch 22 – Joseph Heller • Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut • Lost in the Funhouse – John Barth • The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien • White Noise – Don DeLillo • Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon • The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
  • 15. 1515 • Alice WalkerAlice Walker • Wallace StevensWallace Stevens • E. E. CummingsE. E. Cummings • Maya AngelouMaya Angelou • Anne SextonAnne Sexton • James BaldwinJames Baldwin • Richard WrightRichard Wright • Sandra CisnerosSandra Cisneros • Amy TanAmy Tan • Orson Scott CardOrson Scott Card AUTHORS