Обыкновенно начало английской литературы относят к началу Англосаксонского периода. Первые крупные памятники англосаксонской литературы — памятники латинские — принадлежат представителям духовенства: Альдгельм, живший во второй половине VII века, автор витиеватой прозы и стихов, Бид — автор знаменитой "Церковной истории англов",Алкуин— учёный монах, знаток грамматики, риторики, диалектики, переехавший в 60-летнем возрасте ко двору Карла Великого).Что касается древнейших памятников англо-саксонского языка, то крупные поэтические произведения доходят до нас от XI века, если не считать памятников документального характера, хроник, текстов законов.Самым замечательным памятником древней английской поэзии является поэма о Беовульфе. В ней описываются события, относящиеся к первой половине VI века, эпохе борьбы франков с готами.
The main protagonist, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose great hall, Heorot, is plagued by the monster Grendel. Beowulf kills both Grendel and Grendel's mother, the latter with a magical sword.Later in his life, Beowulf is himself king of the Geats, and finds his realm terrorized by a dragon whose treasure had been stolen from his hoard in a burial mound. He attacks the dragon with the help of his thegns, but they do not succeed. Beowulf decides to follow the dragon into its lair, at Earnanæs, but only his young Swedish relative Wiglaf dares join him. Beowulf finally slays the dragon, but is mortally wounded. He is buried in a tumulus by the sea.Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts. The poem also begins in medias res ("into the middle of affairs") or simply, "in the middle", which is a characteristic of the epics of antiquity. Although the poem begins with Beowulf's arrival, Grendel's attacks have been going on for some time. The poet who composed Beowulf, while objective in telling the tale, nonetheless utilizes a certain style to maintain excitement and adventure within the story. An elaborate history of characters and their lineages are spoken of, as well as their interactions with each other, debts owed and repaid, and deeds of valor.is it a Christian work set in a Germanic pagan context? The question suggests that the conversion from the Germanic pagan beliefs to Christian ones was a very slow and gradual process over several centuries, and it remains unclear the ultimate nature of the poem's message in respect to religious belief at the time it was written. The poem is set in pagan times, and none of the characters is demonstrably Christian.
"Золотой век" англо-саксонской литературы до нашествия норманнов—эпоха Альфреда Великого, победителя датчан, в течение почти двух веков опустошавших Британию. Альфред много сделал для восстановления разрушенной культуры, для поднятия образованности, сам был писателем и переводчиком (перевёл, в том числе, на англо-саксонский язык "Церковную историю" Бида, написанную на латыни).
The Battle of Maldon' is the name conventionally given to a surviving 325-line fragment of Old English poetry. Linguistic study has led to the conjecture that initially the complete poem was transmitted orally, then in a lost manuscript in the East Saxon dialect and now survives as a fragment in the West Saxon form, possibly that of a scribe active at the Monastery of Worcester late in the 11th century . At the time of battle, English royal policy of responding to Viking incursions was split. Some favoured paying off the Viking invaders with land and wealth, while others favoured fighting to the last man. Recent scholarship suggests that Byrhtnoth held this latter attitude, hence his moving speeches of patriotism in the poem.The Vikings sailed up the Blackwater (then called the Panta), and Byrhtnoth called out his levy. The poem begins with him ordering his men to stand and how to hold weapons. His men, except for his household guard, were peasants and householders from the area. He ordered them to "send steed away and stride forwards": they arrived on horses but fought on foot. The Vikings sailed up to a small island in the river. At ebb, the river leaves a land bridge from this island to the shore; the description seems to have matched the Northey Island causeway at that time. This would place the site of the battle about two miles southeast of Maldon. Olaf addressed the Saxons, promising to sail away if he was paid with gold and armour from the lord. Byrhtnoth replied, "We will pay you with spear tips and sword blades."Olaf's forces could not make headway against the troops guarding the small land bridge, and he asked Byrhtnoth to allow his warriors onto the shore. Byrhtnoth, for his ofermōde (line 89b), let all the Vikings cross to the mainland. Battle was joined, but an Englishman called Godrīc fled riding Byrhtnoth's horse. Godrīc's brothers Godwine and Godwīg followed him. Then many English fled, recognizing the horse and thinking that its rider was Byrhtnoth fleeing. The Vikings overcame the Saxons after losing many men, killing Byrhtnoth. After the battle Byrhtnoth's body was found with its head missing, but his gold-hilted sword was still with his body. The only known survivor from Cædmon's oeuvre is his Hymn. Cædmon's Hymn, the nine-line alliterative vernacular praise poem in honour of God which he supposedly learned to sing in his initial dream. The poem is known from 21 manuscript copies making it the best-attested Old English poem after Bede's Death Song (with 35 witnesses) and the best attested in the poetic corpus in manuscripts copied or owned in the British Isles during the Anglo-Saxon period. The Hymn also has by far the most complicated known textual history of any surviving Anglo-Saxon poem. It is found in two dialects. It is one of the earliest attested examples of written Old English and one of the earliest recorded examples of sustained poetry in a Germanic language. Together with the runic Ruthwell Cross and Franks Casket inscriptions, Cædmon's Hymn is one of three candidates for the earliest attested example of Old English poetry.There is continuing critical debate about the status of the poem as it is now available to us. While some scholars accept the texts of the Hymn as more or less accurate transmissions of Cædmon's original, others argue that they originated as a back-translation from Bede's Latin, and that there is no surviving witness to the original text.
IV-VI - переход от античности к средним векам (476 - императора убили, падение Рима) V - X/XI - распад цивилизации, темные века, раннее средневековьеXI-XIII - высокое средневековье. Это культура христианская, отрицая языческое отношение к миру, тем не менее, сохранила осн достижения античной культуры. Средневековая литература носит религиозный характер, преобл произведения, построенные на библейских мифах, посвященные Богу, жития святых, их пишут на лат языке. Светская литература выступает не отражением действительности, а воплощением идеальных представлений о человеке, типизацией его жизни.Основная черта - героический эпос, лирика, романы. Поэты создавали поэмы о военных подвигах и делах феодалов. в средневек культуре прослеживается постоянное стремление к самосовершенствованию и избавлению от греховности. Чем древнее - тем подлиннее - вот кредо связи нового и старого в духовной жизни. Новаторство считали проявлением гордыни, отступление от архетипа рассматривалось как отдаление от истины. Отсюда анонимность произведений, ограничение свободы творчества рамками теологически нормированного мировоззрения, каноничность.
Особым явлением была рыцарская литература, воспевающая дух войны, вассального служения, поклонения прекрасной даме. Трубадуры говорили о приключениях, любви, победах, эти произведения использовали живой разговорный язык.
Geoffrey Chaucer was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales. Sometimes called the father of English literature, Chaucer is credited by some scholars as the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacular Middle English, rather than French or Latin. Chaucer's works are sometimes grouped into first a French period, then an Italian period and finally an English period, with Chaucer being influenced by those countries' literatures in turn. Chaucer is best known as the writer of The Canterbury Tales, which is a collection of stories told by fictional pilgrims on the road to the cathedral at Canterbury; these tales would help to shape English literature.The Canterbury Tales contrasts with other literature of the period in the naturalism of its narrative, the variety of stories the pilgrims tell and the varied characters who are engaged in the pilgrimage. Many of the stories narrated by the pilgrims seem to fit their individual characters and social standing, although some of the stories seem ill-fitting to their narrators, perhaps as a result of the incomplete state of the work. Chaucer drew on real life for his cast of pilgrims: the innkeeper shares the name of a contemporary keeper of an inn in Southwark, and real-life identities for the Wife of Bath, the Merchant, the Man of Law and the Student have been suggested. The many jobs that Chaucer held in medieval society—page, soldier, messenger, valet, bureaucrat, foreman and administrator—probably exposed him to many of the types of people he depicted in the Tales. He was able to shape their speech and satirise their manners in what was to become popular literature among people of the same types.
Chaucer is sometimes considered the source of the English vernacular tradition and the "father" of modern English literature. His achievement for the language can be seen as part of a general historical trend towards the creation of a vernacular literature after the example of Dante in many parts of Europe. A parallel trend in Chaucer's own lifetime was underway in Scotland through the work of his slightly earlier contemporary, John Barbour, and was likely to have been even more general, as is evidenced by the example of the Pearl Poet in the north of England.Although Chaucer's language is much closer to modern English than the text of Beowulf, it differs enough that most publications modernise his idiom.
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence affected literature, philosophy, art, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art. The new ideals of humanism, although more secular in some aspects, developed against a Christian backdrop, especially in the Northern Renaissance. Indeed, much (if not most) of the new art was commissioned by or in dedication to the Church.However, the Renaissance had a profound effect on contemporary theology, particularly in the way people perceived the relationship between man and God.Many of the period's foremost theologians were followers of the humanist method, including Erasmus, Zwingli, Thomas More, Martin Luther, and John Calvin. This era in English cultural history is sometimes referred to as "the age of Shakespeare" or "the Elizabethan era", the first period in English and British history to be named after a reigning monarch. Sir Thomas More was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. More once seriously contemplated abandoning his legal career in order to become a monk. Although he deeply admired the piety of the monks, he ultimately decided on the life of a layman upon his marriage and election to Parliament in 1504. In spite of his choice to pursue a secular career, More continued to observe certain ascetical practices for the rest of his life, wearing a hair shirt next to his skin and occasionally engaging in flagellation. More sketched out his most well-known and controversial work, Utopia (completed and published in 1516), a novel in Latin. In it a traveller, Raphael Hythlodeaus (in Greek, his name and surname allude to archangel Raphael, purveyor of truth, and mean "speaker of nonsense"), describes the political arrangements of the imaginary island country of Utopia (Greek pun on ou-topos [no place], eu-topos [good place]) to himself and to Pieter Gillis. At the time, most literate people could understand the actual meaning of the word "utopia" because of the relatively widespread knowledge of the Greek language. This novel describes the city of Amaurote by saying, "Of them all this is the worthiest and of most dignity". Utopia contrasts the contentious social life of European states with the perfectly orderly, reasonable social arrangements of Utopia and its environs (Tallstoria, Nolandia, and Aircastle). In Utopia, with communal ownership of land, private property does not exist, men and women are educated alike, and there is almost complete religious toleration. More supported the Catholic Church and saw the Reformation as heresy, a threat to the unity of both church and society. Believing in the theology, polemics, and ecclesiastical laws of the Church, More "heard Luther's call to destroy the Catholic Church as a call to war. More refused to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn as the Queen of England. Technically, this was not an act of treason, as More had written to Henry acknowledging Anne's queenship and expressing his desire for the king's happiness and the new queen's health. Despite this, his refusal to attend was widely interpreted as a snub against Anne and Henry took action against him. More was asked to appear before a commission and swear his allegiance to the parliamentary Act of Succession. More accepted Parliament's right to declare Anne Boleyn the legitimate queen of England, but he steadfastly refused to take the oath of supremacy of the Crown in the relationship between the Kingdom and the Church in England. Holding fast to the ancient teaching of Papal supremacy, More refused to take the oath and furthermore publicly refused to uphold Henry's annulment from Catherine. His head was fixed upon a pike over London Bridge for a month, according to the normal custom for traitors. His daughter Margaret (Meg) Roper rescued it, possibly by bribery, before it could be thrown in the River Thames. Sir Thomas Wyatt was a 16th-century English lyrical poet credited with introducing the sonnet into English was not only a poet, but also an ambassador in the service of Henry VIII. Wyatt was imprisoned in the Tower of London for allegedly committing adultery with Anne Boleyn. He was released from the Tower later that year
Wyatt's professed object was to experiment with the English tongue, to civilise it, to raise its powers to those of its neighbours. and although a significant amount of his literary output consists of translations of sonnets by the Italian poet Petrarch, he wrote sonnets of his own. Wyatt's sonnets first appeared in Tottle's Miscellany, now on exhibit in the British Library in London.In addition to imitations of works by the classical writers Seneca and Horace, he experimented in stanza forms including the rondeau, epigrams, terza rima, ottava rima songs, satires and also with monorime, triplets with refrains, quatrains with different length of line and rhyme schemes, quatrains with codas, and the French forms of douzaine and treizaine  in addition to introducing contemporaries to his poulter's measure form (Alexandrine couplets of twelve syllable iambic lines alternating with a fourteener, fourteen syllable line). and is acknowledged a master in the iambic tetrameter .While Wyatt's poetry reflects classical and Italian models, he also admired the work of Chaucer and his vocabulary reflects Chaucer’s (for example, his use of Chaucer’s word newfangleness, meaning fickle, in They flee from me that sometime did me seek). His best-known poems are those that deal with the trials of romantic love. Others of his poems were scathing, satirical indictments of the hypocrisies and flat-out pandering required of courtiers ambitious to advance at the Tudor court. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey was an English aristocrat, and one of the founders of English Renaissance poetry. He and his friend Sir Thomas Wyatt were the first English poets to write in the sonnet form that Shakespeare later used, and Henry was the first English poet to publish blank verse in his translation of the second and fourth books of Virgil's Aeneid. Together, Wyatt and Surrey, due to their excellent translations of Petrarch's sonnets, are known as "Fathers of the English Sonnet." While Wyatt introduced the sonnet into English, it was Surrey who gave them the rhyming meter and the division into quatrains that now characterizes the sonnets variously named English, Elizabethan or Shakespearean sonnets.
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He wrote Comedies, histories, tragedies, poems, apocrypha. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon".His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. It is not known exactly when Shakespeare began writing, but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of his plays were on the London stage by 1592 From 1594, Shakespeare's plays were performed only by the Lord Chamberlain's Men, a company owned by a group of players, including Shakespeare, that soon became the leading playing company in London. After the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, the company was awarded a royal patent by the new king, James I, and changed its name to the King's Men.In 1599, a partnership of company members built their own theatre on the south bank of the Thames, which they called the Globe. In 1608, the partnership also took over the Blackfriars indoor theatre. Records of Shakespeare's property purchases and investments indicate that the company made him a wealthy man. In 1597, he bought the second-largest house in Stratford, New Place, and in 1605, he invested in a share of the parish tithes in Stratford. Shakespeare's early classical and Italianate comedies, containing tight double plots and precise comic sequences, give way in the mid-1590s to the romantic atmosphere of his greatest comedies. His characters become more complex and tender as he switches deftly between comic and serious scenes, prose and poetry, and achieves the narrative variety of his mature work. This period begins and ends with two tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, the famous romantic tragedy of sexually charged adolescence, love, and death; and Julius Caesar—based on Sir Thomas North's 1579 translation of Plutarch's Parallel Lives—which introduced a new kind of drama. In 1593 and 1594, when the theatres were closed because of plague, Shakespeare published two narrative poems on erotic themes, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. He dedicated them to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. In Venus and Adonis, an innocent Adonis rejects the sexual advances of Venus; while in The Rape of Lucrece, the virtuous wife Lucrece is raped by the lustful Tarquin. Influenced by Ovid's Metamorphoses, the poems show the guilt and moral confusion that result from uncontrolled lust. Both proved popular and were often reprinted during Shakespeare's lifetime. A third narrative poem, A Lover's Complaint, in which a young woman laments her seduction by a persuasive suitor, was printed in the first edition of the Sonnets in 1609. the Sonnets were the last of Shakespeare's non-dramatic works to be printed. Shakespeare's work has made a lasting impression on later theatre and literature. In particular, he expanded the dramatic potential of characterisation, plot, language, and genre. Until Romeo and Juliet, for example, romance had not been viewed as a worthy topic for tragedy. Soliloquies had been used mainly to convey information about characters or events; but Shakespeare used them to explore characters' minds. His work heavily influenced later poetry. The Romantic poets attempted to revive Shakespearean verse drama, though with little success. Critic George Steiner described all English verse dramas from Coleridge to Tennyson as "feeble variations on Shakespearean themes." In Shakespeare's day, English grammar, spelling and pronunciation were less standardised than they are now, and his use of language helped shape modern English. Samuel Johnson quoted him more often than any other author in his A Dictionary of the English Language, the first serious work of its type.Expressions such as "with bated breath" (Merchant of Venice) and "a foregone conclusion" (Othello) have found their way into everyday English speech.
John Donne was an English poet, preacher and a major representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works are notable for their realistic and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially as compared to that of his contemporaries. John Donne's masculine, ingenious style is characterized by abrupt openings, paradoxes, dislocations, argumentative structure, and "conceits"--images which yoke things seemingly unlike. These features in combination with his frequent dramatic or everyday speech rhythms, his tense syntax, and his tough eloquence were both a reaction against the smoothness of conventional Elizabethan poetry and an adaptation into English of European baroque and mannerist techniques. Donne's earliest poems showed a developed knowledge of English society coupled with sharp criticism of its problems. His satires dealt with common Elizabethan topics, such as corruption in the legal system, mediocre poets, and pompous courtiers. His images of sickness, vomit, manure, and plague assisted in the creation of a strongly satiric world populated by all the fools and knaves of England. His third satire, however, deals with the problem of true religion, a matter of great importance to Donne. He argued that it was better to examine carefully one's religious convictions than blindly to follow any established tradition, for none would be saved at the Final Judgment, by claiming "A Harry, or a Martin taught [them] this. Donne's early career was also notable for his erotic poetry, especially his elegies, in which he employed unconventional metaphors, such as a flea biting two lovers being compared to sex. In Elegy XIX: To His Mistress Going to Bed, he poetically undressed his mistress and compared the act of fondling to the exploration of America. In Elegy XVIII, he compared the gap between his lover's breasts to the Hellespont. Donne did not publish these poems, although did allow them to circulate widely in manuscript form. Some have speculated that Donne's numerous illnesses, financial strain, and the deaths of his friends all contributed to the development of a more somber and pious tone in his later poems. The change can be clearly seen in "An Anatomy of the World" (1611), a poem that Donne wrote in memory of Elizabeth Drury, daughter of his patron, Sir Robert Drury. This poem treats Elizabeth's demise with extreme gloominess, using it as a symbol for the Fall of Man and the destruction of the universe. The poem "A Nocturnal upon Lucy's Day, Being the Shortest Day",, concerns the poet's despair at the death of a loved one. In it Donne expresses a feeling of utter negation and hopelessness, saying that "I am every dead thing...re-begot / Of absence, darkness, death." This famous work was probably written in 1627 when both Donne's friend Lucy, Countess of Bedford, and his daughter Lucy Donne died. Three years later, in 1630, Donne wrote his will on Saint Lucy's day (* December), the date the poem describes as "Both the year's, and the day's deep midnight."The increasing gloominess of Donne's tone may also be observed in the religious works that he began writing during the same period. His early belief in the value of skepticism now gave way to a firm faith in the traditional teachings of the Bible. Having converted to the Anglican Church, Donne focused his literary career on religious literature. He quickly became noted for his sermons and religious poems. The lines of these sermons would come to influence future works of English literature, such as Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, which took its title from a passage in Meditation XVII of Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, and Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island, which took its title from the same source.Towards the end of his life Donne wrote works that challenged death, and the fear that it inspired in many men, on the grounds of his belief that those who die are sent to Heaven to live eternally. One example of this challenge is his Holy Sonnet X, from which come the famous lines "Death, be not proud, though some have called thee / Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so." Even as he lay dying during Lent in 1631, he rose from his sickbed and delivered the Death's Duel sermon, which was later described as his own funeral sermon. Death’s Duel portrays life as a steady descent to suffering and death, yet sees hope in salvation and immortality through an embrace of God, Christ and the Resurrection. John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost. Milton is considered to be among the most learned of all English poets; in addition to his years of private study, Milton had command of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish, and Italian from his school and undergraduate days; he also added Old English to his linguistic repertoire in the 1650s while researching his History of Britain, and probably acquired proficiency in Dutch soon after Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, redivided into twelve books (in the manner of the division of Virgil's Aeneid) with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification; the majority of the poem was written while Milton was blind, and was transcribed for him. The poem Paradise Lost concerns the Christian story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men" and elucidate the conflict between God's eternal foresight and free will.Milton incorporates Paganism, classical Greek references, and Christianity within the poem. It deals with diverse topics from marriage, politics (Milton was politically active during the time of the English Civil War), and monarchy, and grapples with many difficult theological issues, including fate, predestination, the Trinity, and the introduction of sin and death into the world, as well as angels, fallen angels, Satan, and the war in heaven. Milton draws on his knowledge of languages, and diverse sources – primarily Genesis, much of the New Testament, the deuterocanonical Book of Enoch, and other parts of the Old Testament. Milton's epic is generally considered one of the greatest literary works in the English language. Characters:Satan: Satan is the first major character introduced in the poem. A beautiful youth, he is a tragic figure best described by his own words "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven"
The role of Satan as a driving force in the poem has been the subject of much scholarly debate. Positions range from views of William Blake who stated Milton "wrote in fetters when [he] wrote of Angels and God, and at liberty when of Devils and Hell, [because] he was a true Poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it" to critic William H. Marshall's interpretation of the poem as a Christian morality tale.,Adam,Eve,The Son of God: The Son of God in Paradise Lost is Jesus Christ, though he is never named explicitly, since he has not yet entered human form.,God the Father, Raphael, Raphael is an angel who is sent by God to warn Adam about Satan's infiltration of Eden and to warn him that Satan is going to try to curse Adam and Eve.Michael.. Milton first presents Adam and Eve in Book IV with impartiality. The relationship between Adam and Eve is one of "mutual dependence, not a relation of domination or hierarchy." While the author does place Adam above Eve in regard to his intellectual knowledge, and in turn his relation to God, he also grants Eve the benefit of knowledge through experience. Hermine Van Nuis clarifies that although there is a sense of stringency associated with the specified roles of the male and the female, each unreservedly accepts the designated role because it is viewed as an asset. Instead of believing that these roles are forced upon them, each uses the obligatory requirement as a strength in their relationship with each other. These minor discrepancies reveal the author’s view on the importance of mutuality between a husband and a wife.When examining the relationship between Adam and Eve, critics tend to accept an either Adam- or Eve-centered view in terms of hierarchy and importance to God. David Mikics argues, by contrast, these positions "overstate the independence of the characters' stances, and therefore miss the way in which Adam and Eve are entwined with each other". Milton's true vision reflects one where the husband and wife (in this instance, Adam and Eve) depend on each other and only through each other’s differences are able to thrive. While most readers believe that Adam and Eve fail because of their fall from paradise, Milton would argue that the resulting strengthening of their love for one another is true victory.Although Milton does not directly mention divorce, critics posit theories on Milton's view of divorce based on inferences found within the poem. Other works by Milton suggest he viewed marriage as an entity separate from the church. Discussing Paradise Lost, Biberman entertains the idea that "marriage is a contract made by both the man and the woman". Based on this inference, Milton would believe that both man and woman would have equal access to divorce, as they do to marriage.
Feminist critics of Paradise Lost suggest that Eve is forbidden the knowledge of her own identity. Moments after her creation, before Eve is led to Adam, she becomes enraptured by an image reflected in the water (her own, unbeknownst to Eve). God urges Eve to look away from her own image, her beauty, which is also the object of Adam’s desire. Adam delights in both her beauty and submissive charms, yet Eve may never be permitted to gaze upon her individual form. Critic Julia M. Walker argues that because Eve "neither recognizes nor names herself ... she can know herself only in relation to Adam." "Eve’s sense of self becomes important in its absence ... [she] is never allowed to know what she is supposed to see." Eve therefore knows not what she is, only what she is not: male. Starting in Book IV, Eve learns that Adam, the male form, is superior and "How beauty is excelled by manly grace/ And wisdom which alone is truly fair." Led by his gentle hand, she yields, a woman without individual purpose, destined to fall by "free will." Milton's 17th century contemporaries by and large criticized Milton’s ideas and considered him as a radical, mostly because of his well-known Protestant views on politics and religion. One of Milton's greatest and most controversial arguments centers on his concept of what is idolatrous; this topic is deeply embedded in Paradise Lost.Milton's first criticism of idolatry focuses on the practice of constructing temples and other buildings to serve as places of worship. In Book XI of Paradise Lost, Adam tries to atone for his sins by offering to build altars to worship God. In response, the angel Michael explains Adam does not need to build physical objects to experience the presence of God. Joseph Lyle points to this example, explaining "When Milton objects to architecture, it is not a quality inherent in buildings themselves he finds offensive, but rather their tendency to act as convenient loci to which idolatry, over time, will inevitably adhere." Even if the idea is pure in nature, Milton still believes that it will unavoidably lead to idolatry simply because of the nature of humans. Instead of placing their thoughts and beliefs into God, as they should, humans tend to turn to erected objects and falsely invest their faith. While Adam attempts to build an altar to God, critics note Eve is similarly guilty of idolatry, but in a different manner. Harding believes Eve's narcissism and obsession with herself constitutes idolatry. Specifically, Harding claims that "... under the serpent’s influence, Eve’s idolatry and self-deification foreshadow the errors into which her 'Sons' will stray." Much like Adam, Eve falsely places her faith into herself, the Tree of Knowledge, and to some extent, the Serpent, all of which do not compare to the ideal nature of GodFurthermore, Milton makes his views on idolatry more explicit with the creation of Pandemonium and the exemplary allusion to Solomon’s temple. In the beginning of Paradise Lost, as well as throughout the poem, there are several references to the rise and eventual fall of Solomon's temple. Critics elucidate that "Solomon’s temple provides an explicit demonstration of how an artifact moves from its genesis in devotional practice to an idolatrous end." This example, out of the many presented, conveys Milton’s views on the dangers of idolatry distinctly. Even if one builds a structure in the name of God, even the best of intentions can become immoral. In addition, critics have drawn parallels between both Pandemonium and Saint Peter's Basilica, and the Pantheon. The majority of these similarities revolve around a structural likeness, but as Lyle explains, they play a greater role. By linking Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon to Pandemonium—an ideally false structure, the two famous buildings take on a false meaning. This comparison best represents Milton's Protestant views, as it rejects both the purely Catholic perspective and the Pagan perspective. In addition to rejecting Catholicism, Milton revolted against the idea of a monarch ruling by divine right. He saw the practice as idolatrous. Barbara Lewalski concludes that the theme of idolatry in Paradise Lost "is an exaggerated version of the idolatry Milton had long associated with the Stuart ideology of divine kingship". In the opinion of Milton, any object, human or non-human, that receives special attention befitting of God, is considered idolatrous.
Daniel Defoe was an English writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain and is among the founders of the English novel. A prolific and versatile writer, he wrote more than 500 books, pamphlets and journals on various topics (including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology and the supernatural). He was also a pioneer of economic journalism. The extent and particulars of Defoe's writing in the period from the Tory fall in 1714 to the publication of Robinson Crusoe in 1719 is widely contested. Defoe comments on the tendency to attribute tracts of uncertain authorship to him in his apologia Appeal to Honour and Justice (1715), a defence of his part in Harley's Tory ministry (1710–14). Other works that are thought to anticipate his novelistic career include: The Family Instructor (1715), an immensely successful conduct manual on religious duty; Minutes of the Negotiations of Monsr. Mesnager (1717), in which he impersonates Nicolas Mesnager, the French plenipotentiary who negotiated the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and A Continuation of the Letters Writ by a Turkish Spy (1718), a satire on European politics and religion, professedly written by a Muslim in Paris.From 1719 to 1724, Defoe published the novels for which he is famous (see below). In the final decade of his life, he also wrote conduct manuals, including Religious Courtship (1722), The Complete English Tradesman (1726) and The New Family Instructor (1727). He published a number of books decrying the breakdown of the social order, such as The Great Law of Subordination Considered (1724) and Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business (1725) and works on the supernatural, like The Political History of the Devil (1726), A System of Magick (1726) and An Essay on the History and Reality of Apparitions (1727). His works on foreign travel and trade include A General History of Discoveries and Improvements (1727) and Atlas Maritimus and Commercialis (1728). Perhaps his greatest achievement with the novels is the magisterial A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724–27), which provided a panoramic survey of British trade on the eve of the Industrial Revolution.Daniel Defoe died on April 24, 1731, probably while in hiding from his creditors. He was interred in Bunhill Fields, London, where his grave can still be visited.Defoe is known to have used at least 198 pen names Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe (1719) tells of a man's shipwreck on a deserted island and his subsequent adventures. The author may have based part of his narrative on the story of the Scottish castaway Alexander Selkirk. He may have also been inspired by the Latin or English translation of a book by the Andalusian-Arab Muslim polymath Ibn Tufail, who was known as "Abubacer" in Europe. The Latin edition of the book was entitled Philosophus Autodidactus and it was an earlier novel that is also set on a deserted island. No fewer than 545 titles, ranging from satirical poems, political and religious pamphlets and volumes have been ascribed to Defoe . The novel Robinson Crusoe has been variously read as an allegory for the development of civilisation, as a manifesto of economic individualism and as an expression of European colonial desires but it also shows the importance of repentance and illustrates the strength of Defoe's religious convictions. Early critics, such as Robert Louis Stevenson admired it saying that the footprint scene in Crusoe was one of the four greatest in English literature and most unforgettable. It has inspired a new genre, the Robinsonade Robinson Crusoe marked the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre . Its success led to many imitators and castaway novels became quite popular in Europe in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Most of these have fallen into obscurity but some became established including The Swiss Family Robinson. Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, published seven years after Robinson Crusoe, may be read as a systematic rebuttal of Defoe's optimistic account of human capability. In The Unthinkable Swift: The Spontaneous Philosophy of a Church of England Man Warren Montag argues that Swift was concerned to refute the notion that the individual precedes society, as Defoe's novel seems to suggest. Swift regarded such thought as a dangerous endorsement of Thomas Hobbes' radical political philosophy and for this reason Gulliver repeatedly encounters established societies rather than desolate islands. The captain who invites Gulliver to serve as a surgeon aboard his ship on the disastrous third voyage is named Robinson. the true symbol of the British conquest is Robinson Crusoe: "He is the true prototype of the British colonist. … The whole Anglo-Saxon spirit is in Crusoe: the manly independence, the unconscious cruelty, the persistence, the slow yet efficient intelligence, the sexual apathy, the calculating taciturnity."In a sense Crusoe attempts to replicate his society on the island. This is achieved through the use of European technology, agriculture and even a rudimentary political hierarchy. Several times in the novel Crusoe refers to himself as the 'king' of the island, whilst the captain describes him as the 'governor' to the mutineers. At the very end of the novel the island is explicitly referred to as a 'colony'. The idealized master-servant relationship Defoe depicts between Crusoe and Friday can also be seen in terms of cultural imperialism. Crusoe represents the 'enlightened' European whilst Friday is the 'savage' who can only be redeemed from his barbarous way of life through assimilation into Crusoe's culture. Nonetheless Defoe also takes the opportunity to criticize the historic Spanish conquest of South America. According to J.P. Hunter, Robinson is not a hero but an everyman. He begins as a wanderer, aimless on a sea he does not understand and ends as a pilgrim, crossing a final mountain to enter the promised land. The book tells the story of how Robinson becomes closer to God, not through listening to sermons in a church but through spending time alone amongst nature with only a Bible to read.Robinson Crusoe is filled with religious aspects. Defoe was a Puritan moralist and normally worked in the guide tradition, writing books on how to be a good Puritan Christian, such as The New Family Instructor (1727) and Religious Courtship (1722). While Robinson Crusoe is far more than a guide, it shares many of the themes and theological and moral points of view. "Crusoe" may have been taken from Timothy Cruso, a classmate of Defoe's who had written guide books, including God the Guide of Youth (1695), before dying at an early age — just eight years before Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe. Cruso would have been remembered by contemporaries and the association with guide books is clear. It has even been suggested that God the Guide of Youth inspired Robinson Crusoe because of a number of passages in that work that are closely tied to the novel though this is speculative.The Biblical story of Jonah is alluded to in the first part of the novel. Like Jonah, Crusoe neglects his 'duty' and is punished at sea.A leitmotif of the novel is the Christian notion of Providence. Crusoe often feels guided by a divinely ordained fate, thus explaining his robust optimism in the face of apparent hopelessness. His various fortunate intuitions are taken as evidence of a benign spirit world. Defoe also foregrounds this theme by arranging highly significant events in the novel to occur on Crusoe's birthd.When confronted with the cannibals, Crusoe wrestles with the problem of cultural relativism. Despite his disgust, he feels unjustified in holding the natives morally responsible for a practice so deeply ingrained in their culture. Nevertheless he retains his belief in an absolute standard of morality; he regards cannibalism as a 'national crime' and forbids Friday from practicing it. Modern readers may also note that despite Crusoe's superior morality, he uncritically accepts the institution of slavery. In classical, neoclassical and Austrian economics, Crusoe is regularly used to illustrate the theory of production and choice in the absence of trade, money and prices. Crusoe must allocate effort between production and leisure and must choose between alternative production possibilities to meet his needs. The arrival of Friday is then used to illustrate the possibility of and gains from trade.The classical treatment of the Crusoe economy has been discussed and criticised from a variety of perspectives. Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Gulliver's Travels, a large portion of which Swift wrote at Woodbrook House in County Laois, was published in 1726. It is regarded as his masterpiece. As with his other writings, the Travels was published under a pseudonym, the fictional Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon and later a sea captain. Some of the correspondence between printer Benj. Motte and Gulliver's also-fictional cousin negotiating the book's publication has survived. Though it has often been mistakenly thought of and published in bowdlerized form as a children's book, it is a great and sophisticated satire of human nature based on Swift's experience of his times. Gulliver's Travels is an anatomy of human nature, a sardonic looking-glass, often criticized for its apparent misanthropy. It asks its readers to refute it, to deny that it has adequately characterized human nature and society. Each of the four books—recounting four voyages to mostly-fictional exotic lands—has a different theme, but all are attempts to deflate human pride. Critics hail the work as a satiric reflection on the shortcomings of Enlightenment thought. Broadly, the book has three themes:a satirical view of the state of European government, and of petty differences between religions. an inquiry into whether men are inherently corrupt or whether they become corrupted. a restatement of the older "ancients versus moderns"
the Enlightenment is the era in Western philosophy, intellectual, scientific and cultural life, centered upon the 18th century, in which reason was advocated as the primary source for legitimacy and authority. he "Enlightenment" was not a single movement or school of thought, for these philosophies were often mutually contradictory or divergent. The Enlightenment was less a set of ideas than it was a set of values. At its core was a critical questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals, and a strong belief in rationality and science. Thus, there was still a considerable degree of similarity between competing philosophies. The Enlightenment is held to be the source of critical ideas, such as the centrality of freedom, democracy, and reason as primary values of society. This view argues that the establishment of a contractual basis of rights would lead to the market mechanism and capitalism, the scientific method, religious tolerance, and the organization of states into self-governing republics through democratic means. In this view, the tendency of the philosophes in particular to apply rationality to every problem is considered the essential change. Samuel Richardson was an 18th-century English writer and printer. He is best known for his three epistolary novels: Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded (1740), Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady (1748) and The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753). Richardson was an established printer and publisher for most of his life and printed almost 500 different works, with journals and magazines. After Richardson started the work on 10 November 1739, his wife and her friends became so interested in the story that he finished it on 10 January 1740. Pamela Andrews, the heroine of Pamela, represented "Richardson's insistence upon well-defined feminine roles" and was part of a common fear held during the 18th century that women were "too bold". In particular, her "zeal for housewifery" was included as a proper role of women in society. Although Pamela and the title heroine were popular and gave a proper model for how women should act, they inspired "a storm of anti-Pamelas" (like Henry Fielding's Shamela and Joseph Andrews) because the character "perfectly played her part" Henry Fielding as an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones.Aside from his literary achievements, he has a significant place in the history of law-enforcement, having founded (with his half-brother John) what some have called London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners, using his authority as a magistrate. Fielding never stopped writing political satire and satires of current arts and letters. His Tragedy of Tragedies of Tom Thumb (for which Hogarth designed the frontispiece) was, for example, quite successful as a printed play. He also contributed a number of works to journals of the day. Almost by accident, in anger at the success of Richardson's Pamela, Fielding took to writing novels in 1741 and his first major success was Shamela, an anonymous parody of Samuel Richardson's melodramatic novel. It is a satire that follows the model of the famous Tory satirists of the previous generation (Jonathan Swift and John Gay, in particular). Shamela is written as a shocking revelation of the true events which took place in the life of Pamela Andrews, the main heroine of Pamela. From Shamela we learn that, instead of being a kind, humble, and chaste servant-girl, Pamela (whose true name turns out to be Shamela) is in fact a wicked and lascivious creature, scheming to entrap her master, Squire Booby, into marriage. Samuel Johnson often referred to as Dr Johnson, was a British author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history" The Vanity of Human Wishes, was written with such "extraordinary speed" that Boswell claimed Johnson "might have been perpetually a poet". The poem is an imitation of Juvenal's Satire X and claims that "the antidote to vain human wishes is non-vain spiritual wishes". In particular, Johnson emphasises "the helpless vulnerability of the individual before the social context" and the "inevitable self-deception by which human beings are led astray". The poem was critically celebrated but it failed to become popular n 1746, a group of publishers approached Johnson about creating an authoritative dictionary of the English language. Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics. Austen wrote Lady Susan, a short epistolary novel, usually described as her most ambitious and sophisticated early work. It is unlike any of Austen's other works. Austen biographer Claire Tomalin describes the heroine of the novella as a sexual predator who uses her intelligence and charm to manipulate, betray, and abuse her victims, whether lovers, friends or family. Tomalin writes: "Told in letters, it is as neatly plotted as a play, and as cynical in tone as any of the most outrageous of the Restoration dramatists who may have provided some of her inspiration....It stands alone in Austen's work as a study of an adult woman whose intelligence and force of character are greater than those of anyone she encounters." After finishing Lady Susan, Austen attempted her first full-length novel—Elinor and Marianne. Her sister Cassandra later remembered that it was read to the family "before 1796" and was told through a series of letters. Without surviving original manuscripts, there is no way to know how much of the original draft survived in the novel published in 1811 as Sense and Sensibility. after finishing revisions of Elinor and Marianne, Austen began writing a third novel with the working title Susan—later Northanger Abbey—a satire on the popular Gothic novel while living in Bath, Austen started but did not complete a new novel, The Watsons. The story centres on an invalid clergyman with little money and his four unmarried daughters. Sutherland describes the novel as "a study in the harsh economic realities of dependent women's lives" During her time at Chawton, Jane Austen successfully published four novels, which were generally well-received. Through her brother Henry, the publisher Thomas Egerton agreed to publish Sense and Sensibility,[D] which appeared in October 1811. Reviews were favourable and the novel became fashionable among opinion-makers; the edition sold out by mid-1813.[E] Austen's earnings from Sense and Sensibility provided her with some financial and psychological independence. Egerton then published Pride and Prejudice, a revision of First Impressions, in January 1813. He advertised the book widely and it was an immediate success, garnering three favourable reviews and selling well. Sequels, prequels, and adaptations of almost every sort have been based on the novels of Jane Austen
Romanticism (or the Romantic Era) was a complex artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution. In part, it was a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalisation of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature. The movement validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and terror and awe—especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities, both new aesthetic categories. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble. In literature, Romanticism found recurrent themes in the evocation or criticism of the past, the cult of "sensibility" with its emphasis on women and children, the heroic isolation of the artist or narrator, and respect for a new, wilder, untrammeled and "pure" nature. Furthermore, several romantic authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, based their writings on the supernatural/occult and human psychology. Romanticism also helped in the emergence of new ideas and in the process led to the emergence of positive voices that were beneficial for the marginalized sections of the society. Romanticism in British literature developed in a different form slightly later, mostly associated with the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose co-authored book Lyrical Ballads (1798) sought to reject Augustan poetry in favour of more direct speech derived from folk traditions. Both poets were also involved in utopian social thought in the wake of the French Revolution. The poet and painter William Blake is the most extreme example of the Romantic sensibility in Britain, epitomised by his claim "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." Blake's artistic work is also strongly influenced by Medieval illuminated books. The painters J. M. W. Turner and John Constable are also generally associated with Romanticism. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and John Keats constitute another phase of Romanticism in Britain. William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language".His visual artistry has led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of both the Romantic movement and "Pre-Romantic",for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions. a forerunner of the subsequent 19th century "free love" movement, a broad reform tradition starting in the 1820s that held that marriage is slavery, and advocated for removal of all state restrictions on sexual activity such as homosexuality, prostitution, and even adultery, culminating in the birth control movement of the early 20th century. His poetry suggests that external demands for marital fidelity reduce love to mere duty rather than authentic affection, and decries jealousy and egotism as a motive for marriage laws. Poems such as "Why should I be bound to thee, O my lovely Myrtle-tree?" and "Earth's Answer" seem to advocate multiple sexual partners. His poem "London" speaks of "the Marriage-Hearse". Visions of the Daughters of Albion is widely (though not universally) read as a tribute to free love since the relationship between Bromion and Oothoon is held together only by laws and not by love. Blake opposed the sophistry of theological thought that excuses pain, admits evil and apologises for injustice. He abhorred self-denial, which he associated with religious repression and particularly sexual repression: "Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. / He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence." Blake's work was neglected for a generation after his death and was almost forgotten.Блейк питал отвращение к рабству и верил в половое и расовое равенство. Несколько его стихов и картин выражают идею всеобщей гуманности: "все люди похожи (хоть они и бесконечно разные)". В одном стихотворении, написанном от лица чёрного мальчика, белые и чёрные тела описываются как тенистые рощи и облака, которые существуют только до тех пор, пока не растают, "чтобы озариться лучами любви". Robert Burns , Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard, was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a "light" Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these pieces, his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt.He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. A cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world, celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and Scots Wha Hae served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well-known across the world today include A Red, Red Rose; A Man's A Man for A' That; To a Louse; To a Mouse; The Battle of Sherramuir; Tam o' Shanter, and Ae Fond Kiss. His casual love affairs did not endear him to the elders of the local kirk and created for him a reputation for dissoluteness amongst his neighbours. In Edinburgh, he was received as an equal by the city's brilliant men of letters and was a guest at aristocratic gatherings, where he bore himself with unaffected dignity. His literature success had started from the first Edinburgh edition of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish dialect. As his health began to give way, Burns began to age prematurely and fell into fits of despondency. The habits of intemperance are said to have aggravated his long-standing possible rheumatic heart condition. Robert Burns died in Dumfries at the age of 37.
The Lake Poets are a group of English poets who all lived in the Lake District of England at the turn of the nineteenth century. As a group, they followed no single "school" of thought or literary practice then known . They are considered part of the Romantic Movement. The three main figures of what has become known as the Lakes School are William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey. They were associated with several other poets and writers, including Dorothy Wordsworth, Charles Lloyd, Hartley Coleridge, John Wilson, and Thomas De Quincey. William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth's magnum opus is generally considered to be The Prelude, a semiautobiographical poem of his early years which he revised and expanded a number of times. It was posthumously titled and published, prior to which it was generally known as the poem "to Coleridge." Wordsworth was Britain's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850. In his "Preface to Lyrical Ballads", which is called the "manifesto" of English Romantic criticism, Wordsworth calls his poems "experimental." Wordsworth first published poetry is the collections An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. He received a legacy of £900 from Raisley Calvert so that he could pursue writing poetry. He met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Somerset. The two poets quickly developed a close friendship. Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved to Alfoxton House, Somerset, just a few miles away from Coleridge's home in Nether Stowey. Together, Wordsworth and Coleridge (with insights from Dorothy) produced Lyrical Ballads (1798), an important work in the English Romantic movement. The volume gave neither Wordsworth's nor Coleridge's name as author. One of Wordsworth's most famous poems, "Tintern Abbey", was published in the work, along with Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". The Preface to Lyrical Ballads is considered a central work of Romantic literary theory. In it, Wordsworth discusses what he sees as the elements of a new type of poetry, one based on the "real language of men" and which avoids the poetic diction of much eighteenth-century poetry. Here, Wordsworth gives his famous definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility." Wordsworth had for years been making plans to write a long philosophical poem in three parts, which he intended to call The Recluse. He had in 1798–99 started an autobiographical poem, which he never named but called the "poem to Coleridge", which would serve as an appendix to The Recluse. In 1804, he began expanding this autobiographical work, having decided to make it a prologue rather than an appendix to the larger work he planned. By 1805, he had completed it, but refused to publish such a personal work until he had completed the whole of The Recluse. His Poems in Two Volumes were published, including "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood". Up to this point Wordsworth was known publicly only for Lyrical Ballads, and he hoped this collection would cement his reputation. Its reception was lukewarm, however. For a time (starting in 1810), Wordsworth and Coleridge were estranged over the latter's opium addiction. he published The Excursion as the second part of the three-part The Recluse. He had not completed the first and third parts, and never would. He did, however, write a poetic Prospectus to "The Recluse" in which he lays out the structure and intent of the poem. The Prospectus contains some of Wordsworth's most famous lines on the relation between the human mind and nature . Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as for his major prose work Biographia Literaria. He coined many familiar words and phrases, including the celebrated suspension of disbelief. He was a major influence, via Emerson, on American transcendentalism. Throughout his adult life, Coleridge suffered from crippling bouts of anxiety and depression; it has been speculated that he suffered from bipolar disorder, a mental disorder which was unknown during his life. Coleridge chose to treat these episodes with opium, becoming an addict in the process. This addiction would afftect him in the future. Despite not enjoying the name recognition or popular acclaim that Wordsworth or Shelley have had, Coleridge is one of the most important figures in English poetry. His poems directly and deeply influenced all the major poets of the age. He was known by his contemporaries as a meticulous craftsman who was more rigorous in his careful reworking of his poems than any other poet, and Southey and Wordsworth were dependent on his professional advice. His influence on Wordsworth is particularly important because many critics have credited Coleridge with the very idea of "Conversational Poetry". The idea of utilizing common, everyday language to express profound poetic images and ideas for which Wordsworth became so famous may have originated almost entirely in Coleridge’s mind. It is difficult to imagine Wordsworth’s great poems, The Excursion or The Prelude, ever having been written without the direct influence of Coleridge’s originality. As important as Coleridge was to poetry as a poet, he was equally important to poetry as a critic. Coleridge's philosophy of poetry, which he developed over many years, has been deeply influential in the field of literary criticism. Coleridge is probably best known for his long poems, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel. Even those who have never read the Rime have come under its influence: its words have given the English language the metaphor of an albatross around one's neck, the quotation of "water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink" (almost always rendered as "but not a drop to drink"), and the phrase "a sadder and a wiser man" (again, usually rendered as "sadder but wiser man"). Christabel is known for its musical rhythm, language, and its Gothic tale. Kubla Khan, or, A Vision in a Dream, A Fragment, although shorter, is also widely known. Both Kubla Khan and Christabel have an additional "romantic" aura because they were never finished. The Eolian Harp (1795) Reflections on having left a Place of Retirement (1795) This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison (1797) Frost at Midnight (1798) Fears in Solitude (1798) The Nightingale: A Conversation Poem (1798) Dejection: An Ode (1802) To William Wordsworth (1807)The eight of Coleridge's poems listed above are now often discussed as a group entitled "Conversation poems". Description of Conversation poems: "The speaker begins with a description of the landscape; an aspect or change of aspect in the landscape evokes a varied by integral process of memory, thought, anticipation, and feeling which remains closely intervolved with the outer scene. In the course of this meditation the lyric speaker achieves an insight, faces up to a tragic loss, comes to a moral decision, or resolves an emotional problem. Often the poem rounds itself to end where it began, at the outer scene, but with an altered mood and deepened understanding which is the result of the intervening meditation."The term itself was coined in 1928 by George McLean Harper, who borrowed the subtitle of The Nightingale: A Conversation Poem (1798) to describe the seven other poems as well. Coleridge's The Eolian Harp and The Nightingale maintain a middle register of speech, employing an idiomatic language that is capable of being construed as un-symbolic and un-musical: language that lets itself be taken as 'merely talk' rather than rapturous 'song'." In addition to his poetry, Coleridge also wrote influential pieces of literary criticism including Biographia Literaria, a collection of his thoughts and opinions on literature which he published in 1817. The work delivered both biographical explanations of the author's life as well as his impressions on literature. The collection also contained an analysis of a broad range of philosophical principles of literature ranging from Aristotle to Immanuel Kant and Schelling and applied them to the poetry of peers such as William Wordsworth. Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems is a collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, first published in 1798 (see 1798 in poetry) and generally considered to have marked the beginning of the English Romantic movement in literature. The immediate effect on critics was modest, but it became and remains a landmark, changing the course of English literature and poetry. Most of the poems in the 1798 edition were written by Wordsworth, with Coleridge contributing only four poems to the collection, including one of his most famous works, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". (Additionally, though only the two writers are credited for the works, William's sister Dorothy Wordsworth's diary which held powerful descriptions of everyday surroundings influenced William's poetry immensely). A second edition was published in 1800, in which Wordsworth included additional poems and a preface detailing the pair's avowed poetical principles. Another edition was published in 1802, Wordsworth added an appendix titled Poetic Diction in which he expanded the ideas set forth in the preface. Wordsworth and Coleridge set out to overturn what they considered the priggish, learned and highly sculpted forms of 18th century English poetry and bring poetry within the reach of the average person by writing the verses using normal, everyday language. They place an emphasis on the vitality of the living voice that the poor use to express their reality. Using this language also helps assert the universality of human emotions. Even the title of the collection recalls rustic forms of art - the word "lyrical" links the poems with the ancient rustic bards and lends an air of spontaneity, while "ballads" are an oral mode of storytelling used by the common people.In his famous "Preface" (1800, revised 1802) Wordsworth explained his poetical concept --The majority of the following poems are to be considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purpose of poetic pleasure.--If the experiment with vernacular language was not enough of a departure from the norm, the focus on simple, uneducated country people as the subject of poetry was a signal shift to modern literature. One of the main themes of "Lyrical Ballads" is the return to the original state of nature, in which people led a purer and more innocent existence. Wordsworth subscribed to Rousseau's belief that humanity was essentially good but was corrupted by the influence of society. This may be linked with the sentiments spreading through Europe just prior to the French Revolution.Although the lyrical ballads is a collaborative work, only four of the poems in it are by Coleridge. Coleridge devoted much of his time to crafting 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.' Many of Coleridge's poems were unpopular with the audience (and with Wordsworth) due to their macabre or supernatural nature.
George Gordon Byron was a British poet and a leading figure in Romanticism. Amongst Byron's best-known works are the brief poems She Walks in Beauty, When We Two Parted, and So, we'll go no more a roving, in addition to the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential.Byron's notability rests not only on his writings but also on his life, which featured aristocratic excesses, huge debts, numerous love affairs, and self-imposed exile. He was famously described as "mad, bad and dangerous to know". He travelled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. Byron wrote prolifically. Although Byron falls chronologically into the period most commonly associated with Romantic poetry, much of his work looks back to the satiric tradition. Byron's magnum opus, Don Juan, a poem spanning 17 cantos, ranks as one of the most important long poems published in England since John Milton's Paradise. The masterpiece, often called the epic of its time, has roots deep in literary tradition and, although regarded by early Victorians as somewhat shocking, equally involves itself with its own contemporary world at all levels — social, political, literary and ideological.
Byron published the first two cantos anonymously in 1819 after disputes with his regular publisher over the shocking nature of the poetry; by this time, he had been a famous poet for seven years, and when he self-published the beginning cantos, they were well received in some quarters. The figure of the Byronic hero pervades much of his work, and Byron himself is considered to epitomise many of the characteristics of this literary figure. Scholars have traced the literary history of the Byronic hero from John Milton, and many authors and artists of the Romantic movement show Byron's influence during the 19th century and beyond, including Charlotte and Emily Brontë. The Byronic hero presents an idealised, but flawed character whose attributes include: great talent; great passion; a distaste for society and social institutions; a lack of respect for rank and privilege (although they possess both); being thwarted in love by social constraint or death; rebellion; exile; an unsavory secret past; arrogance; overconfidence or lack of foresight; and, ultimately, a self-destructive manner. Percy Bysshe Shelley was an English poet of the early nineteenth century. He is widely thought of as one of most important poets of the Romantic movement in English literature. Some of his poems, like Ozymandias and Ode to the West Wind, are among the most famous in English.Shelley was the son of a member of Parliament. He attended the University of Oxford, for only one year; he was expelled for being an atheist. In his own time Shelley was very unpopular for his political and religious views and for his personal conduct. He married young, but left his wife to run away with Mary Godwin. After Shelley's first wife committed suicide, Shelley married Mary Godwin; she later became famous as Mary Shelley, the author of the novel Frankenstein.Shelley left England and spent much of his life travelling in Europe, especially in Italy. He became a close friend of the poet Lord Byron, who also left England and travelled in Europe because of controversy at home. Shelley continued to write poetry throughout this time; he wrote several major works, like the verse drama The Cenci and long poems like Alastor and Adonais, as well as many shorter poems.About a month before his 30th birthday, Shelley drowned in a boating accident off the coast of Italy. He was one of a trio of important English Romantic poets of the same generation who died young; the other two were Lord Byron and John Keats. was an English poet ranked as one of the five most important poets of the Romantic movement in English literature; the other four are William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Though Keats was the youngest of these poets, he also died before the others: he suffered from tuberculosis and died in Rome at the age of 25.Keats was the son of an inn-keeper who died when Keats was nine years old; and his mother died of tuberculosis in 1810. The young Keats began studying to be a surgeon, though his interest in literature grew stronger than his interest in medicine. He became a friend and follower of the poet and editor James Henry Leigh Hunt, and made his first attempts to write his own poetry. Keats's active writing life lasted only about six years, from the spring of 1814 through 1819.His short life meant that he wrote less than many other poets. His longest poems, Endymion and Hyperion, tell stories from ancient Greek mythology. Many of his shorter poems are among the best known in English literature, including "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" and his Sonnets and Odes.Keats was an active letter-writer throughout his life, like many people of his time. Hundreds of his letters to friends and relatives have survived, and Keats is often called one of the great letter writers in the English language.
Крити́ческий реали́зм — художественный метод и литературное направление, сложившееся в XIX веке. Главная его особенность — изображение человеческого характера в органической связи с социальными обстоятельствами, наряду с глубоким социальным анализом внутреннего мира человека. Charles Dickens - was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature's most iconic characters. Many of his novels, with their recurrent concern for social reform, first appeared in magazines in serialised form, a popular format at the time. Unlike other authors who completed entire novels before serialisation, Dickens often created the episodes as they were being serialized. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by cliffhangers to keep the public looking forward to the next instalment. The continuing popularity of his novels and short stories is such that they have never gone out of print. His work has been praised for its mastery of prose and unique personalities, though it was criticized by Virginia Woolf for sentimentality and implausibility. He worked in a blacking factory there while his father went to prison for debt. Dickens's hard times in this blackening factory served as the base of ideas for many of his novels. Many like Oliver Twist soon became famous. Charles did not like working and wished to stop working after his father was released but he was forced to continue working. Charles then finished his schooling, and got a job as an office boy for an attorney. After finding that job dull, he taught himself shorthand and became a journalist that reported on the government. His first book was Sketches by Boz in 1836, a collection of the short pieces he had been writing for the Monthly Magazine and the Evening Chronicle. This was followed by the The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club in 1837. Both these books became popular as soon as they were printed. Angela Burdett Coutts, heir to the Coutts banking fortune, approached Dickens about setting up a home for the redemption of "fallen" women. Coutts envisioned a home that would differ from existing institutions, which offered a harsh and punishing regimen for these women, and instead provide an environment where they could learn to read and write and become proficient in domestic household chores so as to re-integrate them into society. After initially resisting, Dickens eventually founded the home, named Urania Cottage, in the Lime Grove section of Shepherds Bush. He became involved in many aspects of its day-to-day running, setting the house rules, reviewing the accounts and interviewing prospective residents, some of whom became characters in his books. Dickens loved the style of 18th century Gothic romance, although it had already become a target for parody. One "character" vividly drawn throughout his novels is London itself. From the coaching inns on the outskirts of the city to the lower reaches of the Thames, all aspects of the capital are described over the course of his body of work. His writing style is florid and poetic, with a strong comic touch. His satires of British aristocratic snobbery—he calls one character the "Noble Refrigerator"—are often popular. Comparing orphans to stocks and shares, people to tug boats, or dinner-party guests to furniture are just some of Dickens's acclaimed flights of fancy. Many of his characters' names provide the reader with a hint as to the roles played in advancing the storyline, such as Mr. Murdstone in the novel David Copperfield, which is clearly a combination of "murder" and stony coldness. His literary style is also a mixture of fantasy and realism. Dickens is famed for his depiction of the hardships of the working class, his intricate plots, and his sense of humour. But he is perhaps most famed for the characters he created. His novels were heralded early in his career for their ability to capture the everyday man and thus create characters to whom readers could relate. Dickensian characters—especially their typically whimsical names—are among the most memorable in English literature( Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Pip), All authors might be said to incorporate autobiographical elements in their fiction, but with Dickens this is very noticeable, even though he took pains to mask what he considered his shameful, lowly past. Dickens's novels were, among other things, works of social commentary. He was a fierce critic of the poverty and social stratification of Victorian society. Dickens's second novel, Oliver Twist (1839), shocked readers with its images of poverty and crime and was responsible for the clearing of the actual London slum, Jacob's Island, that was the basis of the story. In addition, with the character of the tragic prostitute, Nancy, Dickens "humanised" such women for the reading public; women who were regarded as "unfortunates", inherently immoral casualties of the Victorian class/economic system. Dickens is often described as using 'idealised' characters and highly sentimental scenes to contrast with his caricatures and the ugly social truths he reveals. Many of his novels are concerned with social realism, focusing on mechanisms of social control that direct people's lives (for instance, factory networks in Hard Times and hypocritical exclusionary class codes. William Makepeace Thackeray was an English novelist of the 19th century. He was famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of English society.
Thackeray began as a satirist and parodist,writing papers with a sneaking fondness for roguish upstarts like Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair, Barry Lyndon in The Luck of Barry Lyndon and Catherine in Catherine. In his earliest works, writing under such pseudonyms as Charles James Yellowplush, Michael Angelo Titmarsh and George Savage Fitz-Boodle, he tended towards the savage in his attacks on high society, military prowess, the institution of marriage and hypocrisy. His writing career really began with a series of satirical sketches now usually known as The Yellowplush Papers, which appeared in Fraser's Magazine beginning in 1837. These were adapted for BBC Radio 4 in 2009, with Adam Buxton playing Charles Yellowplush.Between May 1839 and February 1840, Fraser's published the work sometimes considered Thackeray's first novel, Catherine, originally intended as a satire of the Newgate school of crime fiction but ending up more as a rollicking picaresque tale in its own right.In The Luck of Barry Lyndon, a novel serialized in Fraser's in 1844, Thackeray explored the situation of an outsider trying to achieve status in high society, a theme he developed much more successfully in Vanity Fair with the character of Becky Sharp, the artist's daughter who rises nearly to the heights by manipulating the other characters.He is best known now for Vanity Fair, with its deft skewerings of human foibles and its roguishly attractive heroine. His large novels from the period after this, once described unflatteringly by Henry James as examples of "loose baggy monsters", have faded from view, perhaps because they reflect a mellowing in the author, who became so successful with his satires on society that he seemed to lose his zest for attacking it.The later works include Pendennis, a sort of bildungsroman depicting the coming of age of Arthur Pendennis, a kind of alter ego of Thackeray's who also features as the narrator of two later novels: The Newcomes and The Adventures of Philip. The Newcomes is noteworthy for its critical portrayal of the "marriage market", while Philip is noteworthy for its semi-autobiographical look back at Thackeray's early life, in which the author partially regains some of his early satirical zest.Also notable among the later novels is The History of Henry Esmond, in which Thackeray tried to write a novel in the style of the eighteenth century. In fact, the eighteenth century held a great appeal for Thackeray. Not only Esmond but also Barry Lyndon and Catherine are set then, as is the sequel to Esmond, The Virginians, which takes place in America and includes George Washington as a character who nearly kills one of the protagonists in a duel.
Literary realism most often refers to the trend, beginning with certain works of nineteenth-century French literature and extending to late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century authors in various countries, towards depictions of contemporary life and society "as they were." In the spirit of general "realism," Realist authors opted for depictions of everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of a romanticized or similarly stylized presentation. In literature, Romanticism found recurrent themes in the evocation or criticism of the past, the cult of "sensibility" with its emphasis on women and children, the heroic isolation of the artist or narrator, and respect for a new, wilder, untrammeled and "pure" nature. Charlotte Brontë - an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters whose novels are English literature standards. She wrote Jane Eyre under the pen name Currer Bell. Charlotte was sent with three of her sisters, Emily, Maria, and Elizabeth, to the Clergy Daughters' School (which she would describe as Lowood School in Jane Eyre). Its poor conditions, Charlotte maintained, permanently affected her health and physical development and hastened the deaths of her two elder sisters, Maria (born 1814) and Elizabeth (born 1815), who died of tuberculosis in June 1825 soon after their father removed them from the school on 1 June. Perhaps, she wasn’t very beautiful, and this makes think of parallels with Jane Eyre, She held high moral principles, and, despite her shyness in company, she was always prepared to argue her beliefs. Else with the survived children in her childhood she wrote about the lives and struggles of the inhabitants of their imaginary kingdoms. Due to the enormous success of Jane Eyre, she was persuaded by her publisher to visit London occasionally, where she become friends with William Makepeace Thackeray. Her book had sparked a movement in regards to feminism in literature. The main character, Jane Eyre, in her novel Jane Eyre, was a parallel to herself, a woman who was strong. Jane Eyre is a love story. It tells about a young woman called Jane Eyre who was an orphan and goes to teach a girl named Adele Varens in a far-away house. The master of the house is Mr. Rochester. Jane and Mr. Rochester fall in love, but Jane is horrified when she finds out Mr. Rochester is already married to a crazy woman. She leaves the house, believing that marrying him would now be the same as adultery and that she would be his mistress, not his wife. When she goes away, she becomes sick and almost dies. Three people, Diana, Mary, and St. John Rivers, find her and let her live with them. There, she becomes a teacher and finds out that they are her cousins. She is very happy until St. John wants her to marry him and be a missionary with him. She knows that he does not really love her and thinks she is simply useful, so she says no. However, he continues to ask her, and she is finally almost persuaded that it is her duty to marry him when she hears Mr. Rochester crying, "Jane! Jane!" She feels that something has happened to him, and quickly goes back to see him. His crazy wife had put his house on fire and died in it. Mr. Rochester, because of the fire, had become blind and wounded. Jane, now that his wife is dead, is happy to marry him, and they get married and have a son. Emily Brontë - English author and poet. Her most famous book is Wuthering Heights. It is the only novel by Emily Brontë. It was first published in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, and a posthumous second edition was edited by her sister Charlotte. The name of the novel comes from the Yorkshire manor on the moors on which the story. The narrative tells the tale of the all-encompassing and passionate, yet thwarted, love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and many around them. It’s considered to be more original than Jane Eyre.
Poetry in a sense settled down from the upheavals of the romantic era and much of the work of the time is seen as a bridge between this earlier era and the modernist poetry of the next century. Comic verse abounded in the Victorian era. Magazines teemed with humorous invention and were aimed at a well-educated readership. The most famous collection of Victorian comic verse is the Bab Ballads. The husband and wife poetry team of the Brownings conducted their love affair through verse and produced many tender and passionate poems. Some poets drew inspiration from verse forms of Old English poetry such as Beowulf. The reclaiming of the past was a major part of Victorian literature with an interest in both classical literature but also the medieval literature of England. The Victorians loved the heroic, chivalrous stories of knights of old and they hoped to regain some of that noble, courtly behaviour and impress it upon the people both at home and in the wider empire. In drama, farces, musical burlesques, extravaganzas and comic operas competed with Shakespeare productions and serious drama. After W. S. Gilbert, Oscar Wilde became the leading poet and dramatist of the late Victorian period. Wilde's plays, in particular, stand apart from the many now forgotten plays of Victorian times and have a much closer relationship to those of the Edwardian dramatists such as George Bernard Shaw, many of whose most important works were written in the 20th century. Wilde's 1895 comic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was the greatest of the plays in which he held an ironic mirror to the aristocracy while displaying virtuosic mastery of wit and paradoxical wisdom. It has remained extremely popular. The Victorians are sometimes credited with 'inventing childhood', partly via their efforts to stop child labour and the introduction of compulsory education. As children began to be able to read, literature for young people became a growth industry, with not only established writers producing works for children (such as Dickens' A Child's History of England) but also a new group of dedicated children's authors. Writers like Lewis Carroll wrote mainly for children, although they had an adult following. Other genres include nonsense verse, poetry which required a child-like interest (e.g. Edward Lyr). School stories flourished: Kipling's Stalky & Co, Mawgly. Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, British writer, logician (maths expert), Anglican clergyman, and photographer. He is most famous for his story Alice's Adventures in Wonderland which he told to a young friend, Alice Liddel, when he took the girl and two of her sisters on a boat trip. Alice enjoyed the story and asked Dodgson to write it down. Carroll then wrote a second story about Alice called Through the Looking Glass. Both stories are still popular with people all over the world. Dodgson's friendships with young girls and psychological readings of his work – especially his photographs of nude or semi-nude girls – have all led to speculation that he was a paedophile. This possibility has underpinned numerous modern interpretations of his life and work. Cohen and other biographers argue that Dodgson may have wanted to marry the 11-year-old Alice Liddell, and that this was the cause of the unexplained "break" with the family in June 1863. But there has never been significant evidence to support the idea, and the 1996 discovery of the "cut pages in diary document" (see above) seems to make it highly probable that the 1863 "break" had nothing to do with Alice, but was perhaps connected with rumours involving her older sister Lorina, or possibly their governess. Edward Lear - was an English artist, illustrator, author, and poet, renowned today primarily for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form that he popularised. Lear suffered from health problems. From the age of six he suffered frequent grand mal epileptic seizures, and bronchitis, asthma, and in later life, partial blindness. Lear experienced his first seizure at a fair near Highgate with his father. The event scared and embarrassed him. Lear felt lifelong guilt and shame for his epileptic condition. Lear published A Book of Nonsense, a volume of limericks that went through three editions and helped popularize the form. In The History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipple-Popple was published, and in his most famous piece of nonsense, The Owl and the Pussycat, which he wrote for the children of his patron Edward Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby. Many other works followed. Lear's nonsense books were quite popular during his lifetime, but a rumour circulated that "Edward Lear" was merely a pseudonym, and the books' true author was the man to whom Lear had dedicated the works, his patron the Earl of Derby. Supporters of this rumour offered as evidence the facts that both men were named Edward, and that "Lear" is an anagram of "Earl". Lear's nonsense works are distinguished by a facility of verbal invention and a poet's delight in the sounds of words, both real and imaginary. A stuffed rhinoceros becomes a "diaphanous doorscraper". A "blue Boss-Woss" plunges into "a perpendicular, spicular, orbicular, quadrangular, circular depth of soft mud". His heroes are Quangle-Wangles, Pobbles, and Jumblies. Though famous for his neologisms, Lear employed a number of other devices in his works in order to defy reader expectations. For example, "Cold Are The Crabs", adheres to the sonnet tradition until the dramatically foreshortened last line. Limericks are invariably typeset as four plus one lines today, but Lear's limericks were published in a variety of formats. It appears that Lear wrote them in manuscript in as many lines as there was room for beneath the picture. In the first three editions most are typeset as, respectively, two, five, and three lines.
Victorian Era is the age of thousand literature streams. In the Victorian or modern age the divine right of kings is as obsolete as a suit of armor; the privileges of royalty and nobility are either curbed or abolished, and ordinary men by their representatives in the House of Commons are the real rulers of England. With a change in government comes a corresponding change in literature. In former ages literature was almost as exclusive as politics in the hands of the few and supported by princely patrons, reflecting the taste of the upper classes. Now the masses of men begin to be educated, begin to think for themselves, and a host of periodicals appear in answer to their demand for reading matter. Poets, novelists, essayists, historians,--all serious writers feel the inspiration of a great audience, and their works have a thousand readers where formerly they had but one. In a word, English government, society and literature have all become more democratic. This is the most significant feature of modern history.The second tendency may be summed up in the word "scientific." At the basis of this tendency is man’s desire to know the truth, if possible the whole truth of life; and it sets no limits to the exploring spirit. Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859), which laid the foundation for a general theory of evolution, is one of the most famous books of the age, and of the world. Associated with Darwin were Wallace, Lyell, Huxley, Tyndall and many others, whose essays are, in their own way, quite as significant as the poems of Tennyson or the novels of Dickens. It would be quite as erroneous to allege that modern science began with these men as to assume that it began with the Chinese or with Roger Bacon; the most that can be said truthfully is, that the scientific spirit which they reflected began to dominate our thought, to influence even our poetry and fiction, even as the voyages of Drake and Magellan furnished a mighty and mysterious background for the play of human life on the Elizabethan stage. A third tendency of the Victorian age in England is expressed by the word "imperialism." In earlier ages the work of planting English colonies had been well done; in the Victorian age the scattered colonies increased mightily in wealth and power, and were closely federated into a world-wide Empire of people speaking the same noble speech, following the same high ideals of justice and liberty. Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. He’sknown for his novels, such as Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd, which earned him a reputation as a great novelist. The bulk of his fictional works, initially published as serials in magazines, were set in the semi-fictional land of Wessex and explored tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances. Hardy’s idea of fate in life gave way to his philosophical struggle with God. Although Hardy’s faith remained intact, the irony and struggles of life led him to question the traditional Christian view of God. Hardy's first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, finished by 1867, failed to find a publisher and Hardy destroyed the manuscript so only parts of the novel remain. A Pair of Blue Eyes, a novel drawing on Hardy's courtship of his first wife, was published under his own name. The term "cliffhanger" is considered to have originated with the serialized version of this story in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left literally hanging off a cliff. Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) attracted criticism for its sympathetic portrayal of a "fallen woman" and was initially refused publication. Its subtitle, A Pure Woman: Faithfully Presented, was intended to raise the eyebrows of the Victorian middle-classes. Jude the Obscure, published in 1895, met with even stronger negative outcries from the Victorian public for its frank treatment of sex, and was often referred to as "Jude the Obscene". Hardy critiques certain social constraints that hindered the lives of those living in the 19th century. Considered a Victorian Realist writer, Hardy examines the social constraints that are part of the Victorian status quo, suggesting these rules hinder the lives of all involved and ultimately lead to unhappiness. Hardy’s stories take into consideration the events of life and their effects. Fate plays a significant role as the thematic basis for many of his novels. Characters are constantly encountering crossroads, which are symbolic of a point of opportunity and transition. Once things have been put into motion, they will play out. Hardy's characters are in the grips of an overwhelming fate. Hardy divided his novels and collected short stories into three classes:1)Novels of Character and Environment2) Romances and Fantasies3) Novels of Ingenuity.
Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer, poet, and prominent aesthete who, after writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, plays and the tragedy of his imprisonment, followed by his early death. Wilde's parents were successful Dublin intellectuals and from an early age he was tutored at home, where he showed his intelligence, becoming fluent in French and German. he was deeply interested in the rising philosophy of aestheticism (led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin) though he also profoundly explored Roman Catholicism and finally converted on his deathbed. As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities; he published a book of poems, lectured America and Canada on the new "English Renaissance in Art" and then returned to London to work prolifically as a journalist for four years. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress, and glittering conversation, Wilde was one of the best known personalities of his day. Wilde's two plays during the 1880s, Vera; or, The Nihilists and The Duchess of Padua, had not met with much success. He had continued his interest in the theatre and now, after finding his voice in prose, his thoughts turned again to the dramatic form as the biblical iconography of Salome filled his head. it tells the story of Salome, the stepdaughter of the tetrarch Herod Antipas, who, to her stepfather's dismay but mother's delight, requests the head of Jokanaan (John the Baptist) on a silver platter as a reward for dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils. Wilde, who had first set out to irritate Victorian society with his dress and talking points finally found a way to critique society on its own terms. Lady Windermere's Fan was first performed on 20 February 1892 at St James Theatre, packed with the cream of society. The play was enormously popular, touring the country for months, but largely thrashed by conservative critics. He wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the plays Salomé, The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, and Lady Windermere's Fan. Wilde was bisexual. He was married, and had two children. Wilde's lover was the son of the Marquess of Queensbury, who was known for his outspoken atheism, brutish manner and creation of the modern rules of boxing. Queensberry, who feuded regularly with his son, confronted Wilde and Lord Alfred as to the nature of their relationship. He said: "If I catch you and my son again in any public restaurant I will thrash you" His downfall At the height of his fame and success Wilde sued his lover's father for libel. After a series of trials, Wilde was convicted of gross indecency with other men and sentenced to two years of hard labour in Reading Goal (jail). In prison he wrote De Profundis, a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. Upon his release he left immediately for France, never to return to the British Isles. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, a long poem commemorating prison life. Living in a Paris hotel, he was destitute, with little money and few friends. His last memorable words were: "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has got to go". He died of cerebral meningitis at the age of forty-six. The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only published book written by Oscar Wilde. It was first published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. The Picture of Dorian Gray is about a young man named Dorian Gray who has a portrait painted of himself. The artist, Basil Hallward, thinks that Dorian Gray is very beautiful, and becomes obsessed with him. One day in Basil's garden, Dorian Gray meets a man named Lord Henry Wotton. Lord Henry Wotton makes Dorian Gray believe that the only thing important in life is beauty. However, he realizes that as he grows older, he will become less beautiful. He wishes that the portrait Basil painted would become old in his place. Dorian then sells his soul so that he can be beautiful forever. Dorian's wish comes true. However, every time he does something bad, mean, or selfish, his picture ages. For 18 years, Dorian does not age. He does many bad things, and his portrait becomes more and more aged. However, one day he decides to stop doing bad things. He hopes that this will make his portrait become beautiful again, but it only makes it worse. Dorian thinks that only a full confession will make the portrait become beautiful again. However, he does not feel guilty for anything he has done. So Dorian picks up a knife and stabs the portrait.When his servants hear a scream come from Dorian's room, they call the police. The police find Dorian's body on the floor with a stab wound in his heart. His body has become very aged. However, the portrait has returned to the way it was when it was first painted.
Neo-romanticism emerged strongly in the period from about 1880 to about 1910, in Britain. 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.Neo-romanticism tended to shed somewhat the emphasis of Romanticism on 'the hero' and romantic nationalism. This was particularly so in the decades after both of the world wars. Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. Traveled a lot, In London, had several stories accepted by various magazine editors. He also found a place to live for the next two years, then he produced, in addition to the Jungle Books, the short story collection The Day's Work, the novel Captains Courageous, and a profusion of poetry, including the volume The Seven Seas. He enjoyed writing the Jungle Books—both masterpieces of imaginative writing—and enjoyed too corresponding with the many children who wrote to him about them. Two poems, "Recessional" (1897) and "The White Man's Burden" were regarded by others as propaganda for brazenfaced imperialism and its attendant racial attitudes; still others saw irony in the poems and warnings of the perils of empire. A prolific writer—nothing about his work was easily labelled—during his time in Torquay, he also wrote Stalky & Co., a collection of school whose juvenile protagonists displayed a know-it-all, cynical outlook on patriotism and authority. According to his family, Kipling enjoyed reading aloud stories from Stalky & Co. to them, and often went into spasms of laughter over his own jokes. His children's stories remain popular; and his Jungle Books have been made into several movies. The first was made by producer Alexander Korda, and other films have been produced by the Walt Disney Company. A number of his poems were set to music by Percy Grainger. A series of short films based on some of his stories was broadcast by the BBC in 1964. Kipling's work continues to be highly popular today. His poem "If—" was voted The Nation's Favourite Poem in a BBC 1995 opinion poll. Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson - was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. His best-known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Stevenson made friends with two people who were to be of great importance to him, Sidney Colvin and Fanny (Frances Jane) Sitwell. Sitwell was a woman of thirty four with a young son who was separated from her husband. Stevenson's first paid contribution is an essay entitled "Roads," in The Portfolio. All his energies were now spent in travel and writing. One of his journeys, a canoe voyage in Belgium and France with Sir Walter Simpson, a friend from the Speculative Society and frequent travel companion, was the basis of his first real book, An Inland Voyage. Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne inspired him on essay, "On falling in love". For 7 years Stevenson searched in vain for a place of residence suitable to his state of health. In spite of his ill health, he produced the bulk of his best-known work during these years: Treasure Island, his first widely popular book; Kidnapped; Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the story which established his wider reputation; The Black Arrow; and two volumes of verse, A Child's Garden of Verses and Underwoods. "The proudest moments of my life," he wrote, "have been passed in the stern-sheets of a boat with that romantic garment over my shoulders." Stevenson purchased four hundred acres (about 1.6 square kilometres) of land in Upolu, one of the Samoan islands. Stevenson was loved by the Samoans and the engraving on his tombstone was translated to a Samoan song of grief.
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books. Together with Jules Verne, Wells has been referred to as "The Father of Science Fiction". Wells was an outspoken socialist and sympathetic to pacifist views, although he supported the First World War once it was under way, and his later works became increasingly political and didactic. His middle-period novels (1900–1920) were less science-fictional; they covered lower-middle class life. "I was never a great amorist", Wells wrote in Experiment in Autobiography (1934), "though I have loved several people very deeply." Some of his books are interesting for their hits (trains and cars resulting in the dispersion of population from cities to suburbs; moral restrictions declining as men and women seek greater sexual freedom; the defeat of German militarism, and the existence of a European Union) and its misses (he did not expect successful aircraft before 1950, and averred that "my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea"), radioactive decay. From quite early in his career, he sought a better way to organise society, and wrote a number of Utopian novels. The first of these was A Modern Utopia (1905), which shows a worldwide utopia with "no imports but meteorites, and no exports at all"; two travellers from our world fall into its alternate history. The others usually begin with the world rushing to catastrophe, until people realise a better way of living: whether by mysterious gases from a comet causing people to behave rationally and abandoning a European war (In the Days of the Comet (1906)), or a world council of scientists taking over, as in The Shape of Things to Come (1933, which he later adapted for the 1936 Alexander Korda film, Things to Come). This depicted, all too accurately, the impending World War, with cities being destroyed by aerial bombs. He also portrayed the rise of fascist dictators in The Autocracy of Mr Parham (1930) and The Holy Terror (1939), though in the former novel, the tale is revealed at the end to have been Mr Parham's dream vision. Wells contemplates the ideas of nature versus nurture and questions humanity in books such as The Island of Doctor Moreau. Not all his scientific romances ended in a happy Utopia, and in fact, Wells also wrote the first dystopia novel, When the Sleeper Wakes (1899, rewritten as The Sleeper Awakes, 1910), which pictures a future society where the classes have become more and more separated, leading to a revolt of the masses against the rulers. The Island of Doctor Moreau is even darker. The narrator, having been trapped on an island of animals vivisected (unsuccessfully) into human beings, eventually returns to England; like Gulliver on his return from the Houyhnhnms, he finds himself unable to shake off the perceptions of his fellow humans as barely civilised beasts, slowly reverting back to their animal natures. George Bernard Shaw an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his writings deal sternly with prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy to make their stark themes more palatable. Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class, and most of his writings censure that abuse. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. William Morris - was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris wrote and published poetry, fiction, and translations of ancient and medieval texts throughout his life. Morris begun to take an active interest in politics, abandoned the Liberal Party and advanced into socialist politics. his creative efforts sprang from his socialist politics. In March 1883 he gave an address at Manchester on "Art, Wealth and Riches"; in May he was elected upon the executive of the federation. In September he wrote the first of his "Chants for Socialists." About the same time he shocked the authorities by pleading in University Hall for the wholesale support of socialism among the undergraduates at Oxford. Morris himself being perhaps the greatest British representative of what has come to be called libertarian socialism. William Somerset Maugham English playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and, reputedly, the highest paid author during the 1930s Maugham was miserable both at the vicarage and at school. As a result, he developed a talent for making wounding remarks to those who displeased him. This ability is sometimes reflected in Maugham's literary characters. He recalled the literary value of what he saw as a medical student: "I saw how men died. I saw how they bore pain. I saw what hope looked like, fear and relief ..." Of Human Bondage (1915) initially received adverse criticism both in England and America, with the New York World describing the romantic obsession of the main protagonist Philip Carey as "the sentimental servitude of a poor fool".
The "Lost Generation" is a term used to refer to the generation, actually an age cohort, that came of age during World War I. The term was popularized by Ernest Hemingway who used it as one of two contrasting epigraphs for his novel, "The Sun Also Rises." Wilfred Edward Salter Owen(гомосек)was a British poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War. His shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was heavily influenced by his friend Siegfried Sassoon and sat in stark contrast to both the public perception of war at the time . He was killed in action at the Battle of the Sambre a week before the war ended. The telegram from the War Office announcing his death was delivered to his mother's home as her town's church bells were ringing in celebration of the Armistice when the war ended. However, Owen's outlook on the war was to be changed dramatically after two traumatic experiences. Firstly, he was blown high into the air by a trench mortar, landing in the remains of a fellow officer. Soon after, he became trapped for days in an old German dugout. After these two events, Owen was diagnosed as suffering from shell shock and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh for treatment. He had been writing poetry for some years before the war, himself dating his poetic beginnings to a stay at Broxton by the Hill, when he was ten years old. The Romantic poets Keats and P.B. Shelley influenced much of Owen's early writing and poetry. Owen was to take both Sassoon's gritty realism and his own romantic notions and create a poetic synthesis that was both potent and sympathetic, as summarised by his famous phrase 'the pity of war'. In this way, Owen's poetry is quite distinctive, and he is, by many, considered a greater poet than Sassoon. Nonetheless, Sassoon contributed to Owen's popularity by his strong promotion of his poetry, both before and after Owen's death, and his editing was instrumental in the making of Owen as a poet. Owen was homosexual, and homoeroticism is a central element in much of Owen's poetry. The account of Owen's sexual development has been somewhat obscured because his brother, Harold Owen, removed what he considered discreditable passages in Owen's letters and diaries after the death of their mother. Owen also requested that his mother burn a sack of his personal papers in the event of his death, which she did. Robert Ranke Graves (блядун)was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works. Graves' poems — together with his translations and innovative interpretations of the Greek Myths, his memoir of his early life, including his role in the First World War, Good-bye to All That, and his historical study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess — have never been out of print. He earned his living from writing, particularly popular historical novels such as I, Claudius; King Jesus; The Golden Fleece; and Count Belisarius. He also was a prominent translator of Classical Latin and Ancient Greek texts; his versions of The Twelve Caesars and The Golden Ass remain popular today for their clarity and entertaining style. Through Sassoon, Graves also became friends with Wilfred Owen, whose talent he recognised. Robert Graves published, together with Omar Ali-Shah, a new translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The translation was a critical disaster, and Graves' reputation suffered severely due to what the public perceived as his gullibility in falling for the Shah brothers' deception. During the early 1970s Graves began to suffer from increasingly severe memory loss, and by his eightieth birthday in 1975 he had come to the end of his working life. By this time he had published more than 140 works. He survived for ten more years in an increasingly dependent condition until he died from heart failure. Richard Aldington (не повезло с первой женой-лесбиянкой)- was an English writer and poet. Aldington was best known for his World War I poetry, the 1929 novel, Death of a Hero, and the controversy arising from his 1955 Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Inquiry. His 1946 biography, Wellington, was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. is poetry was associated with the Imagist group, and his work forms almost one third of the Imagists' inaugural anthology. He joined the army in 1916, was commissioned in the Royal Sussexs in 1917 and was wounded on the Western Front. Aldington never completely recovered from his war experiences, and may have continued to suffer from the then-unrecognised phenomenon of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He helped T. S. Eliot in a practical way, by persuading Harriet Shaw Weaver to appoint Eliot as his successor at The Egoist (helped by Pound), and later in 1919 with an introduction to the editor Bruce Richmond of the Times Literary Supplement, for which he reviewed French literature. Aldington made an effort with A Fool I' the Forest (1924) to reply to the new style of poetry launched by The Waste Land. He was being published at the time, for example in The Chapbook, but clearly took on too much hack work just to live. He suffered some sort of breakdown in 1925. His interest in poetry waned, and he was straighforwardly jealous of Eliot's celebrity, savagely satirized her husband as "Jeremy Cibber" in Stepping Heavenward (Florence 1931). Death of a Hero, published in 1929, was his literary response to the war, commended by Lawrence Durrell as 'the best war novel of the epoch'. It was written while he was living on the island of Port-Cros in Provence as a development of a manuscript from a decade before. Opening with a letter to the playwright Halcott Glover, the book takes a variable but generally satirical, cynical and critical posture, and belabours Victorian and Edwardian cant. He went on to publish several works of fiction. In 1930, he published a bawdy translation of The Decameron. In 1933, his novel titled All Men are Enemies appeared; it was a romance, as the author chose to call it, and a brighter book than Death of a Hero, even though Aldington took an anti-war stance again. In 1942, having moved to the United States with his new wife Netta Patmore, he began to write biographies. The first was one of Wellington (The Duke: Being an Account of the Life & Achievements of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, 1943). It was followed by works on D. H. Lawrence (Portrait of a Genius, But..., 1950), Robert Louis Stevenson (Portrait of a Rebel, 1957), and T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Inquiry, 1955). An obituary described him as an "angry young man", and an '"angry old man to the end".
James Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark novel which perfected his stream of consciousness technique and combined nearly every literary device available in a modern re-telling of The Odyssey. Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Dubliners, is a penetrating analysis of the stagnation and paralysis of Dublin society. The stories incorporate epiphanies, a word used particularly by Joyce, by which he meant a sudden consciousness of the "soul" of a thing. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a nearly complete rewrite of the abandoned novel Stephen Hero. Joyce attempted to burn the original manuscript in a fit of rage during an argument with Nora, though to his subsequent relief it was rescued by his sister. A Künstlerroman, Portrait is a heavily autobiographical coming-of-age novel depicting the childhood and adolescence of protagonist Stephen Dedalus and his gradual growth into artistic self-consciousness. Some hints of the techniques Joyce frequently employed in later works, such as stream of consciousness, interior monologue, and references to a character's psychic reality rather than to his external surroundings, are evident throughout this novel. Despite early interest in the theatre, Joyce published only one play, Exiles, begun shortly after the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and published in 1918. A study of a husband and wife relationship, the play looks back to The Dead (the final story in Dubliners) and forward to Ulysses, which Joyce began around the time of the play's composition. Joyce also published a number of books of poetry. His first mature published work was the satirical broadside "The Holy Office" (1904), in which he proclaimed himself to be the superior of many prominent members of the Celtic revival. His first full-length poetry collection Chamber Music (referring, Joyce explained, to the sound of urine hitting the side of a chamber pot) consisted of 36 short lyrics. In Ulysses, Joyce employs stream of consciousness, parody, jokes, and virtually every other established literary technique to present his characters. He sets the characters and incidents of the Odyssey of Homer in modern Dublin and represents Odysseus (Ulysses), Penelope and Telemachus in the characters of Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, parodically contrasted with their lofty models. The book explores various areas of Dublin life, dwelling on its squalor and monotony. Nevertheless, the book is also an affectionately detailed study of the city, and Joyce claimed that if Dublin were to be destroyed in some catastrophe it could be rebuilt, brick by brick, using his work as a model. Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.
During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), 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." Recently, studies of Virginia Woolf have focused on feminist and lesbian themes in her work. Woolf's fiction is also studied for its insight into shell shock, war, class and modern British society. Her best-known nonfiction works, A Room of One's Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938), examine the difficulties female writers and intellectuals face because men hold disproportionate legal and economic power and the future of women in education and society. Throughout her life, Woolf was plagued by periodic mood swings and associated illnesses. Though this instability often affected her social life, her literary productivity continued with few breaks until her suicide. Woolf came to know Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell, Rupert Brooke, Saxon Sydney-Turner, Duncan Grant, Leonard Woolf and Roger Fry, who together formed the nucleus of the intellectual circle of writers and artists known as the Bloomsbury Group. The ethos of the Bloomsbury group encouraged a liberal approach to sexuality , and in 1922, met the writer and gardener Vita Sackville-West, wife of Harold Nicolson. After a tentative start, they began a sexual relationship, which, according to Sackville- West, was only twice consummated.  In 1928, Woolf presented Sackville-West with Orlando, a fantastical biography in which the eponymous hero's life spans three centuries and both genders. Nigel Nicolson, Vita Sackville-West's son, wrote "The effect of Vita on Virginia is all contained in Orlando, the longest and most charming love letter in literature, in which she explores Vita, weaves her in and out of the centuries, tosses her from one sex to the other, plays with her, dresses her in furs, lace and emeralds, teases her, flirts with her, drops a veil of mist around her".  After their affair ended, the two women remained friends until Woolf's death in 1941. 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. Woolf's reputation declined sharply after World War II, but her eminence was re-established with the surge of Feminist criticism in the 1970s. Her work was criticised for epitomising the narrow world of the upper-middle class English intelligentsia. Some critics judged it to be lacking in universality and depth, without the power to communicate anything of emotional or ethical relevance to the disillusioned common reader. She was also criticised by some as an anti-semite, despite her being happily married to a Jewish man. This anti-semitism is drawn from the fact that she often wrote of Jewish characters in stereotypical archetypes and generalisations, including describing some of her Jewish characters as physically repulsive and dirty. Virginia Woolf's peculiarities as a fiction writer have tended to obscure her central strength: Woolf is arguably the major lyrical novelist in the English language. Her novels are highly experimental: a narrative, frequently uneventful and commonplace, is refracted—and sometimes almost dissolved—in the characters' receptive consciousness. Intense lyricism and stylistic virtuosity fuse to create a world overabundant with auditory and visual impressions. David Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist and literary critic. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, and instinct. Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile he called his "savage pilgrimage." At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer. Lawrence is perhaps best known for his novels Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley's Lover. Within these Lawrence explores the possibilities for life and living within an industrial setting. In particular Lawrence is concerned with the nature of relationships that can be had within such settings. Though often classed as a realist, Lawrence's use of his characters can be better understood with reference to his philosophy. His use of sexual activity, though shocking at the time, has its roots in this highly personal way of thinking and being. It is worth noting that Lawrence was very interested in human touch behaviour (see Haptics) and that his interest in physical intimacy has its roots in a desire to restore our emphasis on the body, and re-balance it with what he perceived to be western civilisation's slow process of over-emphasis on the mind. In his later years Lawrence developed the potentialities of the short novel form in St Mawr, The Virgin and the Gypsy and The Escaped Cock.
Fantasy . Stories involving magic, paranormal magic and terrible monsters have existed in spoken forms before the advent of printed literature. Homer's Odyssey satisfies the definition of the fantasy genre with its magic, gods, heroes, adventures and monsters. Fantasy literature, as a distinct type, emerged in Victorian times, with the works of writers such as William Morris and George MacDonald. J. R. R. Tolkien played a large role in the popularization of the fantasy genre with his highly successful publications The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien was largely influenced by an ancient body of Anglo-Saxon myths, particularly Beowulf, as well as modern works such as The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison. It was after the publication of his work that the genre began to receive the moniker "fantasy" (often applied retroactively to the works of Eddison, Carroll, Howard, et al.). Tolkien's close friend C. S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia and a fellow English professor with a similar array of interests, also helped to publicize the fantasy genre. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works which form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle-earth. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more precisely, of high fantasy. Beginning with The Book of Lost Tales, written while recuperating from illnesses contracted during The Battle of the Somme, Tolkien devised several themes that were reused in successive drafts of his legendarium. The two most prominent stories, the tale of Beren and Lúthien and that of Túrin, were carried forward into long narrative poems (published in The Lays of Beleriand). Tolkien wrote a brief "Sketch of the Mythology" which included the tales of Beren and Lúthien and of Túrin, and that sketch eventually evolved into the Quenta Silmarillion, an epic history that Tolkien started three times but never published. Tolkien desperately hoped to publish it along with The Lord of the Rings, but publishers (both Allen & Unwin and Collins) got cold feet. In addition to his mythopoeic compositions, Tolkien enjoyed inventing fantasy stories to entertain his children. He wrote annual Christmas letters from Father Christmas for them, building up a series of short stories (later compiled and published as The Father Christmas Letters). Other stories included Mr. Bliss and Roverandom (for children), and Leaf by Niggle (part of Tree and Leaf), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, On Fairy-Stories, Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham. Roverandom and Smith of Wootton Major, like The Hobbit, borrowed ideas from his legendarium.The Hobbit.Tolkien never expected his stories to become popular, but by sheer accident a book called The Hobbit, which he had written some years before for his own children, came in 1936 to the attention of Susan Dagnall, an employee of the London publishing firm George Allen & Unwin, who persuaded Tolkien to submit it for publication. However, the book attracted adult readers as well as children, and it became popular enough for the publishers to ask Tolkien to produce a sequel.The Lord of the Rings. Even though he felt uninspired, the request for a sequel prompted Tolkien to begin what would become his most famous work: the epic novel The Lord of the Rings (originally published in three volumes 1954–1955). Tolkien spent more than ten years writing the primary narrative and appendices for The Lord of the Rings, during which time he received the constant support of the Inklings, in particular his closest friend Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set against the background of The Silmarillion, but in a time long after it.Tolkien at first intended The Lord of the Rings to be a children's tale in the style of The Hobbit, but it quickly grew darker and more serious in the writing. Though a direct sequel to The Hobbit, it addressed an older audience, drawing on the immense back story of Beleriand that Tolkien had constructed in previous years, and which eventually saw posthumous publication in The Silmarillion and other volumes. Tolkien's influence weighs heavily on the fantasy genre that grew up after the success of The Lord of the Rings.The Lord of the Rings became immensely popular in the 1960s and has remained so ever since, ranking as one of the most popular works of fiction of the 20th century, judged by both sales and reader surveys. In the 2003 "Big Read" survey conducted by the BBC, The Lord of the Rings was found to be the "Nation's Best-loved Book". Australians voted The Lord of the Rings "My Favourite Book" in a 2004 survey conducted by the Australian ABC. In a 1999 poll of Amazon.com customers, The Lord of the Rings was judged to be their favourite "book of the millennium". In 2002 Tolkien was voted the 92nd "greatest Briton" in a poll conducted by the BBC, and in 2004 he was voted 35th in the SABC3's Great South Africans, the only person to appear in both lists. His popularity is not limited to the English-speaking world: in a 2004 poll inspired by the UK's "Big Read" survey, about 250,000 Germans found The Lord of the Rings to be their favourite work of literature.
Literary postmodernism was officially inaugurated in the United States with the first issue of boundary 2, subtitled "Journal of Postmodern Literature and Culture", which appeared in 1972. David Antin, Charles Olson, John Cage, and the Black Mountain College school of poetry and the arts were integral figures in the intellectual and artistic exposition of postmodernism at the time. Although Jorge Luis Borges and Samuel Beckett are sometimes seen as important influences, novelists who are commonly counted to postmodern literature include William Burroughs, Giannina Braschi, Kurt Vonnegut, John Barth, Donald Barthelme, E.L. Doctorow, Jerzy Kosinski, Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, Ishmael Reed, Kathy Acker, Ana Lydia Vega, and Paul Auster. Postmodernists generally challenge the notion that imperialism is primarily economic and place a greater stress on cultural and social exploitation. Originating in continental Europe in the mid 20th century postmodernists emphasise the essentially pluralistic nature of society as people move away from a dependency on manufacturing and industry for economic and social status. This shift in focus is a reason for praise from scholars as it gives a 'respect for difference', incorporating the views of the Western population on the ground often overlooked by other theorists (Griffiths and O'Callaghan, 2004). They thus argue that anti-imperialism must involve the promotion of non-dominant cultures as well as non-dominant economic interests. Postcolonial literature is a body of literary writings that reacts to the discourse of colonization. Post-colonial literature often involves writings that deal with issues of de-colonization or the political and cultural independence of people formerly subjugated to colonial rule. It is also a literary critique to texts that carry racist or colonial undertones. Postcolonial literature, finally in its most recent form, also attempts to critique the contemporary postcolonial discourse that has been shaped over recent times. It attempts to re-read this very emergence of postcolonialism and its literary expression itself. The author Jean Rhys made a significant contribution to postcolonial literature in her novel Wide Sargasso Sea, which describes a Creole (mixed-race) woman whose white British husband maltreats her based on his perceptions of her racial heritage. The Canadian writer Margaret Atwood is also a post-colonial writer who dealt with themes of identity-seeking through her Southern Ontario Gothic style of writing. Postcolonial literature can be identified by its discussion of cultural identity. The piece of literature, be it a novel, poem, short story etc. may be about the change that has taken place or question the current change. Postcolonial literature tends to ask the question: Now that they’ve finally achieved independence, what can they do? After so much change has taken place, their culture cannot return to its original state. Postcolonial literature tends to answer the following question: Should there be an attempt to restore the original culture, conformity to the culture presented by the settlers or the creation of a new culture which combines both? If a novel answers and explores any of the above questions it may be considered postcolonial literature. When trying to identify post colonial literature, it is important to recognize whether the ex-colony in question is actually independent or considered independent, but reliant on its former colonist. Henry Graham Greene was an English author, playwright and literary critic. His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene was notable for his ability to combine serious literary acclaim with widespread popularity. Several works such as The Confidential Agent, The Third Man, The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and The Human Factor also show an avid interest in the workings of international politics and espionage. Greene suffered from bipolar disorder, which had a profound effect on his writing and personal life. In a letter to his wife Vivien he told her that he had "a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life", and that "unfortunately, the disease is also one's material". Greene originally divided his fiction into two genres: thrillers (mystery and suspense books), such as The Ministry of Fear, which he described as entertainments, often with notable philosophic edges, and literary works, such as The Power and the Glory, which he described as novels, on which he thought his literary reputation was to be based. As his career lengthened, both Greene and his readers found the distinction between entertainments and novels increasingly problematic. The last book Greene termed an entertainment was Our Man in Havana in 1958. When Travels with My Aunt was published eleven years later, many reviewers noted that Greene had designated it a novel, even though, as a work decidedly comic in tone, it appeared closer to his last two entertainments, Loser Takes All and Our Man in Havana, than to any of the novels. Greene also wrote short stories and plays, which were well-received, although he was always first and foremost a novelist. He collected the 1948 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Heart of the Matter. In 1986, he was awarded Britain's Order of Merit. The literary style of Graham Greene was described by Evelyn Waugh in Commonweal as "not a specifically literary style at all. The words are functional, devoid of sensuous attraction, of ancestry, and of independent life". Commenting on this lean, realistic prose and its readability, Richard Jones wrote in the Virginia Quarterly Review that "nothing deflects Greene from the main business of holding the reader's attention." His novels often have religious themes at the centre. In his literary criticism he attacked the modernist writers Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster, for having lost the religious sense, which, he argued, resulted in dull, superficial characters, who "wandered about like cardboard symbols through a world that is paper-thin". Only in recovering the religious element, the awareness of the drama of the struggle in the soul carrying the infinite consequences of salvation and damnation, and of the ultimate metaphysical realities of good and evil, sin and divine grace, could the novel recover its dramatic power. Suffering and unhappiness are omnipresent in the world Greene depicts; and Catholicism is presented against a background of unvarying human evil, sin, and doubt. he novels often powerfully portray the Christian drama of the struggles within the individual soul from the Catholic perspective. Greene was criticised for certain tendencies in an unorthodox direction — in the world, sin is omnipresent to the degree that the vigilant struggle to avoid sinful conduct is doomed to failure, hence not central to holiness. The better he came to know the socio-political realities of the third world where he was operating, and the more directly he came to be confronted by the rising tide of revolution in those countries, the more his doubts regarding the imperialist cause grew, and the more his novels shifted away from any identification with the latter." The supernatural realities that haunted the earlier work declined and were replaced by a humanistic perspective, a change reflected in his public criticism of orthodox Catholic teaching. Left-wing political critiques assumed greater importance in his novels: for example, years before the Vietnam War, in The Quiet American he prophetically attacked the naive and counterproductive attitudes that were to characterize American policy in Vietnam.
George Orwell was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense, revolutionary opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language and a belief in democratic socialism. Considered perhaps the twentieth century's best chronicler of English culture,Orwell wrote fiction, polemical journalism, literary criticism and poetry. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949) and the satirical novella Animal Farm (1945). Orwell's influence on contemporary culture, popular and political, continues. Several of his neologisms, along with the term Orwellian, now a byword for any draconian or manipulative social phenomenon or concept inimical to a free society, have entered the vernacular. During most of his career, Orwell was best known for his journalism, in essays, reviews, columns in newspapers and magazines and in his books of reportage: Down and Out in Paris and London (describing a period of poverty in these cities), The Road to Wigan Pier (describing the living conditions of the poor in northern England, and the class divide generally) and Homage to Catalonia. Modern readers are more often introduced to Orwell as a novelist, particularly through his enormously successful titles Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The former is often thought to reflect degeneration in the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism; the latter, life under totalitarian rule. Nineteen Eighty-Four is often compared to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; both are powerful dystopian novels warning of a future world where the state machine exerts complete control over social life. In his essay Politics and the English Language (1946), Orwell wrote about the importance of honest and clear language and said that vague writing can be used as a powerful tool of political manipulation. In Nineteen Eighty-Four he described how the state controlled thought by controlling language, making certain ideas literally unthinkable. The adjective Orwellian refers to the frightening world of Nineteen Eighty-Four, in which the state controls thought and misinformation is widespread. Several words and phrases from Nineteen Eighty-Four have entered popular language. Newspeak is a simplified and obfuscatory language designed to make independent thought impossible. Doublethink means holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously. The Thought Police are those who suppress all dissenting opinion. Prolefeed is homogenized, manufactured superficial literature, film and music, used to control and indoctrinate the populace through docility. Big Brother is a supreme dictator who watches everyone. From Orwell's novel Animal Farm comes the sentence, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others", describing theoretical equality in a grossly unequal society. In "Politics and the English Language", Orwell provides six rules for writers:
Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.Never use the passive where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Sir William Gerald Golding was a British novelist, poet, playwright and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, best known for his novel Lord of the Flies. He was also awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage, the first book of the trilogy To the Ends of the Earth. Golding's often allegorical fiction makes broad use of allusions to classical literature, mythology, and Christian symbolism. No distinct thread unites his novels (unless it be a fundamental pessimism about humanity), and the subject matter and technique vary. However his novels are often set in closed communities such as islands, villages, monasteries, groups of hunter-gatherers, ships at sea or a pharaoh's court. His first novel, Lord of the Flies (1954; film, 1963 and 1990; play, adapted by Nigel Williams, 1995), dealt with an unsuccessful struggle against barbarism and war, thus showing the ambiguity and fragility of civilization. It has also been said that it is an allegory of World War II. The Inheritors (1955) looked back into prehistory, advancing the thesis that humankind's evolutionary ancestors, "the new people" (generally identified with Homo sapiens sapiens), triumphed over a gentler race (generally identified with Neanderthals) as much by violence and deceit as by natural superiority. The Spire 1964 follows the building (and near collapse) of a huge spire onto a medieval cathedral church (generally assumed to be Salisbury Cathedral); the church and the spire itself act as a potent symbols both of the dean's highest spiritual aspirations and of his worldly vanities. His 1954 novel Pincher Martin concerns the last moments of a sailor thrown into the north Atlantic after his ship is attacked. The structure is echoed by that of the later Booker Prize winner by Yann Martel, Life of Pi. The 1967 novel The Pyramid comprises three separate stories linked by a common setting (a small English town in the 1920s) and narrator. The Scorpion God (1971) is a volume of three novellas set in a prehistoric African hunter-gatherer band ('Clonk, Clonk'), an ancient Egyptian court ('The Scorpion God') and the court of a Roman emperor ('Envoy Extraordinary'). The last of these is a reworking of his 1958 play The Brass Butterfly.Golding's later novels include Darkness Visible (1979), The Paper Men (1984), and the comic-historical sea trilogy To the Ends of the Earth (BBC TV 2005), comprising the Booker Prize-winning Rites of Passage (1980), Close Quarters (1987), and Fire Down Below (1989). John Robert Fowles During late 1960, though he had already drafted The Magus, Fowles began working on The Collector. He finished his first draft in a month, but spent more than a year making revisions before showing it to his agent. Michael S. Howard, the publisher at Jonathan Cape was enthusiastic about the manuscript. The book was published during 1963 and when the paperback rights were sold in the spring of that year it was "probably the highest price that had hitherto been paid for a first novel," according to Howard. The success of his novel meant that Fowles was able to stop teaching and devote himself full-time to a literary career. The Collector was also optioned and became a film in 1965.Against the counsel of his publisher, Fowles insisted that his second book published be The Aristos, a non-fiction collection of philosophy. Afterward, he set about collating all the drafts he had written of what would become his most studied work, The Magus (1965), based in part on his experiences in Greece.During 1965 Fowles left London, moving to a farm, Underhill, in Dorset, where the isolated farm house became the model for "The Dairy" in the book Fowles was then writing, The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969). The farm was too remote, "total solitude gets a bit monotonous," Fowles remarked, and during 1968 he and his wife moved to Lyme Regis in Dorset, where he lived in Belmont House, also used as a setting for parts of The French Lieutenant's Woman. In the same year, he adapted The Magus for cinema. The film version of The Magus (1968) was generally considered awful; when Woody Allen was asked whether he'd make changes in his life if he had the opportunity to do it all over again, he jokingly replied he'd do "everything exactly the same, with the exception of watching The Magus." The French Lieutenant's Woman was made into a film during 1981 with a screenplay by the British playwright Harold Pinter (subsequently a Nobel laureate in Literature) and was nominated for an Oscar. Fowles lived the rest of his life in Lyme Regis. His works The Ebony Tower (1974), Daniel Martin (1977), Mantissa (1981), and A Maggot (1985) were all written from Belmont House. Fowles became a member of the Lyme Regis community, serving as the curator of the Lyme Regis Museum from 1979–1988, retiring from the museum after having a mild stroke. Fowles was involved occasionally in politics in Lyme Regis, and occasionally wrote letters to the editor advocating preservation. Despite this involvement, Fowles was generally considered reclusive. In 1998, he was quoted in the New York Times Book Review as saying, "Being an atheist is a matter not of moral choice, but of human obligation." Fowles, with his second wife Sarah by his side, died in Axminster Hospital, 5 miles from Lyme Regis on 5 November 2005.
Early Americans, who set their faces to one of the most heroic tasks ever undertaken by man, were too busy with great deeds inspired by the ideal of liberty to find leisure for the epic or drama in which the deeds and the ideal should be worthily reflected. They left that work of commemoration to others, and they are still waiting patiently for their poet. Meanwhile we read the straightforward record which they left as their only literary memorial, not as we read the imaginative story of Beowulf or Ulysses, but for the clear light of truth which it sheds upon the fathers and mothers of a great nation. The literature of the Revolution is dominated by political and practical interests; it deals frankly with this present world, aims to find the best way through its difficulties, and so appears in marked contrast with the theological bent and pervasive "other worldliness" of Colonial writings. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. Standing between the two eras, and marking the transition from spiritual to practical interests, is Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), a "self-made" man, who seems well content with his handiwork. During the latter part of his life and for a century after his death he was held up to young Americans as a striking example of practical wisdom and worldly success.The narrative of Franklin’s patriotic service belongs to political rather than to literary history; for though his pen was busy for almost seventy years, during which time he produced an immense amount of writing, his end was always very practical rather than aesthetic; that is, he aimed to instruct rather than to please his readers. Only one of his works is now widely known, the incomplete Autobiography, which is in the form of a letter telling a straightforward story of Franklin’s early life, of the disadvantages under which he labored and the industry by which he overcame them. For some reason the book has become a "classic" in our literature, and young Americans are urged to read it; though they often show an independent taste by regarding it askance. As an example of what may be accomplished by perseverance, and as a stimulus to industry in the prosaic matter of getting a living, it doubtless has its value; but one will learn nothing of love or courtesy or reverence or loyalty to high ideals by reading it; neither will one find in its self-satisfied pages any conception of the moral dignity of humanity or of the infinite value of the human soul. The chief trouble with the Autobiography and most other works of Franklin is that in them mind and matter, character and reputation, virtue and prosperity, are for the most part hopelessly confounded.On the other hand, there is a sincerity, a plain directness of style in the writings of Franklin which makes them pleasantly readable. Unlike some other apostles of "common sense" he is always courteous and of a friendly spirit; he seems to respect the reader as well as himself and, even in his argumentative or humorous passages, is almost invariably dignified in expression. The poetry of the Revolution, an abundant but weedy crop, was badly influenced by two factors: by the political strife between Patriots and Loyalists, and by the slavish imitation of Pope and other formalists who were then the models for nearly all versifiers on both sides of the Atlantic. The former influence appears in numerous ballads or narrative poems, which were as popular in the days of Washington as ever they were in the time of Robin Hood. Every important event of the Revolution was promptly celebrated in verse; but as the country was then sharply divided, almost every ballad had a Whig or a Tory twist to it. In consequence we must read two different collections, such as Moore’s Songs and Ballads of the American Revolution and Sargent’s Loyalist Poetry of the Revolution, for supplementary views of the same great struggle. By far the best poet of the Revolution was Philip Freneau (1752-1832). In his early years he took Milton instead of Pope for his poetic master; then, as his independence increased, he sought the ancient source of all poetry in the feeling of the human heart in presence of nature or human nature. In such poems as "The House of Night," "Indian Burying Ground," "Wild Honeysuckle," "Eutaw Springs," "Ruins of a Country Inn" and a few others in which he speaks from his own heart, he anticipated the work of Wordsworth, Coleridge and other leaders of what is now commonly known as the romantic revival in English poetry.
When the Revolution drew on apace Freneau abandoned his poetic dream and exercised a ferocious talent for satiric verse in lashing English generals, native Tories, royal proclamations and other matters far removed from poetry. In later years he wrote much prose also, and being a radical and outspoken democrat he became a thorn in the side of Washington and the Federal party. The bulk of his work, both prose and verse, is a red-peppery kind of commentary on the political history of the age in which he lived.
Those who imagine that American fiction began with Irving or Cooper or Poe, as is sometimes alleged, will be interested to learn of Susanna Rowson (daughter of an English father and an American mother), whose later stories, at least, belong to our literature. In 1790 she published Charlotte Temple, a romance that was immensely popular in its own day and that has proved far more enduring than any modern "best seller." Washington Irving was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. He was best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle", both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. He made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. After moving to England for the family business in 1815, he achieved international fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. in 1819. He continued to publish regularly—and almost always successfully—throughout his life, and completed a five-volume biography of George Washington just eight months before his death, at age 76, in Tarrytown, New York.Irving, along with James Fenimore Cooper, was among the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and Irving encouraged American authors. As America's first genuine internationally best-selling author, Irving advocated for writing as a legitimate profession, and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from copyright infringement. A very pleasant writer is Irving, a man of romantic and somewhat sentimental disposition, but sound of motive, careful of workmanship, invincibly cheerful of spirit. The genial quality of his work may be due to the fact that from joyous boyhood to serene old age he did very much as he pleased, that he lived in what seemed to him an excellent world and wrote with no other purpose than to make it happy. In summarizing his career an admirer of Irving is reminded of what the Book of Proverbs says of wisdom: "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.’The historian sees another side of Irving’s work. Should it be asked, "What did he do that had not been as well or better done before him?" the first answer is that the importance of any man’s work must be measured by the age in which he did it. A schoolboy now knows more about electricity than ever Franklin learned; but that does not detract from our wonder at Franklin’s kite. So the work of Irving seems impressive when viewed against the gray literary dawn of a century ago. At that time America had done a mighty work for the world politically, but had added little of value to the world’s literature. She read and treasured the best books; but she made no contribution to their number, and her literary impotence galled her sensitive spirit. As if to make up for her failure, the writers of the Knickerbocker, Charleston and other "schools" praised each other’s work extravagantly; but no responsive echo came from overseas, where England’s terse criticism of our literary effort was expressed in the scornful question, "Who reads an American book?"Irving answered that question effectively when his Sketch Book, Bracebridge Hall and Tales of a Traveller found a multitude of delighted readers on both sides of the Atlantic. His graceful style was hardly rivaled by any other writer of the period; and England, at a time when Scott and Byron were playing heroic parts, welcomed him heartily to a place on the literary stage. Thus he united the English and the American reader in a common interest and, as it were, charmed away the sneer from one face, the resentment from the other. He has been called "father of our American letters" for two reasons: because he was the first to win a lasting literary reputation at home and abroad, and because of the formative influence which his graceful style and artistic purpose have ever since exerted upon our prose writers.LIFE. Two personal characteristics appear constantly in Irving’s work: the first, that he was always a dreamer, a romance seeker; the second, that he was inclined to close his eyes to the heroic present and open them wide to the glories, real or imaginary, of the remote past. Though he lived in an American city in a day of mighty changes and discoveries, he was far less interested in the modern New York than in the ancient New Amsterdam; and though he was in Europe at the time of the Napoleonic wars, he apparently saw nothing of them, being then wholly absorbed in the battles of the long-vanished Moors. Only once, in his books of western exploration, did he seriously touch the vigorous life of his own times; and critics regard these books as the least important of all his works. James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans, often regarded as his masterpiece. e anonymously published his first book, Precaution (1820). He soon issued several others. In 1823, he published The Pioneers; this was the first of the Leatherstocking series, featuring Natty Bumppo, the resourceful American woodsman at home with the Delaware Indians and especially their chief Chingachgook. Cooper's most famous novel, Last of the Mohicans (1826), became one of the most widely read American novels of the 19th century. The book was written in New York City, where Cooper and his family lived . Then Cooper moved his family to Europe, where he sought to gain more income from his books as well as provide better education for his children. While overseas he continued to write. His books published in Paris include The Red Rover and The Water Witch—two of his many sea stories. As a writer he began without study or literary training, and was stilted or slovenly in most of his work. He was prone to moralize in the midst of an exciting narrative; he filled countless pages with "wooden" dialogue; he could not portray a child or a woman or a gentleman, though he was confident that he had often done so to perfection. He did not even know Indians or woodcraft, though Indians and woodcraft account for a large part of our interest in his forest romances.
One may enjoy a good story, however, without knowing or caring for its author’s peculiarities, and the vast majority of readers are happily not critical but receptive. Hence if we separate the man from the author, and if we read The Red Rover or The Last of the Mohicans "just for the story," we shall discover the source of Cooper’s power as a writer. First of all, he has a tale to tell, an epic tale of heroism and manly virtue. Then he appeals strongly to the pioneer spirit, which survives in all great nations, and he is a master at portraying wild nature as the background of human life. The vigor of elemental manhood, the call of adventure, the lure of primeval forests, the surge and mystery of the sea,--these are written large in Cooper’s best books. They make us forget his faults of temper or of style, and they account in large measure for his popularity with young readers of all nations; for he is one of the few American writers who belong not to any country but to humanity. At present he is read chiefly by boys; but half a century or more ago he had more readers of all classes and climes than any other writer in the world.
Poe offers a hard nut for criticism to crack. The historian is baffled by an author who secretes himself in the shadow, or perplexed by conflicting biographies, or put on the defensive by the fact that any positive judgment or opinion of Poe will almost certainly be challenged. At the outset, therefore, we are to assume that Poe is one of the most debatable figures in our literature. His life may be summed up as a pitiful struggle for a little fame and a little bread. When he died few missed him, and his works were neglected. Following his recognition in Europe came a revival of interest here, during which Poe was absurdly overpraised and the American people berated for their neglect of a genius. Then arose a literary controversy which showed chiefly that our critics were poles apart in their points of view. Though the controversy has long endured, it has settled nothing of importance; for one reader regards Poe as a literary poseur, a writer of melodious nonsense in verse and of grotesque horrors in prose; while another exalts him as a double master of poetry and fiction, an artist without a peer in American letters. Somewhere between these extremes hides the truth; but we shall not here attempt to decide whether it is nearer one side or the other. We note merely that Poe is a writer for such mature readers as can appreciate his uncanny talent. What he wrote of abiding interest or value to young people might be printed in a very small book.BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. Notwithstanding all that has been written about Poe, we do not and cannot know him as we know most other American authors, whose lives are as an open book. He was always a secretive person, "a lover of mystery and retreats," and such accounts of his life as he gave out are not trustworthy. He came from a good Maryland family, but apparently from one of those offshoots that are not true to type. His literary career began in 1833 when his "Manuscript Found in a Bottle" won for him a prize offered by a weekly newspaper. The same "Manuscript" brought him to the attention of John Pendleton Kennedy, who secured for him a position on the staff of the Southern Literary Messenger. He then settled in Richmond, and in his grasp was every thing that the heart of a young author might desire. He had married his cousin, Virginia Clem, a beautiful young girl whom he idolized; he had a comfortable home and an assured position; Kennedy and other southern writers were his loyal friends; the Messenger published his work and gave him a reputation in the literary world of America. Fortune stood smiling beside him, when he quarreled with his friends, left the Messenger and began once more his struggle with poverty and despair. Most people read Poe’s poetry for the melody that is in it. To read it in any other way, to analyze or explain its message, is to dissect a butterfly that changes in a moment from a delicate, living creature to a pinch of dust, bright colored but meaningless. It is not for analysis, therefore, but simply for making Poe more intelligible that we record certain facts or principles concerning his verse. Perhaps the first thing to note is that Poe is not the poet of smiles and tears, of joy and sorrow, as the great poets are, but the poet of a single mood,--a dull, despairing mood without hope of comfort. Next, he had a theory (a strange theory in view of his mood) that the only object of poetry is to give pleasure, and that the pleasure of a poem depends largely on melody, on sound rather than on sense. Finally, he believed that poetry should deal with beauty alone, that poetic beauty is of a supernal or unearthly kind, and that such beauty is forever associated with melancholy. To begin with the personal element, Poe was naturally inclined to morbidness. He had a childish fear of darkness and hobgoblins; he worked largely "on his nerves"; he had an abnormal interest in graves, ghouls and the terrors which preternatural subjects inspire in superstitious minds. As a writer he had to earn his bread; and the fiction most in demand at that time was of the "gothic" or Mysteries of Udolpho kind, with its diabolical villain, its pallid heroine in a haunted room, its medley of mystery and horror. Poe’s numerous tales may be grouped in three or four classes. Standing by itself is "William Wilson," a story of double personality (one good and one evil genius in the same person), to which Stevenson was indebted in his Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Next are the tales of pseudo-science and adventure, such as "Hans Pfaall" and the "Descent into the Maelstrom," which represent a type of popular fiction developed by Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and many others, all of whom were more or less influenced by Poe. A third group may be called the ingenious-mystery stories. One of the most typical of these is "The Gold Bug," a tale of cipher-writing and buried treasure, which contains the germ, at least, of Stevenson’s Treasure Island. To the same group belong "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and other stories dealing with the wondrous acumen of a certain Dupin, who is the father of "Old Sleuth," "Sherlock Holmes" and other amateur detectives who do such marvelous things in fiction,--to atone, no doubt, for their extraordinary dullness in real life. Still another group consists of phantom stories,--ghastly yarns that serve no purpose but to make the reader’s spine creep. The mildest of these horrors is "The Fall of the House of Usher," which some critics place at the head of Poe’s fiction. It is a "story of atmosphere"; that is, a story in which the scene, the air, the vague "feeling" of a place arouse an expectation of some startling or unusual incident. Many have read this story and found pleasure therein; but others ask frankly, "Why bother to write or to read such palpable nonsense?" With all Poe’s efforts to make it real, Usher’s house is not a home or even a building in which dwells a man; it is a vacuum inhabited by a chimera. Of necessity, therefore, it tumbles into melodramatic nothingness the moment the author takes leave of it. "The House of Usher" may be recommended as the least repulsive of the tales of horror. To the historian the chief interest of all these tales lies in the influence which they have exerted on a host of short-story writers at home and abroad. he aimed to produce an effect or impression in the reader’s mind, an impression of unearthly beauty in his poems and of unearthly horror in his prose. Some writers (Hawthorne, for example) go through life as in a dream; but if one were to judge Poe by his work, one might think that he had suffered a long nightmare.
Emerson is the mountaineer of American literature; to read him is to have the impression of being on the heights. It is solitary there, far removed from ordinary affairs; but the air is keen, the outlook grand, the heavens near. It is still a question whether Emerson should be classed with the poets or prose writers. There is a ruggedness in Emerson’s verse which attracts some readers while it repels others by its unmelodious rhythm. It may help us to measure that verse if we recall the author’s criticism thereof. In 1839 he wrote:"I am naturally keenly susceptible to the pleasures of rhythm, and cannot believe but one day I shall attain to that splendid dialect, so ardent is my wish; and these wishes, I suppose, are ever only the buds of power; but up to this hour I have never had a true success in such attempts."One must be lenient with a poet who confesses that he cannot attain the "splendid dialect," especially so since we are inclined to agree with him. The most readable of Emerson’s poems are those in which he reflects his impressions of nature, such as "Seashore," "The Humble-Bee," "The Snow-Storm," "Days," "Fable," "Forbearance," "The Titmouse" and "Wood-Notes." In another class are his philosophical poems devoted to transcendental doctrines. The beginner will do well to skip these, since they are more of a puzzle than a source of pleasure. the most typical of Emerson’s prose works is his first book, to which he gave the name Nature (1836). In this he records not his impressions of bird or beast or flower, as his neighbor Thoreau was doing in Walden, but rather his philosophy of the universe. "Nature always wears the colors of the spirit"; "Every animal function, from the sponge up to Hercules, shall hint or thunder to man the laws of right and wrong, and echo the ten commandments"; "The foundations of man are not in matter but in spirit, and the element of spirit is eternity,"—scores of such expressions indicate that Emerson deals with the soul of things, not with their outward appearance. Does a flower appeal to him? Its scientific name and classification are of no consequence; like Wordsworth, he would understand what thought of God the flower speaks. none is easy to read; even the best of them is better appreciated in brief instalments, since few can follow Emerson long without wearying. English Traits is a keen but kindly criticism of "our cousins" overseas, which an American can read with more pleasure than an Englishman. Representative Men is a series of essays on Plato, Shakespeare, Napoleon and other world figures, which may well be read in connection with Carlyle’s Heroes and Hero Worship, since the two books reflect the same subject from widely different angles. Carlyle was in theory an aristocrat and a force-worshiper, Emerson a democrat and a believer in ideals. One author would relate us to his heroes in the attitude of slave to master, the other in the relation of brothers and equals. Of the shorter prose works, collected in various volumes of Essays, we shall name only a few in two main groups, which we may call the ideal and the practical. In the first group are such typical works as "The Over-Soul," "Compensation," "Spiritual Laws" and "History"; in the latter are "Heroism," "Self-Reliance," "Literary Ethics" (an address to young collegians), "Character" and "Manners." the materialist, looking outward, sees that the world is made up of force-driven matter, of gas, carbon and mineral; and he says, "Even so am I made up." He studies an object, sees that it has its appointed cycle of growth and decay, and concludes, "Even so do I appear and vanish." To him the world is the only reality, and the world perishes, and man is but a part of the world. The idealist, looking first within, perceives that self-consciousness is the great fact of life, and that consciousness expresses itself in words or deeds; then he looks outward, and is aware of another Consciousness that expresses itself in the lowly grass or in the stars of heaven. Looking inward he finds that he is governed by ideas of truth, beauty, goodness and duty; looking outward he everywhere finds evidence of truth and beauty and moral law in the world. He sees, moreover, that while his body changes constantly his self remains the same yesterday, to-day and forever; and again his discovery is a guide to the outer world, with its seedtime and harvest, which is but the symbol or garment of a Divine Self that abides without shadow of change in a constantly changing universe. To him the only reality is spirit, and spirit cannot be harmed by fire or flood; neither can it die or be buried, for it is immortal and imperishable. Such, in simple words, was the idealism of Emerson, an idealism that was born in him and that governed him long before he became involved in transcendentalism, with its scraps of borrowed Hindu philosophy. It gave message or meaning to his first work, Nature, and to all the subsequent essays or poems in which he pictured the world as a symbol or visible expression of a spiritual reality. In other words, nature was to Emerson the Book of the Lord, and the chief thing of interest was not the book but the idea that was written therein. THOREAU. Along the many secondary writers of the period the most original and most neglected was Henry D. Thoreau (1817-1862), a man who differed greatly from other mortals in almost every respect, but chiefly in this, that he never was known to "go with the crowd," not even on the rare occasions when he believed the crowd to be right. He was one of the few persons who select their own way through life and follow it without the slightest regard for the world’s opinion.Numerous examples of Thoreau’s oddity might be given, but we note here only his strange determination to view life with his own eyes. This may appear a simple matter until we reflect that most men measure life by what others have said or written concerning life’s values. They accept the standards of their ancestors or their neighbors; they conform themselves to a world in which governments and other long-established institutions claim their allegiance; they are trained to win success in such a world by doing one thing well, and to measure their success by the fame or money or office or social position which they achieve by a lifetime of labor and self-denial.Thoreau sharply challenged this whole conception of life, which, he said, was more a matter of habit than of reason or conviction. He saw in our social institutions as much of harm as of benefit to the individual. He looked with distrust on all traditions, saying that he had listened for thirty years without hearing one word of sound advice from his elders. He was a good workman and learned to do several things passing well; but he saw no reason why a free man should repeat himself daily in a world of infinite opportunities. Also he was a scholar, versed in classical lore and widely read in oriental literature; but unlike his friend Emerson he seldom quoted the ancients, being more concerned with his own thoughts of life than by the words of philosophers, and more fascinated by the wild birds that ate crumbs from his table than by all the fabled gods of mythology. As for success, the fame or money for which other men toiled seemed to him but empty bubbles; the only wealth he prized was his soul’s increase in love and understanding: "If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like sweet-scented herbs—is more elastic, starry and immortal—that is your success."There are other interesting matters in Thoreau’s philosophy, but these will appear plainly enough to one who reads his own record. His best-known work is Walden (1854), a journal in which he recorded what he saw or thought or felt during the two years when he abandoned society to live in a hut on the shore of Walden Pond, near his native village of Concord. If there be any definite lesson in the book, it is the proof of Thoreau’s theory that simplicity is needed for happiness, that men would be better off with fewer possessions, and that earning one’s living should be a matter of pleasure rather than of endless toil and anxiety. What makes Walden valuable, however, is not its theories but its revelation of an original mind fronting the facts of life, its gleams of poetry and philosophy, its startling paradoxes, its first-hand impressions of the world, its nuggets of sense or humor, and especially its intimate observation of the little wild neighbors in feathers or fur who shared Thoreau’s solitude. It is one of the few books in American literature that successive generations have read with profit to themselves and with increasing respect for the original genius who wrote it.
The mental ferment of the period was almost as intense as its political agitation. Thus, the antislavery movement, which aimed to rescue the negro from his servitude, was accompanied by a widespread communistic attempt to save the white man from the manifold evils of our competitive system of industry. Brook Farm [Footnote: This was a Massachusetts society, founded in 1841 by George Ripley. It included Hawthorne, Dana and Curtis in its large membership, and it had the support of Emerson, Greeley, Channing, Margaret Fuller and a host of other prominent men and women] was the most famous of these communities; but there were more than thirty others scattered over the country, all holding property in common, working on a basis of mutual helpfulness, aiming at a nobler life and a better system of labor than that which now separates the capitalist and the workingman.This brave attempt at human brotherhood, of which Brook Farm was the visible symbol, showed itself in many other ways: in the projection of a hundred social reforms; in the establishment of lyceums throughout the country, where every man with a message might find a hearing. In education our whole school system was changed by applying the methods of Pestalozzi NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1864) Some great writers belong to humanity, others to their own land or people. Hawthorne is in the latter class apparently, for ever since Lowell rashly characterized him as "the greatest imaginative genius since Shakespeare" our critics commonly speak of him in superlatives. Meanwhile most European critics (who acclaim such unequal writers as Cooper and Poe, Whitman and Mark Twain) either leave Hawthorne unread or else wonder what Americans find in him to stir their enthusiasm. There is an air of reserve about Hawthorne which no biography has ever penetrated. A schoolmate who met him daily once said, "I love Hawthorne; I admire him; but I do not know him. He lives in a mysterious world of thought and imagination which he never permits me to enter." That characterization applies as well to-day as when it was first spoken, almost a century ago. To his family and to a very few friends Hawthorne was evidently a genial man. Love brought him out of his retreat, as it has accomplished many another miracle. When he became engaged his immediate thought was to find work, and one of his friends secured a position for him in the Boston customhouse, where he weighed coal until he was replaced by a party spoilsman. When his Boston experience was repeated at Salem he took his revenge in the opening chapter of The Scarlet Letter, which ridicules those who received political jobs from the other party.] There were no civil-service rules in those days. Hoping to secure a home, he invested his savings in Brook Farm, worked there for a time with the reformers, detested them, lost his money and gained the experience which he used later in his Blithedale Romance. Then he married, and lived in poverty and great happiness for four years in the "Old Manse" at Concord. Another friend obtained for him political appointment as surveyor of the Salem customhouse; again he was replaced by a spoilsman, and again he complained bitterly. The loss proved a blessing, however, since it gave him leisure to write The Scarlet Letter, a novel which immediately placed Hawthorne in the front rank of American writers. He was now before an appreciative world, and in the flush of fine feeling that followed his triumph he wrote The House of the Seven Gables, A Wonder Book and The Snow Image. Literature was calling him most hopefully when, at the very prime of life, he turned his back on fortune. His friend Pierce had been nominated by the Democrats (1852), and he was asked to write the candidate’s biography for campaign purposes. It was hardly a worthy task, but he accepted it and did it well. When Pierce was elected he "persuaded" Hawthorne to accept the office of consul at Liverpool. The emoluments, some seven thousand dollars a year, seemed enormous to one who had lived straitly, and in the four years of Pierce’s administration our novelist saved a sum which, with the income from his books, placed him above the fear of want. Almost the first thing we notice in Hawthorne is his style, a smooth, leisurely, "classic" style which moves along, like a meadow brook, without hurry or exertion. Gradually as we read we become conscious of the novelist’s characters, whom he introduces with a veil of mystery around them. They are interesting, as dreams and other mysterious things always are, but they are seldom real or natural or lifelike. At times we seem to be watching a pantomime of shadows, rather than a drama of living men and women. Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, becoming a bestseller), but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. in his tales we can see elements of imagination and adventure. Typee, White Jacket, Moby Dick,--these are capital tales of the deep, the last-named especially.Typee (a story well known to Stevenson, evidently) is remarkable for its graphic pictures of sailor life afloat and ashore in the Marquesas Islands, a new field in those days. The narrative is continued in White Jacket, which tells of the return from the South Pacific aboard a man-of-war. In Moby Dick we have the real experience of a sailorman and whaler (Melville himself) and the fictitious wanderings of a stout captain, a primeval kind of person, who is at times an interesting lunatic and again a ranting philosopher. In the latter we have an echo of Carlyle, who was making a stir in America in 1850, and who affected Melville so strongly that the latter soon lost his bluff, hearty, sailor fashion of writing, which everybody liked, and assumed a crotchety style that nobody cared to read.
Realist of a very different kind is Samuel L. Clemens (1835-1910), who is more widely known by his pseudonym of Mark Twain. The remaining works of Mark Twain are, with one or two exceptions, of very doubtful value. Their great popularity for a time was due largely to the author’s reputation as a humorist,--a strange reputation it begins to appear, for he was at heart a pessimist, an iconoclast, a thrower of stones, and with the exception of his earliest work, The Celebrated Jumping Frog (1867), which reflected some rough fun or horseplay, it is questionable whether the term "humorous" can properly be applied to any of his books. Thus the blatant Innocents Abroad is not a work of humor but of ridicule (a very different matter), which jeers at travelers who profess admiration for the scenery or institutions of Europe,--an admiration that was a sham to Mark Twain because he was incapable of understanding it. So with the grotesque capers of A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court, with the sneering spirit of The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg, with the labored attempts to be funny of Adam’s Diary and with other alleged humorous works; readers of the next generation may ask not what we found to amuse us in such works but how we could tolerate such crudity or cynicism or bad taste in the name of American humor.The most widely read of Mark Twain’s works are Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. The former, a glorification of a liar and his dime-novel adventures, has enough descriptive power to make the story readable, but hardly enough to disguise its sensationalism, its lawlessness, its false standards of boy life and American life. In Huckleberry Finn, a much better book, the author depicts the life of the Middle West as seen by a homeless vagabond. With a runaway slave as a companion the hero, Huck Finn, drifts down the Mississippi on a raft, meeting with startling experiences at the hands of quacks and imposters of every kind. One might suppose, if one took this picaresque record seriously, that a large section of our country was peopled wholly by knaves and fools. The adventures are again of a sensational kind; but the characters are powerfully drawn, and the vivid pictures of the mighty river by day or night are among the best examples of descriptive writing in our literature. John Griffith London was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. He is best remembered as the author of White Fang and Call of the Wild, set in the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the short stories "To Build a Fire", "An Odyssey of the North", and "Love of Life". London's "strength of utterance" is at its height in his stories, and they are painstakingly well-constructed. Jack London was an uncomfortable novelist, that form too long for his natural impatience and the quickness of his mind. His novels, even the best of them, are hugely flawed.
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser - was an American novelist and journalist. Dreiser was involved in several campaigns against social injustice. Dreiser was a committed socialist, and wrote several non-fiction books on political issues. These included Dreiser Looks at Russia (1928), the result of his 1927 trip to the Soviet Union, and two books presenting a critical perspective on capitalist America, Tragic America (1931) and America Is Worth Saving (1941). His vision of capitalism and a future world order with a strong American military dictate combined with the harsh criticism of the latter made him unpopular within the official circles. Although less politically radical friends, such as H.L. Mencken, spoke of Dreiser's relationship with communism as an "unimportant detail in his life," Dreiser's biographer Jerome Loving notes that his political activities since the early 1930s had "clearly been in concert with ostensible communist aims with regard to the working class." He pioneered the naturalist school and is known for portraying characters whose value lies not in their moral code, but in their persistence against all obstacles, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of choice and agency. His first novel, Sister Carrie (1900), 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. It sold poorly and was not widely promoted largely because of moral objections to the depiction of a country girl who pursues her dreams of fame and fortune through relationships to men. The book has since acquired a considerable reputation. It has been called the "greatest of all American urban novels."  (It was made into a 1952 film by William Wyler, which starred Laurence Olivier and Jennifer Jones.) He was a witness to a lynching in 1893 and wrote the short story, "Cracker," which appeared in Ainslee's Magazine in 1901.His second novel, Jennie Gerhardt, was published in 1911. Many of Dreiser's subsequent novels dealt with social inequality. His first commercial success was An American Tragedy (1925), which was made into a film in 1931 and again in 1951 (as A Place in the Sun). Already in 1892, when Dreiser began work as a newspaperman he had begun "to observe a certain type of crime in the United States that proved very common. It seemed to spring from the fact that almost every young person was possessed of an ingrown ambition to be somebody financially and socially." "Fortune hunting became a disease" with the frequent result of a peculiarly American kind of crime, a form of "murder for money", when "the young ambitious lover of some poorer girl" found "a more attractive girl with money or position" but could not get rid of the first girl, usually because of pregnancy.Dreiser claimed to have collected such stories every year between 1895 and 1935. The murder in 1911 of Avis Linnell by Clarence Richeson particularly caught his attention. By 1919 this murder was the basis of one of two separate novels begun by Dreiser. The 1906 murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette eventually became the basis for An American Tragedy. 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. A particularly interesting story, "My Brother Paul", was a brief biography of his older brother, Paul Dresser, who was a famous songwriter in the 1890s. This story was the basis for the 1942 romantic movie, "My Gal Sal".Other works include The "Genius" and Trilogy of Desire (a three-parter based on the remarkable life of the Chicago streetcar tycoon Charles Tyson Yerkes and composed of The Financier (1912), The Titan (1914), and The Stoic). The latter was published posthumously in 1947. Dreiser was often forced to battle against censorship because of his depiction of some aspects of life, such as sexual promiscuity, offended authorities and popular opinion.
The American Dream is the hope that in the United States of America, anyone can become rich or famous if they work hard and try their very best. Many migrants, people who come to America from other countries, come to America because they hope for a better life. America is attractive to migrants, because often there is more freedom to become rich or famous than the country that they leave. With American Dream is also meant to live free and equal with all other people in the USA. The term is used in popular discourse, and scholars have traced its use in American literature ranging from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, to Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925). Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels, This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, Tender Is the Night and his most famous, the celebrated classic, The Great Gatsby. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with despair and age. Fitzgerald’s friendship with Hemingway was quite vigorous, as many of Fitzgerald’s relationships would prove to be. Hemingway did not get on well with Zelda. In addition to describing her as "insane" he claimed that she "encouraged her husband to drink so as to distract Scott from his ‘’ work on his novel," the other work being the short stories he sold to magazines. This "whoring", as Fitzgerald, and subsequently Hemingway, called these sales, was a sore point in the authors’ friendship. Fitzgerald claimed that he would first write his stories in an authentic manner but then put in "twists that made them into saleable magazine stories." Although Fitzgerald's passion lay in writing novels, only his first novel sold well enough to support the opulent lifestyle that he and Zelda adopted as New York celebrities. As did most professional authors at the time, Fitzgerald supplemented his income by writing short stories for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's Weekly, and Esquire, and sold his stories and novels to Hollywood studios. Fitzgerald began working on his fourth novel during the late 1920s but was sidetracked by financial difficulties that necessitated his writing commercial short stories, and by the schizophrenia that struck Zelda in 1930. Her emotional health remained fragile for the rest of her life. In 1932, she was hospitalized in Baltimore, Maryland. Scott rented the "La Paix" estate in the suburb of Towson, Maryland to work on his latest book, the story of the rise and fall of Dick Diver, a promising young psychiatrist who falls in love with and marries Nicole Warren, one of his patients. The book went through many versions, the first of which was to be a story of matricide. Some critics have seen the book as a thinly-veiled autobiographical novel recounting Fitzgerald's problems with his wife, the corrosive effects of wealth and a decadent lifestyle, his own egoism and self-confidence, and his continuing alcoholism. Fitzgerald died before he could complete The Love of the Last Tycoon. His manuscript, which included extensive notes for the unwritten part of the novel's story, was edited by his friend, the literary critic Edmund Wilson, and published in 1941 as The Last Tycoon. In 1994 the book was reissued under the original title The Love of the Last Tycoon, which is now agreed to have been Fitzgerald's preferred title.
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His distinctive writing style, characterized by economy and understatement, influenced 20th-century fiction, as did his life of adventure and public image. He produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Hemingway's fiction was successful because the characters he presented exhibited authenticity that resonated with his audience. Many of his works are classics of American literature. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works during his lifetime; a further three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. After leaving high school he worked for a few months as a reporter for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to become an ambulance driver during World War I, which became the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. He was seriously wounded and returned home within the year. In Paris he met and was influenced by modernist writers and artists of the 1920s expatriate community known as the "Lost Generation". His first novel, The Sun Also Rises, was written in 1924. World War I he was stationed at the Italian Front, and on his first day in Milan was sent to the scene of a munitions factory explosion where rescuers retrieved the shredded remains of female workers. He described the incident in his non-fiction book Death in the Afternoon: "I remember that after we searched quite thoroughly for the complete dead we collected fragments".In his 18 he was seriously wounded by mortar fire, having just returned from the canteen to deliver chocolate and cigarettes to the men at the front line. Hemingway said of the incident: "When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed; not you ... Then when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion and you know it can happen to you." In hospital he inloved with a red-cross nurse, they were planning to get married, but she married another man, and Hemingway described the incident in the short and bitter work "A Very Short Story".The war had created in him a maturity at odds with living at home without a job and the need for recuperation. He could not say how scared he was in another country with surgeons who could not tell him in English if his leg was coming off or not." World War2 In 1937 Hemingway agreed to report on the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA) Hemingway wrote his only play, The Fifth Column, as the city was being bombarded. Hemingway was present at heavy fighting in the Hürtgenwald near the end of 1944. On December 17, a feverish and ill Hemingway had himself driven to Luxembourg to cover what would later be called The Battle of the Bulge. However, as soon as he arrived, Lanham handed him to the doctors, who hospitalized him with pneumonia, and by the time he recovered a week later, the main fighting was over. In 1947 Hemingway was awarded a Bronze Star for his bravery during World War II. He was recognized for his valor in having been "under fire in combat areas in order to obtain an accurate picture of conditions", with the commendation that "through his talent of expression, Mr. Hemingway enabled readers to obtain a vivid picture of the difficulties and triumphs of the front-line soldier and his organization in combat".
The Great Depression has been the subject of much writing, as authors have sought to evaluate an era that caused financial as well as emotional trauma. Perhaps the most noteworthy and famous novel written on the subject is The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and written by John Steinbeck, who was awarded both the Nobel Prize for literature and the Pulitzer Prize for the work. The novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers who are forced from their home as drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agricultural industry occur during the Great Depression. Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is another important novel about a journey during the Great Depression. Additionally, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is set during the Great Depression. Margaret Atwood's Booker prize-winning The Blind Assassin is likewise set in the Great Depression, centering on a privileged socialite's love affair with a Marxist revolutionary. The era spurred the resurgence of social realism, practiced by many who started their writing careers on relief programs, especially the Federal Writers' Project in the U.S. John Ernst Steinbeck was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). He wrote a total of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and five collections of short stories. In 1962, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Steinbeck's first novel, Cup of Gold, published in 1929, is based on the life and death of privateer Henry Morgan. It centers on Morgan's assault and sacking of the city of Panama, sometimes referred to as the 'Cup of Gold', and on the woman, fairer than the sun, who was said to be found there.
After Cup of Gold, between 1931 and 1933 Steinbeck produced three shorter works. The Pastures of Heaven, published in 1932, comprised twelve interconnected stories about a valley near Monterey, that was discovered by a Spanish corporal while chasing runaway American Indian slaves. In 1933 Steinbeck published The Red Pony, a 100-page, four-chapter story weaving in memories of Steinbeck's childhood. Steinbeck began to write a series of "California novels" and Dust Bowl fiction, set among common people during the Great Depression. These included In Dubious Battle, Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath. Of Mice and Men is a tragedy that was written in the form of a play in 1937. The story is about two traveling ranch workers, George and Lennie, trying to work up enough money to buy their own farm/ranch. It encompasses themes of racism, loneliness, prejudice against the mentally ill, and the struggle for personal independence. Along with Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and The Pearl, Of Mice and Men is one of Steinbeck's best known works. The Grapes of Wrath was written in 1939 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940. The book is set in the Great Depression and describes a family of sharecroppers, the Joads, who were driven from their land due to the dust storms of the Dust Bowl. The title is a reference to the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The book was unpopular amongst some critics who found it too sympathetic to the worker's plight and too critical of aspects of capitalism; but it found quite a large audience amongst the working class.
The effects of World War II had far-reaching implications for most of the world, trails of millions raped women and children, mountains of bloody human flesh lingered in the minds of evident, all this influenced the mentality and the system of values . Jerome David Salinger was an American author, best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, as well as his reclusive nature. Salinger was assigned to a counter-intelligence division, where he used his proficiency in French and German to interrogate prisoners of war. He was also among the first soldiers to enter a liberated concentration camp.Salinger's experiences in the war affected him emotionally. He was hospitalized for a few weeks for combat stress reaction after Germany was defeated, and he later told his daughter: "You never really get the smell of burning flesh out of your nose entirely, no matter how long you live." Both of his biographers speculate that Salinger drew upon his wartime experiences in several stories,such as "For Esmé – with Love and Squalor", which is narrated by a traumatized soldier. Salinger continued to write while serving in the army, and published several stories in slick magazines. After Germany's defeat, Salinger signed up for a six-month period of "Denazification" duty in Germanyfor the Counterintelligence Corps. n the 1940s, Salinger confided to several people that he was working on a novel featuring Holden Caulfield, the teenage protagonist of his short story "Slight Rebellion off Madison,"and The Catcher in the Rye was published on July 16, 1951. The novel's plot is simple,detailing sixteen-year-old Holden's experiences in New York City following his expulsion, and departure, from an elite prep school. Not only was he expelled from his current school, he had also been expelled from three previous schoolsThe book is more notable for the iconic persona and testimonial voice of its first-person narrator, Holden.He serves as an insightful but unreliable narrator who expounds on the importance of loyalty, the "phoniness" of adulthood, and his own duplicity.In a 1953 interview with a high-school newspaper, Salinger admitted that the novel was "sort of" autobiographical, explaining that "My boyhood was very much the same as that of the boy in the book ... It was a great relief telling people about it." The book's initial success was followed by a brief lull in popularity, but by the late 1950s, according to Ian Hamilton, it had "become the book all brooding adolescents had to buy, the indispensable manual from which cool styles of disaffectation could be borrowed." at the age of 53, Salinger had a year-long relationship with 18-year-old Joyce Maynard, already an experienced writer for Seventeen magazine. The New York Times had asked Maynard to write an article for them which, when published as "An Eighteen-Year-Old Looks Back On Life" made her a celebrity. Salinger wrote a letter to her warning about living with fame. After exchanging 25 letters, Maynard moved in with Salinger the summer after her freshman year at Yale University Maynard did not return to Yale that fall, and spent ten months as a guest in Salinger's Cornish home. The relationship ended, as he was too old. Salinger's language, especially his energetic, realistically sparse dialogue, was revolutionary at the time his first stories were published, and was seen by several critics as "the most distinguishing thing" about his work. Salinger identified closely with his characters,and used techniques such as interior monologue, letters, and extended telephone calls to display his gift for dialogue. Such style elements also "[gave] him the illusion of having, as it were, delivered his characters' destinies into their own keeping."Recurring themes in Salinger's stories also connect to the ideas of innocence and adolescence, including the "corrupting influence of Hollywood and the world at large," the disconnect between teenagers and "phony" adultsand the perceptive, precocious intelligence of children. Ray Douglas Bradbury is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Having been influenced by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Bradbury began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines in 1938. Although he is often described as a science fiction writer, Bradbury does not box himself into a particular narrative categorization: First of all, I don't write science fiction. I've only done one science fiction book and that's Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So Martian Chronicles is not science fiction, it's fantasy. It couldn't happen, you see? That's the reason it's going to be around a long time—because it's a Greek myth, and myths have staying power. On another occasion, Bradbury observed that the novel touches on the alienation of people by media: In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction. Besides his fiction work, Bradbury has written many short essays on the arts and culture, attracting the attention of critics in this field. Bradbury also hosted "The Ray Bradbury Theater" which was based off his short stories. Critical opinion of Bradbury's work is sharply divided. Critics:His is a very great and unusual talent. Althoughhas a large following among science fiction readers, there is at least an equally large contingent of people who cannot stomach his work at all... His imagination is mediocre; he borrows nearly all his backgrounds and props, and distorts them badly; wherever he is required to invent anything—a planet, a Martian, a machine—the image is flat and unconvincing.
John Hoyer Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (the novels Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and the novella "Rabbit Remembered") which chronicled the life of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom over the course of several decades, from young adulthood to his death. Both Rabbit Is Rich (1981) and Rabbit At Rest (1990) received the Pulitzer Prize. He is one of only three authors (the others being Booth Tarkington and William Faulkner) to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once. Updike published more than twenty novels and more than a dozen short story collections, as well as poetry, art criticism, literary criticism and children's books. Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems appeared in The New Yorker, starting in 1954. He also wrote regularly for The New York Review of Books. Describing his subject as "the American small town, Protestant middle class", Updike was well recognized for his careful craftsmanship, his unique prose style, and his prolificness. He wrote on average a book a year. Updike populated his fiction with characters who "frequently experience personal turmoil and must respond to crises relating to religion, family obligations, and marital infidelity. His fiction is distinguished by its attention to the concerns, passions, and suffering of average Americans; its emphasis on Christian theology; and its preoccupation with sexuality and sensual detail. His work has attracted a significant amount of critical attention and praise, and he is widely considered to be one of the great American writers of his time. Updike's highly distinctive prose style features a rich, unusual, sometimes arcane vocabulary as conveyed through the eyes of "a wry, intelligent authorial voice" that extravagantly describes the physical world, while remaining squarely in the realist tradition.Updike famously described his own style as an attempt "to give the mundane its beautiful due." Saul Bellow –jew- was a Canadian-born American writer. His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt's Gift and Ravelstein. His writing exhibited "exuberant ideas, flashing irony, hilarious comedy and burning compassion... the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age. The author's works speak to the disorienting nature of modern civilization, and the countervailing ability of humans to overcome their frailty and achieve greatness (or at least awareness). Bellow saw many flaws in modern civilization, and its ability to foster madness, materialism and misleading knowledge. Principal characters in Bellow's fiction have heroic potential, and many times they stand in contrast to the negative forces of society. Often these characters are Jewish and have a sense of alienation or otherness. Jewish life and identity is a major theme in Bellow's work, although he bristled at being called a "Jewish writer." Bellow's work also shows a great appreciation of America, and a fascination with the uniqueness and vibrancy of the American experience.Bellow's work abounds in references and quotes from the likes of Marcel Proust and Henry James, but he offsets these high-culture references with jokes. Bellow interspersed autobiographical elements into his fiction, and many of his principal characters were said to bear a resemblance to him. Bill (Merl. W, Jr.) Baldwin is an American science fiction writer. He writes militaristic space opera. His main series is about a male protagonist named Wilf Ansor Brim. The Helmsman Saga:The Helmsman ,Galactic Convoy ,The Trophy ,The Mercenaries ,The Defenders ,The Siege ,The Defiance. Mario Gianluigi Puzo was born in a poor family of Neapolitan immigrants living in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. Many of his books draw heavily on this heritage. Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian-American novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist. He also made contributions to entomology and had an interest in chess problems. Lolita is frequently cited as among his most important novels and is his most widely known, exhibiting the love of intricate word play and synesthetic detail that characterised all his works. The novel was ranked at #4 in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels. Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed black characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved. Morrison began writing fiction as part of an informal group of poets and writers at Howard University who met to discuss their work. She went to one meeting with a short story about a black girl who longed to have blue eyes. The story later evolved into her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), which she wrote while raising two children and teaching at Howard. Grant Morrison is a Scottish comic book writer and playwright. He is best-known for his nonlinear narratives and counter-cultural leanings, as well as his successful runs on titles like Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA, The Invisibles, New X-Men, Fantastic Four, All Star Superman, and Batman.