The History of American Literature 第七讲 Part One: Early American Literature (1620-1770) Chapter 1: The Seventeenth Century Literature (also called the colonial literature) American Puritanism: American Puritanism was one of the most enduring shaping influences in American thought and American literature. It has become, to some extent, so much a state of mind, rather than a set of tenets, so much a part of the national cultural atmosphere that the American breathes, that we may state with a degree of safety that, without some understanding of Puritanism, there can be no real understanding of America and its literature. (Just like the influence of Confucian doctrine upon the ideology of Chinese people) Puritanism is the practices and beliefs of the Puritans. The Puritans were originally members of a division of the Protestant Church, who came into existence in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King JamesⅠ. The first settlers who became the founding fathers of the American nation were quite a few of them Puritans. They came to America out of various reasons, but it should be remembered that they were a group of serious, religious people, advocating highly religious and moral principles. As the word itself hints, Puritans wanted to purify their religious beliefs and practices. They felt that the church of England was too close to the Church of Rome in doctrine form of worship, and organization of authority. The American Puritans back in England, were idealists, believing that the church should be restored to complete “purity”. They accepted the doctrine of predestination, original sin and total depravity, and limited atonement (or the salvation of selected few) through a special infusion of grace from God. But in the grim struggle for survival that followed immediately after their arrival in America, they became more and more practical, they became more and more preoccupied with business and profits, as indeed they had to be. Puritans’ lives were extremely disciplined and hard. They drove out of their settlements all those opinions that seemed dangerous to them. And history has criticized their actions. They were also determined to find a place where they could worship in the way they thought true Christians should. They meant to reestablish a commonwealth, based on the teachings of the Bible, restore the lost paradise and build the wilderness into a new Garden of Eden. Influence of Puritanism: sense of mission, symbolism, and simple style. Literature of this period: Characteristics: Not independent, but based on British literary traditions. The first American literature was not written by an American, but by John Smith, a British captain. Most writers were born in Britain. Writers: John Smith: A True Relation of Such Occurrences and Accidents of Note as Hath Happened in Virginia. A Map of Virginia Edward Taylor (1642-1729): the best puritan poet. Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672): called the “tenth muse” that recently sprung up in the new continent. 第八讲 Chapter 2: The Eighteenth Century Literature Enlightenment in American literature An intellectual (philosophical) movement characterized by belief in the power of human reason. It originated in the European continent. The enlighteners regarded “enlightenment” or “education” as the principal means for the development of a society, moreover, they showed larger concerns for civil rights. They began to reconsider the relations among man, Nature and God, suggesting an extension of the principles of equality and social justice. The enlighteners advocated publicly to study “ man” instead of “God”, and pointed out the “evils” in human civilization stemmed from the social injustice, not from “original sin.” They emphasized on reason, education and scientific research, believed that man could perfect himself and decide his own destiny. The spokesman is Benjamin Franklin.(1706-1790) Deism ( 自然神论) The belief in natural religion. The Deists believed that all things in the nature were the embodiments of gods, and that why man lived in the world was not to suffer so as to exchange for the rebirth of the next generation, but to eliminate the inequality of race, sex and faith and to build up his own “paradise” in the human world. (promoted the American revolution) Only one god was worth worshipping Man could keep making progress by making use of his own moral sense and of his own intelligence and wisdom Man should love truth and do good Education and science was an important means to create man’s happiness The freedom of citizen’s speech, action, and faith embodied man’s basic benefits To serve God best was to do good for the mankind Voltaire(1694-1778), Daniel Defoe (1659-1731) Rousseau (1712-1778) belonged to this belief. Calvinism Calvinism is the doctrine of Calvin, the great French theologian who lived in Geneva. It is a doctrine of predestination, original sin and total depravity, and limited atonement (or the salvation of a selected few) through a special infusion of grace from God. The Calvinists believed that man was, since the Fall, basically evil and enslaved by his sense of sin, and that God was all, and would in His mercy and love work for man’s salvation, but as for man, all he could do (if ever there was anything he could do) was to worship the Almighty and hope. Jonathan Edwards (1572-1832) was a representative. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) 1) Life: He was born poor and obscure. He received little education, but he was a voracious reader. He was a rare genius in human history. Everything seems to meet in this one man, mind and will, talent and art, strength and ease, wit and grace, and he became almost everything: a printer, postmaster, almanac maker, essayist, scientist, orator, statesman, philosopher, political economist, ambassador---“Jack of all trades”. For quite some time he was regarded as the father of his country 3). Autobiography a book on the art of self-improvement , an inspiring account of a poor boy’s rise to wealth and fame and the fulfillment of the American dream. Its Importance: (1) It is the first of its kind (2) The reflection of the age. (3) The fulfillment of the American Dream (4) Exhibition of a simple style (5) A demonstration of Enlightenment (6) A Puritan document Philip Freneau ( 1752—1832) Life He was the most significant poet of eighteenth-century America. “Father of American Poetry”. He was in turn a school teacher, a newspaper writer, a sailor, a trader, a farmer, and a government official. He supported the Revolution with great enthusiasm, hence being called “ Poet of the American Revolution”. He was a most notable representative of dawning nationalism in American literature. Almost alone of his generation, he managed to peer through the pervasive atmosphere of imitativeness, to see life around directly, to appreciate the natural scenes on the new continent and the native Indian civilization. Literary Achievement: Poems encouraging revolution and glory: The British Prison Ship, On the memorable Victory of John Paul Jones. Poems about the order and beauty of the nature: The Wild honey Suckle The Indian Burying Ground To a Caty-Did Political motivated poems: To Sir Toby On the memorable Victory of John Paul Jones 第11-12讲:Part Two: The Age of Romanticism (1770—1875) Chapter 3 : Early Romantics Common Characteristics of Romanticism: Romanticism was a rebellion against the objectivity of rationalism. It placed high importance on the creative function of imagination, and saw art as a formulation of intuitive and imaginative perceptions that tend to speak a nobler truth than that of fact. For romantics, the feelings, intuitions and emotions were more important than reason and common sense. They believed that one could find truth through feelings. They believed that the irrational was important in human experience and that not everything could be explained by reason. Romantics did not think of the world as a ticking watch made by God. They thought the world was a living, breathing being. They stressed the close relationship between man and nature. They viewed nature as an exemplar and source of vivid physical beauty and as a manifestation of spirit in the universe. With deep love for nature, they saw nature as a revelation of truth, the living garment of God. Therefore, nature was a suitable subject for true art. They believed that God was immanent in creation. In other words, when they would look art the finite objects in this world, they would find the presence of an infinite god. They emphasized individualism, placing the individual against the group, against authority. They saw the individual at the very center of life and art. They emphasized personal freedom and freedom from formalism, tradition, and conformity. They delighted in self-analysis, intricate examination and full exposure of the soul. They cherished no hero-worship, yet believed in the perfectibility of humanity. Romantics American Romanticism Distinct features: Although there was no denying of the strong European influences on American romantic writers, American romanticism had distinct features of its own. Different from their European counterparts, American romantics tended to moralize, to edify rather than to entertain. American romanticism presented an entirely new experience alien to European culture. The exotic landscape, the frontier life, the westward expansion, the myth of new Garden of Eden in America, and the Puritan heritage were just a few examples of the native material for an ingenious literature. Evidently, American romanticism produced a feeling of “newness” which inspired the romantic imagination. Early American romanticism was best represented by New England poets William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1851) and James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) and Washington Irving (1783-1859) in fiction. Washington Irving(1783-1859) Importance: He is the father of American Literature. He is the first romantic writer to gain international fame which proves to be the sign of independence of American Literature. He started writing short story as a genre. The short story genre in American literature began with Irving’s The Sketch Book Style: Graceful, refined, fluent and dignified, humorous and vivid, imitative. Irving also had important theme, the theme of change, of mutability(易变性,性情不定). He believed that changes upset the natural order of things. Works: Rip Van Winkle The Legend of sleep hollow The Sketch Book Rip Van Winkle: It is about man having difficulty facing his advancing age. It shows the conservative attitude towards development. Escape from responsibility Loss of identity ( hen-pecked) 4. William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) Life: a representative of early American Romanticism in poetry. Sometimes he is called “the American Goldsmith” 2) Works: Thanatopsis(对于死亡的观察;对死的观感) To a Waterfowl The Yellow Violet Themes: (1) The beauty and harmony of nature as a source of solace, joy, and escape. (2)The dignity of humanity The sacredness of human freedom The power and beneficence of God 5. American Transcendentalism: 1)In 1836 a little book Nature came out. It was written by Emerson. It was considered “the Manifesto of Transcendentalism”. It started with Emerson’s Nature and ended with Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855) The Transcendentalists set up a club called “Transcendentalist Club”. They expressed their views published their journal Dial. The center place is New England and Concord. Features: It can also be called idealism. They placed emphasis on oversoul. Spirit is the most important thing in the world (universe) and believed that nature is a symbol of the great spirit This stressed the individualism and gave much importance to self-reliance..It stressed on man’s subjective initiative They offered a fresh perception of nature as symbolic of the spirit or god. Limitations: The shallow optimism made it impossible for them to understand human suffering. They cut themselves from life (Thoreau) and were trapped by empty talk. They stressed too much on human intuition. They failed to provide solution to problem they found. Ralph Waldo Emerson(1803-1882) Philosophical ideas He stressed on oversoul. Nature is a symbol of spirit and nature can purify human beings. Individuals are the most important. He called for the creation of the real national literature and this literature should celebrate the life and the common. He believed that art comes from life. It is better than life. Thus art has the function of teaching. works: Nature , The American Scholar significance He embodied the desire to assert a new nation’s identity. By stressing on the individuals he criticized the corrupting society; he was strongly against the materialism of that time. Limitation: His individualism goes to extreme and becomes a kind of selfishness. Walt Whitman (1819-1892) Life: One of the three Transcendentalists ( the other two are : Thoreau and Emerson), a transitional figure from Romanticism to realism. The greatest poet in 19th century of America. Writing Style: He created a new poem form---“free verse” which means without fixed beat or regular rhyme. Free verse takes lines as rhythmic items and sometimes applies alliteration. It breaks away from traditional ambic pentameter and gives the poets more freedom in writing any subject. Symbolism Slang, localism, common speech Theme: chiefly wrote about transcendentalism and democratic ideas and social matters. unity of man with nature equality of all man, different classes and races. Cycles of life and death. Death is the beginning of a new form of life. Enthusiastic about expression of individualism. Anti-slavery Brotherhood works: Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking: The repetition of “O”: a. a cycle of life and death; b. mouth of a person weeping (2)When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d The relationship of life and death, physical and spirit. It memorizes Lincoln. It envisioned the poet as a hero, a savior and prophet. (3) Song of Myself Individualism, intuition, praises democracy and working class people. (4)There was a Child Went Forth It praises expansion. (5) Leaves of Grass A book of collected poetry 第13讲:  7. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) Life: He represented pessimism of Transcendentalism, the dark side of Puritanism. Dominant ideas in his works: He writes about sin (original sin) with the influence from early puritan ancestors. His attitude towards scientific development is conservative. He is concerned with the moral, emotional and psychological effect of sin of his characters. Works: Young Goodman brown -----sin, evil Rappaccini’s Danger ----conservative idea to science Scarlet Letter -------Hester, Chillingworth, Dimesdale The House of the Seven Gables----the wrong doing of one generation will lead to the punishment of the offspring. The Marble Faun ------The moral maturity of a person can only be achieved through honesty and the punishment of sin can help to bring about moral growth. The Scarlet Letter setting : 17th New England In this book the author criticized some puritan ideas and expressed some humanist ideals. He advocated true love and true feeling between persons. Hawthorne studies the psychological effects of sin on his characters. Symbolism and ambiguity . Multiple point of view. Red “A”: Adultery ----Able----Angel He paid too much attention to the dark side. 8. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) 1) Life: He is the first American writer who has his bust in Westminister Abbey. First to write narrative poems. Works: The Song of Hiawatha The Psalm of Life The Children’s Hour Voices of the Night My Lost Youth The Village Blacksmith The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls 3) Features: His works are highly spiritual. He emphasizes the mysteries of birth, death, and love. Most of his works are simple and easy to read. Edgar Allen Poe ( 1809—1849) Life: Led a tragic life. Controversial and misunderstood. A great genius not recognized in his own day. It is the French symbolist poets such as Baudelaire(1821-1867), Mallarme (1822-1898) who made Poe famous. Poe wrote in a world of symbols, and he often wrote about dreams. Significance: His criticism on poetry and short novels are very inspiring He takes part in various literature practice, Poe was father of many things, psychological criticism, detective story of the world. In his stories he explored deeper sides of human mind. Psychological treatment of self As a critic, he emphasized single effect, brevity, beauty, originality, art for art’s sake, finality. The death of a beautiful woman is the most potential topic. The immediate object of poetry is pleasure, not truth. Music is essential. His tone is awesome, sad and melancholy. He wrote about dying ladies, about sickness, about abnormal rather than normal love. His subjects and themes are either universal or exotic. He continually emphasized estrangement, disappearance, silence, oblivion, and all ideas which suggest non-being. Unlike other romantics, Poe greatly respected reason—ratiocintin (推理) Poe’s theme of short story: disintegration of human mind Poe often uses neurotic as his heroes and it seems to him that theme is force in everyone’s mind that tends to drive him crazy. He studies people’s subconscious mind and he is also interested in the deduction(演绎) and induction(归纳) process of reason. Reason is Poe’s force to keep people’s mind healthy. Search for identity Poe’s theory of short story: short story should be short, and can be finished at one sit’s reading (brevity) short story should have a single effect from the first sentence and should have a last sentence to assure its finality(完整) 5) Poe’s theory of poetry: poems should be readable of one sitting. The aim of poem is to write beauty and to raise beauty in the reader’s mind. The tone of the poem should be melancholy. The topic of poem should be death of beautiful and young lady. He called for pure poetry and against the didacticism theory Poe put stress on rhythm, he said poetry is rhythmical creation of beauty. 10. Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) life: a housewife of six children, a novelist, a representative of abolitionist literature. When he was invited to visit the “white house” , Lincoln praised her as “the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.” Works: Uncle Tom’s Cabin 11. Emily Dickinson (1830—1886) Life : Never married. Little traveling experience. Poet. Themes: death and immortality, nature (both beautiful and cruel sides) Style: usage of images no regular punctuation, the usage of dash instead of comma free usage of capital letters, ungrammatical sentences. Her diction was strange Her poems are often of irregular rhymes Unusual metaphor she emphasized free will and self-perfection. Her attitude towards science was conservative. She studied people’s inner life through Transcendentalist point of view. significance master of lyric personal poems forerunner of Imagist poetry, unconventional works: Wild nights---Wild nights A Narrow Fellow in the Grass (the snake) 1775 short poems in total Part three: The Age of Realism and Naturalism ( 1875-1914) 第十五讲: Chapter 4: American Literature of the Middle and late 19th century. 1. Realism in general: Realism came as a reaction against “the lie” of romanticism and sentimentalism. Literature began to pay less attention to general ideas and more to the immediate facts of life. In the broadest sense, realist literature is simply fidelity to actuality in its representation on literature”. It is based on the accurate, unromanticized observation of human experiences. It insists on precise description, authentic action and dialogue, moral honesty, and a democratic openness in subject matter and style. As a way of writing, realism has been applied in almost every literature throughout history. But as a literary movement, realism is a period concept. It refers to the approach of realist fiction occurred at the latter part of the 19th century. In part, the rise pf realism came as a protest against the falseness and sentimentality(多愁善感, 过分的情感) which the realists thought they saw in romantic literature. They were determined to create a new kind of literature that was completely and totally realistic. It expressed the concern for the world of experience, of the commonplace, and for the familiar and the low. 2. Major Features: 1) Familiar aspects of contemporary life and everyday scenes are represented in a straightforward or matter-of-fact(讲究实际的, 实事求是的) manner. It stresses truthful treatment of material, without abstract interest in nature, death, etc. 2) Characters from all social levels are examined in depth. Before this time characters served some sort of allegorical (比喻的, 寓言的)or symbolic purpose. They value the individual very highly, stress the function of environment in shaping character, and take characterization as the center of the story. They have great concern for the effect of action on characters, and a tendency to explore the psychology of people in the story. 3) Open ending is also a good example of the truthful treatment of material. It may be puzzling, it tells the reader that life is complex and cannot be fully understood. Open ending leaves much room for the reader to think over the possible conclusion of the story. 4) Realism focuses on commonness of the lives of the common people who are customarily ignored by the arts. Realists are interested in the commonplace, the everyday, the average, the trivial, and the representative. These authors are not interested in characters as symbols. They were not stories about kings and queens, princes and princesses, or knights in shining armor. They were about average folks. 5) Realism emphasizes objectivity and offers an objective rather than an idealistic view of human nature and human experience. The realistic writers are detached observers of life. The author just tells the reader what the characters do. It is up to the reader to decide what it means. 6) Realism presents moral visions. Realists are ethical (伦理的,道德的)writers, interested in the problems of the individual conscience in conflict with social institutions. These writers are interested in focusing on the dilemma(困境, 进退两难). Realists are aware of accepted social standards. They have a strong ethical sense that there are right ways to do things and wrong ways to do things. In their works they re-create real life and show the dilemmas that the people are having as they try to understand what life means in an ethical way. 3. Mark Twain(1835-1910) 1) life: He is regarded as the Lincoln of American Literature. Hemingway once wrote, “ All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Hucklberry Finn… it’s the best book we’ve had… There was nothing before. There has been nothing so good since.” Works: The Gilded Age 1873--- a satire against corruption, it gave a name to the time he lived in. The Prince and the Pauper 1882 Life on Mississippi 1883 Innocents Abroad 1869 The Adventures o Tom Sawyer 1876 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1884 Initiation fiction Satire: A. on the vanity of the poor whites; B. on the upper-class southerners C. violence style: A. vernacular language, colloquial, poetic and unpretentious B. local color C. full of folk wisdom and common sense. Realistic about social problems Importance: humor: He wrote “tall tale” (a type of frontier humor, anecdote, characterized by exaggeration or understatement(轻描淡写), with realistic details of character and local customs that works towards a humorous effect) and “dead-pan” (when telling a humor, shows no passion with no expectation). He is the first famous humorous writer, who described the breadth of American experience as no one had done before. His criticism, a combination f tragedy and comedy, satire and humor, abounds (enriches) American literature. For his colloquial speech, it is from Mark Twain on, colloquial speech became a standard language and it can be used in any kind of literature. He made colloquial speech and accepted history of the country, he used vernacular as art and influenced many later writers. Theme of “Huckleberry Finn” anti-slavery. It is a voyage from slavery bondage to freedom. It is also a process of boy’s initiation Mississippi: democracy, equality, freedom. Bank: evil, vices of American society 第十七讲(April 21, 2003) Chapter 5: American literature at the turn of the century 1. Naturalism in America: Emile Zola (1840-1902) wrote in the late 19th century that the purpose of a novelist was to be a scientist, to place his characters in a situation and then to watch the influence of heredity and environment destroy them, or they were good enough to overcome the hostile force of heredity and environment. Therefore, heredity and environment had an influence over human ability to survive. This was picked up and applied in American literature as well. In the last decade of the 19th century in America, some intelligent writers began to see that human beings were no longer free and strong in a cold, indifferent world and that human life was governed by the two crushing forces of heredity and environment. They held that Howellsian realism was too restrained and genteel in tone to reveal the harsh reality of American life. Under the French influence, they ushered in a literary movement called Naturalism in America. Naturalism applied the principles of scientific determinism to fiction. It views human beings as animals in the natural world responding to environmental forces and internal stresses and desires, over none of which they have control and none of which they fully understand. 2. Major features: 1)Humans are controlled by laws of heredity and environment 2)The universe is cold, godless, indifferent and hostile to human desires. Life becomes a struggle for survival The literary naturalists have a major difference from the realists. The naturalists also describe life, the way things really are. They do not escape into a world of imagination. But they dismiss the realists as far too “genteel”. The naturalists do not look at the average, but at the violent, sensational, sordid, unpleasant, and ugly aspects of life. They would go to the slums and write about the life of poverty and crime instead of going to a middle-class neighborhood and writing about middle-class life. They think that the true reality is not found in the smiling aspects of middle-class life. The true reality is found when the forces of Nature are most dominant in stopping human desires, in keeping humans from accomplishing their dreams . They write about wars, about prostitution, about criminal, and all of these other aspects of life that are too pleasant to consider. However, American naturalistic writers were not as pessimistic about life as French. The reason for this is Americans’ innocent youthfulness and the American romantic tradition. American naturalists could not accept the deterministic attitude of the complete helplessness of man and the view of an amoral predatory(掠夺性的,故意破坏的) universe and adopt a thoroughgoing scientific attitude in the portrayal of the American scene. Stephen Crane and Theodore Dreiser both had and optimistic strain(血统,气质)。That is why pure naturalism did not flourish in America. But it did have an influence. Rather than a pessimistic feeling when they thought about Darwinism, the American public had an optimistic feeling, because the country was beginning its time of imperialistic expansion around the world. 3. Stephen Crane (1871-1900) Life: The first naturalist writer, also the precursors of Imagist poetry. 2) Works: Maggie: A Girl of the Street (1893)----first uncompromising naturalistic novel, lower life. The Open Boat 3) The Red Badge of Courage theme: a. the animal man in a cold, manipulating world. b. dehumanizing of the war c. good at exploring psychological state of a person during the war. d. consequences of false pride and glory, vanity style: a. colloquial b. imagism c. good at using sound and colors and many animals serve as symbols Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869—1935) life: a transitional poet between the 19th and 20th centuries. He lived through the genteel era to the postwar period of disillusionment. The America’s greatest living poet in the 1920s. His world is naturalistic in nature. Here God is no longer caring, men suffer from frustrations and want of mutual understanding, and life is in general futile and meaningless. Works: Man Against the Sky 1916 Miniver cheevy Flammonde Theodor Dreiser (1871-1945) works: Sister Carrie 1900 Jennie Gerhardt 1911 Cowperwood trilogy: The financier 1912 The Titan 1914 The Stoic (posthumously) The Genius 1915 An American Tragedy 1925 It is in Dreiser’s works that American naturalism is said to have come of age. Features: Dreiser stressed determinism in his novels. His novels truthfully reflected society and people of his time. His narrative method is natural and free from artifice. Part Four: The twentieth century American literature (1914-2000) Chapter 6: American Literature between the two world wars 1. American Modernism: During the first decades of the 20th century, modernism became an international tendency against positivism and representational art in art and literature. It began in Germany in the 1890s, spread worldwide, and ended in the early 1940s. It is assumed that modernism was the consequence of the transformation of society brought about by industrialism and technology in the course of the 19th century. The essence of modernism was a break with the past, and it also fostered a belief in art and literature as an avenue to self-fulfillment. It included a wide range of artistic expressions such as symbolism, impressionism, post-impressionism, futurism, constructivism, and surrealism. Features: modernism dramatized discontinuity ( a sense of disjunction) and imminent severance from the past while making determined efforts to use the past. It values artistic forms by incorporating them in new literary production. These artists had a great sense that what people had written before was not good enough, because it expressed ideas that they could no longer accept. Much of the modern temper was critical of received beliefs, usually from a position of disillusionment after World War I. Thoreau and Emerson also questioned received beliefs, but they were optimistic and exuberant. Affected by the postwar disillusionment and loss of faith and disgusted at government slogans with the cheap commercial values and sham (虚假的) business ethics of the time, they thought of life as diminished. They had strong feeling of alienation, of loss, and of despair. Representative modernist poets are T.S.Eliot and Ezra Pound. Modernists had a sense of fragmentation in social communities and the fragmentation within the individual himself. Hence fragmentation became a common theme in modern writing. Often in presenting their theme, these writers used an anti-hero. An anti-hero is the person who is the main focus of the work as a hero should be. However, he is weak, ineffective, inapt (awkward) , not like the romantic hero who is strong, brave, courageous, and can rescue the fair maiden from the tower before the black knight kills her. The anti-hero achieves success through bungling (笨手笨脚), through not being s effective as he would think that he could be. The distinctive feature of literary modernism was its strong and conscious break with traditional forms, perceptions, and techniques of expression, and its great concern with language and all aspects of its medium. It was persistently experimental. The modernists made great efforts to remake the language of literature, and they were interested in technique and craftsmanship. And the conflict between dismantling narrative and plot continuity, and that between fracture and flow produced some distinctive literary forms in prose. Stream of consciousness, the use of myth as a structural principle, and the primary status given to the poetic image, all challenged traditional representation. 2. Lost Generation After the first World War, some young disappointed American Writers, such as Hemingway, Pound, Cummings, dos Passos, and Fitzgerald, chose Paris as their place of exile and used their wartime experience as the basis for their works. Most of them had been shocked or wounded in the war. Those young English and American expatriates, men and women, were caught in the war and cut off from the old values and yet unable to come to terms of the new era when civilization had gone mad. They wandered pointlessly and restlessly, enjoying things like fishing, swimming, bullfight and beauties of nature, but they were aware all the time that the world is crazy and meaningless and futile. They were called the Lost Generation. This name was given by Gertrude Stein. Hemingway is their spokesman. They rebelled against former ideals and values, but replaced them only by despair or a cynical hedonism. 3. Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) Life: the spokesman for the lost generation. He won Nobel prize in 1954. His war experience proved shattering and nightmarish that his life and writings were permanently affected. Style: His sentences are short and simple; language is vigorous and positive in colloquial style; gorgeous adjectives are avoided; words are concrete, specific and more commonly found, casual and conversational. Apparently natural as his style seems to be, his style is deliberate and polished. Its simplicity can be disastrously deceptive, as it is highly suggestive and connotative and capable of offering layers of undercurrent of meaning. Iceberg theory: one eighth is above the water; all of the rest is underneath the water. Hemingway’s strength lies in his short sentences and very specific details in his restraint and understatement. In his opinion, a writer has got to catch “the whiteness of the bone”, to catch the one specific thing and bring it to life and make it vivid for the readers and leave everything else out. Thematic Discussion The novel concerns itself primarily with the development of Hemingway's philosophy of life, which will be explained here. The story focuses on Henry's discovery of this philosophy, and all of the main characters of the novel serve largely as foils to Henry-they are caught in different stages of their developing the philosophy. Hemingway, and indeed many of his existential peers, believed that the universe is unordered one. There is no God to watch over man, to dictate codes of morality, or to ensure justice. Instead, the universe is indifferent (sometimes even hostile) to man's plight. In the book, this indifference is best exemplified by the war-an ultimately futile struggle of man against man. There are no winners in a war, and there is no reasoning behind the lives which are taken. The true Hemingway Code Hero (exemplified here by Catherine, and later also by Henry) must first accept this fact of the universe. This calls for many things, the first of which being a disbelief in God-to Hemingway, such faith was a cheap way of falsely instilling order upon existence (this is where the priest falls short). Because there is no God, there are no universal moral codes, no abstract values such as "justice" or "glory," and certainly no need for moral conventions. The code hero rejects these, but imposes order upon his life through personal values-integrity, dignity, courage, etc. This is what Catherine knows from the beginning and Henry learns in the course of the war. In essence, the hero learns that he, himself, is a crucial source of meaning. Finally, such a person must accept the finality of death, knowing himself to be caught in a meaningless existence. Disillusionment, however, is not part of being a hero. Rinaldi falls short of this status because once he realizes the truth about the universe, he becomes disillusioned. The true hero can hold this meaninglessness in his mind while simultaneously creating meaning and order through the struggle which is life. He does this first by seeking a worthy adversary to struggle against (in Farewell to Arms this is the war which Henry attempts to free himself from). He endures the pains of life without complaint, knowing them to be a part of life. He does not cheat, but adheres to his personal values (as seen in the horse races). In the end, there is no victory which awaits the hero-winning the struggle is impossible. Consequently, it is irrelevant: what matters is his heroism. Henry's fights the meaningless of life through his love affair with Catherine, among many other things. The universe, of course, challenges that love many times and wins in the end, but Henry's struggle is a heroic one. To a lesser extent, Farewell to Arms is also an anti-war novel, as the vivid descriptions of its brutality and futility attest to. Symbolism and Motifs Motifs are images, objects or situations that keep reoccurring throughout a story. Symbolism deals with metaphoric substitution. A Farewell to Arms is strongly saturated in images of nature, many of which serve as recurring motifs throughout the work. Most of them can be found in the first chapter, where Hemingway juxtaposes images of fertility and life against those of death, and this juxtaposition reoccurs in many places throughout the novel. Perhaps the two most prominent symbols in this work are rain and mud. It is raining outside almost every time something bad occurs, such as the army's retreat or Catherine's death, and serves to mark these events as random occurrences (just like rain itself). Similarly, the mud serves as an obstacle to the army in both offensive and retreat, thus demonstrating nature's hostility to man. Rain also serves as a life-affirming symbol, one which baptizes Henry when he decides to desert the Italian army. In this dual purpose, Hemingway places all control, both curse and blessing, into the hands of the world and not of man. Other symbols include the snow and winter, which contrast the hot, dust-filled battlefield, and the act of drinking alcohol, found in characters who have abandoned social conventions. Theme: “the code hero”: One of the important things that makes Hemingway popular is that in a time of general despair and pessimism he wrote stories with heroes that the reader could admire. There is a particular term, “the code hero”. The code hero with stoic courage lives by a pattern which gives life meaning and value. Hemingway hero is an average man of decidedly masculine tastes, sensitive and intelligent, a man of action, and one of few words. He is an individualist, alone even when with other people, somewhat an outsider, keeping emotions under control, stoic and self-disciplined in a dreadful place where one cannot have happiness. Frederic Henry is such an example. Hemingway hero is one who is wounded but strong, more sensitive and wounded because stronger, enjoy the pleasures of life (sex, alcohol, sport) in face of ruin and death and maintains, through some notion of a code, an ideal of himself. Grace under pressure. He wrote about courage with which people face the tragedies in life, even though sometimes it is sort of “despairing courage” It is this courage that enables a man to behave like a man, to assert his dignity in face of adversity. Take Santiago as an example, he believes that “a man is not made to be defeated. A man can be destroyed but not defeated”. Anti-war theme works: The Sun Also Rises 1926---about the disillusionment of the lost generation, Jake Barns. A Farewell to Arms 1928---- can be regarded as a footnote to The Sun Also Rises. It tells us how the lost generation came into being. For Whom the Bell Tolls---the hero(Robert Jordan) is keenly aware all the time that he is fighting a losing battle, but he keeps on striking. However, Robert Jordan is no longer a lieutenant Henry, the solitary individual at odds with the forces dealing out nothing but defeat, doom and death to man. Nor is he like a Jake Barnes, trying to accommodate himself to a purposeless and futile existence. He is no longer alone, having a cause to work for and a group to fight with and , more important, someone to love and die for. The war he is fighting is, for him, a metaphor for a struggle for freedom. Nowhere else in Hemingway is the theme of human brotherhood so emphasized. Anti-Fascist The Old Man and the Sea 1952—Santiago, the hero. Here, the old man, after fighting a force he knows it is futile to battle with, eventually comes to realization that in going far out alone, “beyond all the people in the world,” he has met his doom, and he feels good to be one of the human and the natural world. That he begins to experience a feeling of brotherhood and love not only for his fellowmen but for his fellow creatures in nature is a proof that Hemingway’s vision of the world has undergone a profound change, also grace under pressure. 4. Francis Scott Fitzgerald ( 1896-1940) life: 1896–1940, American novelist and short-story writer. He is ranked among the great American writers of the 20th cent. Fitzgerald is widely considered the literary spokesman of the “jazz age”—the decade of the 1920s. Part of the interest of his work derives from the fact that the mad, gin-drinking, morally and spiritually bankrupt men and women he wrote about led lives that closely resembled his own. He was both a leading participant in the typically pleasure-seeking and money-making life of the 1920s. works: This Side of Paradise 1920---the first American novel depicting the casual dissipations of “flaming youth”. Tales of the Jazz Age 1922---like mark Twain’s “The Gilded Age”, gave its name to an important historical period in the history of the country, “the 1920s” or “the Jazz age” The Great Gatsby 1925---deals symbolically with the frustration and despair resulting from the failure of the America dream. It is a story of an idealist who tries to recapture his lost love but in vain and is finally destroyed by the influence of the wealthy people around him Tender is the Night –1934 The last Tycoon , published posthumously. themes: Fitzgerald’s fiction reveals the hollowness of the American worship of riches and the unending American dreams of love, splendor and desires and shows what America meant in terms of the reckless 1920: Prohibition, speakeasies (非法经营的酒店),new cars, victory abroad, popular fads (风尚), and new wealth. American dream : it means that in America one might hope to satisfy every material desire and thereby achieve happiness. It is deceptive because it proposes the satisfaction of all desire as an attainable goal and identifies desire with material. He ever said, “America’s great promise is that something is going to happen, but it never does. America is the moon that never rose.” Take Gatsby as an example, he pursues his dream of romantic success without ever understanding that it has escaped him. He fails to understand that he cannot recapture the past (his fresh, new love for Daisy) no matter how much money he makes, no matter how much wealth he displays. Daisy, despite Tom’s coarseness and open unfaithfulness, refuses to leave the security of her established position for Gatsby’s adoration and precarious wealth. He dealt most with double theme of love and money. His stories can be regarded as moral fables, they are about morality, industry, and maturity. He was interested in people’s dreams and failures. An article of The Great Gatsby's Theme On one level the novel comments on the careless gaiety and moral decadence of the period. It contains innumerable references to the contemporary scene. The wild extravagance of Gatsby's parties, the shallowness and aimlessness of the guests and the hint of Gatsby's involvement in crime all identify the period and the American setting. But as a piece of social commentary The Great Gatsby also describes the failure of the American dream, from the point of view that American political ideals conflict with the actual social conditions that exist. For whereas American democracy is based on the idea of equality among people, the truth is that social discrimination still exists and the divisions among the classes cannot be overcome. Myrtle's attempt to break into the group to which the Buchanans belong is doomed to fail. Taking advantage of her vivacity, her lively nature, she seeks to escape from her own class. She enters into an affair with Tom and takes on his way of living. But she only becomes vulgar and corrupt like the rich. She scorns people from her own class and loses all sense of morality. And for all her social ambition, Myrtle never succeeds in her attempt to find a place for herself in Tom's class. When it comes to a crisis, the rich stand together against all outsiders. Myrtle's condition, of course, is a weaker reflection of Gatsby's more significant struggle. While Myrtle's desire springs from social ambition, Gatsby's is related more to his idealism, his faith in life's possibilities. Undoubtedly, his desire is also influenced by social considerations; Daisy, who is wealthy and beautiful, represents a way of life which is remote from Gatsby's and therefore more attractive because it is out of reach. However, social consciousness is not a basic cause. It merely directs and increases Gatsby's belief in life's possibilities. Like Myrtle, Gatsby struggles to fit himself into another social group, but his attempt is more urgent because his whole faith in life is involved in it. Failure, therefore, is more terrible for him. His whole career, his confidence in himself and in life is totally shattered when he fails to win Daisy. His death when it comes is almost insignificant, for, with the collapse of his dream, Gatsby is already spiritually dead. As social satire, The Great Gatsby is also a comment on moral decadence in modem American society. The concern here is with the corruption of values and the decline of spiritual life - a condition which is ultimately related to the American Dream. For the novel recalls the early idealism of the first settlers. Fitzgerald himself relates Gatsby's dream to that of the early Americans for, at the end of the novel, Nick recalls the former Dutch sailors and compares their sense of wonder with Gatsby's hope. The book also seems to investigate how Americans lost their spiritual purpose as material success wiped out spiritual goals. The lives of the Buchanans, therefore, filled with material comforts and luxuries, and empty of purpose, represents this condition. Daisy's lament is especially indicative of this: 'What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon?' cried Daisy, 'and the day after that, and the next thirty years?' Fitzgerald stresses the need for hope and dreams to give meaning and purpose to man's efforts. Striving towards some ideal is the way by which man can feel a sense of involvement, a sense of his own identity. Certainly, Gatsby, with 'his extraordinary gift of hope', set against the empty existence of Tom and Daisy, seems to achieve a heroic greatness. [...] Fitzgerald goes on to state that the failure of hopes and dreams, the failure of the American Dream itself, is unavoidable, not only because reality cannot keep up with ideals, but also because the ideals are in any case usually too fantastic to be realised. The heroic presentation of Gatsby, therefore, should not be taken at face value, for we cannot overlook the fact that Gatsby is naive, impractical and oversentimental. It is this which makes him attempt the impossible, to repeat the past. There is something pitiful and absurd about the way he refuses to grow up. Themes, Symbols, and Motifs Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Decline of the American Dream in the 1920s - On the surface, The Great Gatsby is a story of the thwarted love between a man and a woman. The main theme of the novel, however, encompasses a much larger, less romantic scope. Though all of its action takes place over a mere few months during the summer of 1922 and is set in a circumscribed geographical area in the vicinity of Long Island, New York, The Great Gatsby is a highly symbolic meditation on 1920s America as a whole, in particular the disintegration of the American dream in an era of unprecedented prosperity and material excess. Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure. The reckless jubilance that led to decadent parties and wild jazz music—epitomized in The Great Gatsby by the opulent parties that Gatsby throws every Saturday night—resulted ultimately in the corruption of the American dream, as the unrestrained desire for money and pleasure surpassed more noble goals. When World War I ended in 1918, the generation of young Americans who had fought the war became intensely disillusioned, as the brutal carnage that they had just faced made the Victorian social morality of early-twentieth-century America seem like stuffy, empty hypocrisy. The dizzying rise of the stock market in the aftermath of the war led to a sudden, sustained increase in the national wealth and a newfound materialism, as people began to spend and consume at unprecedented levels. A person from any social background could, potentially, make a fortune, but the American aristocracy—families with old wealth—scorned the newly rich industrialists and speculators. Additionally, the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919, which banned the sale of alcohol, created a thriving underworld designed to satisfy the massive demand for bootleg liquor among rich and poor alike. Fitzgerald positions the characters of The Great Gatsby as emblems of these social trends. Nick and Gatsby, both of whom fought in World War I, exhibit the newfound cosmopolitanism and cynicism that resulted from the war. The various social climbers and ambitious speculators who attend Gatsby's parties evidence the greedy scramble for wealth. The clash between "old money" and "new money" manifests itself in the novel's symbolic geography: East Egg represents the established aristocracy, West Egg the self-made rich. Meyer Wolfshiem and Gatsby's fortune symbolize the rise of organized crime and bootlegging. As Fitzgerald saw it (and as Nick explains in Chapter IX), the American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. In the 1920s depicted in the novel, however, easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted this dream, especially on the East Coast. The main plotline of the novel strongly reflects this assessment, as Gatsby's dream of loving Daisy is ruined by the difference in their respective social statuses, his resorting to crime to make enough money to impress her, and the rampant materialism that characterizes her lifestyle. Additionally, places and objects in The Great Gatsby have meaning only because characters instill them with meaning: the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg best exemplify this idea. In Nick's mind, the ability to create meaningful symbols constitutes a central component of the American dream, as early Americans invested their new nation with their own ideals and values. Nick compares the green bulk of America rising from the ocean to the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. Just as Americans have given America meaning through their dreams for their own lives, Gatsby instills Daisy with a kind of idealized perfection that she neither deserves nor possesses. Gatsby's dream is ruined by the unworthiness of its object, just as the American dream in the 1920s is ruined by the unworthiness of its object—money and pleasure. Like 1920s Americans in general, fruitlessly seeking a bygone era in which their dreams had value, Gatsby longs to re-create a vanished past—his time in Louisville with Daisy—but is incapable of doing so. When his dream crumbles, all that is left for Gatsby to do is die; all Nick can do is move back to Minnesota, where American values have not decayed. The Hollowness of the Upper Class - One of the major topics explored in The Great Gatsby is the sociology of wealth, specifically, how the newly minted millionaires of the 1920s differ from and relate to the old aristocracy of the country's richest families. In the novel, West Egg and its denizens represent the newly rich, while East Egg and its denizens, especially Daisy and Tom, represent the old aristocracy. Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich as being vulgar, gaudy, ostentatious, and lacking in social graces and taste. Gatsby, for example, lives in a monstrously ornate mansion, wears a pink suit, drives a Rolls-Royce, and does not pick up on subtle social signals, such as the insincerity of the Sloanes' invitation to lunch. In contrast, the old aristocracy possesses grace, taste, subtlety, and elegance, epitomized by the Buchanans' tasteful home and the flowing white dresses of Daisy and Jordan Baker. What the old aristocracy possesses in taste, however, it seems to lack in heart, as the East Eggers prove themselves careless, inconsiderate bullies who are so used to money's ability to ease their minds that they never worry about hurting others. The Buchanans exemplify this stereotype when, at the end of the novel, they simply move to a new house far away rather than condescend to attend Gatsby's funeral. Gatsby, on the other hand, whose recent wealth derives from criminal activity, has a sincere and loyal heart, remaining outside Daisy's window until four in the morning in Chapter VII simply to make sure that Tom does not hurt her. Ironically, Gatsby's good qualities (loyalty and love) lead to his death, as he takes the blame for killing Myrtlerather than letting Daisy be punished, and the Buchanans' bad qualities (fickleness and selfishness) allow them to remove themselves from the tragedy not only physically but psychologically. Motifs Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text's major themes. Geography - Throughout the novel, places and settings epitomize the various aspects of the 1920s American society that Fitzgerald depicts. East Egg represents the old aristocracy, West Egg the newly rich, the valley of ashes the moral and social decay of America, and New York City the uninhibited, amoral quest for money and pleasure. Additionally, the East is connected to the moral decay and social cynicism of New York, while the West (including Midwestern and northern areas such as Minnesota) is connected to more traditional social values and ideals. Nick's analysis in Chapter IX of the story he has related reveals his sensitivity to this dichotomy: though it is set in the East, the story is really one of the West, as it tells how people originally from west of the Appalachians (as all of the main characters are) react to the pace and style of life on the East Coast. Weather - As in much of Shakespeare's work, the weather in The Great Gatsby unfailingly matches the emotional and narrative tone of the story. Gatsby and Daisy's reunion begins amid a pouring rain, proving awkward and melancholy; their love reawakens just as the sun begins to come out. Gatsby's climactic confrontation with Tom occurs on the hottest day of the summer, under the scorching sun (like the fatal encounter between Mercutio and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet). Wilson kills Gatsby on the first day of autumn, as Gatsby floats in his pool despite a palpable chill in the air—a symbolic attempt to stop time and restore his relationship with Daisy to the way it was five years before, in 1917. Symbols Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. The Green Light - Situated at the end of Daisy's East Egg dock and barely visible from Gatsby's West Egg lawn, the green light represents Gatsby's hopes and dreams for the future. Gatsby associates it with Daisy, and in Chapter I he reaches toward it in the darkness as a guiding light to lead him to his goal. Because Gatsby's quest for Daisy is broadly associated with the American dream, the green light also symbolizes that more generalized ideal. In Chapter IX, Nick compares the green light to how America, rising out of the ocean, must have looked to early settlers of the new nation. The Valley of Ashes - First introduced in Chapter II, the valley of ashes between West Egg and New York City consists of a long stretch of desolate land created by the dumping of industrial ashes. It represents the moral and social decay that results from the uninhibited pursuit of wealth, as the rich indulge themselves with regard for nothing but their own pleasure. The valley of ashes also symbolizes the plight of the poor, like George Wilson, who live among the dirty ashes and lose their vitality as a result. The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg - The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are a pair of fading, bespectacled eyes painted on an old advertising billboard over the valley of ashes. They may represent God staring down upon and judging American society as a moral wasteland, though the novel never makes this point explicitly. Instead, throughout the novel, Fitzgerald suggests that symbols only have meaning because characters instill them with meaning. The connection between the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg and God exists only in George Wilson's grief-stricken mind. This lack of concrete significance contributes to the unsettling nature of the image. Thus, the eyes also come to represent the essential meaninglessness of the world and the arbitrariness of the mental process by which people invest objects with meaning. Nick explores these ideas in Chapter VIII, when he imagines Gatsby's final thoughts as a depressed consideration of the emptiness of symbols and dreams. style: his writing style is simple, vivid, graceful, precise, and polished. The pace is light, swift, and impulsive. The plot jumps from one event to another, leaving large blanks in time and space. 5.William Faulkner (1897-1962) life: America’s greatest novelist in the 20th century. He won Novel prize for literature in 1950. he never repeats himself, never repeats the same technique or theme in different works. He is a highly experimentalism, especially in his language. He developed the stream of consciousness to a new level and in his works he painted a literary history of the American South. Works: The Sound and Fury 1929 As I Lay Dying 1930 Light in August 1932 Absalom, Absalom 1936 Go Down, Moses 1942 major features: Faulkner used the South to talk about the violence and evil in all human beings. There are three emphases in Faulkner’s writing: on history and the problem of race, on folk humor of the South, and on horror, violence and the abnormal to arouse moral outrage. He presented grim pictures in general, but not pessimistic in viewpoint. Faulkner was a great avant-garde experimenter. He successfully advanced some modern literary techniques. he used the device of stream of consciousness he used multiple point of view and a circular form instead of a linear structure. He stressed authorial transcendence to avoid authorial intrusion in narration and characterization He used an original narrative method which often withholds or gives confusing information. The violation of chronology in the narrative structure is matched by a violation of everyday language habits in Faulkner’s prose style. His prose varies from colloquial, regional, to formal diction and cadences(声调)of American speech. “despair” and “doom” are the frequent motifs in a world of racial exploitation and violence, civil wars, macabre murders, suicides, labor pains, etc. Faulkner not only provided the reader with more than external events and details, he also probed the inner lives of those who are living in the South and trying to cope with the problems of a society in decline and transition. It is not only in his choice of images that Faulkner conveyed the mood, the atmosphere, the emotional and psychological climate of his fictional world. In addition, he displayed time and language to achieve his desired effect. By upsetting our notions of chronology and by violating the conventions of grammar, he captured in words intense emotion, states of mind, and moreover aroused in his readers a feeling of urgency and involvement relating to his characters and themes. His work has four focuses: psychological, social, historical, and reflective . His artistic preoccupations and techniques include the exploration of psychological reality, the social structure and mores of a southern community, the nature of time, and the relation of the past to the present and the creation of an anti-hero who is weak, ineffective, different from the romantic hero in legends and myth. 2003.5.19 Modern Poetry Imagism: Imagism was one of the modern literary movements which expressed the modern spirit, the sense of fragmentation and dislocation. It came as a reaction to the traditional English poetics. The first Imagist theorist is the English writer T.E. Hume. He suggests that modern art deal with expression and communication of momentary phases in the poet’s mind. Poetic techniques should become subtle enough to record exactly the momentary impressions. The most effective means to express these momentary impressions is trough one dominant image. Each word must be an image seen. Each sentence should be a lump, a piece of clay, a vision seen. Hulme advises the poet to seek the hard, personal word for expression. The Imagist movement lasted from 1908 to 1917. Three principles of Imagism: direct treatment of the “thing” to use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation. It stresses economy of expression as regarding rhythm, to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase. It concerns a breaking away from conventional prosody(韵体学,诗体学) and the use of free verse. The representative Imagist poets are Hilda Doolittle, Amy Lowell, William Carlos Williams, and Ezra Pound Ezra Loomis Pound (1885—1972) life: a seminal figure in modern poetry works: Cantos In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) Robert Frost (1874-1963) life: he was the most popular American poet from 1914 to his death. His verse was at first terrifying and later filled with more sunshine. His poetry is full of life, truth, and wisdom. He wrote about building fences, picking apples, about the universal matters of life and death, good and evil. With the4 deceptive , rustic(质朴的) simplicity. He showed little interest in experimentation in form. Yet he was regarded as a modern poet because of his modern thematic concern. In his poems he managed to construct a “momentary stay against confusion”. The grotesque characters under his pen reveal the tension of modern life and alienation among modern people. He used simple language, a graceful style, and traditional forms of poetry. He was often deceptively simple, exploring complexity through triviality. He used symbols from everyday life to express profound ideas. Works: Birches Mending wall The Road not Taken Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening The wood Pie Design Postmodern fiction: Emergence: In literature, pkostmodernism has its origins in the rejection of traditional mimetic(模仿的)fiction in favor of heightened(加强,提高) sense of artifice, a delight in games of words, a suspicion of absolute truth and resulting inclination to stress the fictionality of fiction. The postmodern writers denied the feasibility (可行性,可能性)of any literary art to represent or bring order to reality because they believed that reality was multiple, elusive(难以捉摸的,闪避的) and uncertain. They created confusion so that readers would come to terms with (慢慢习惯)the absurd reality. Postmodern fiction did not form a unified movement with a coherent theory. It was characterized by a multiplicity of individual voices. They did share a common sense that all forms of dogma, convention, ideology needed to be reexamined and replaced it necessary by fresher systems more suitable to the times. Major concepts: postmodern writers emphasized randomness and discontinuity, blurred the distinction between aquthor and fictional character. Postmodern writers rejected the traditional reference, and created text characterized by gimmicks (tricks, traps), playfulness, and narcissism (自我陶醉, 自恋) through parody and burlesque(滑稽、讽刺作品). It tried to render concrete and even visual in its language, the disorder, the chaos, the violence, the incongruity(不和谐), but also the energy and vitality, of American reality. It seems that the fundamental rule of the postmodern fiction is the absurd and the arbitrary (任意的,随意的) Postmodern writers held that the reality of modern life was too elusive and uncertain for people to rationalize(使合理化,使理性化) and idealize. The distrust of traditional mimetic genres, allied to the philosophical climate of structuralism and deconstruction, has encouraged postmodernism to embrace popular forms, such as detective fiction, science fiction, and fairy tale. In short, disorder, deliberate chaos, fragmentation, violation, disruption, (崩裂,中断)dislocation, decentering, contradiction, confrontation(对抗,冲突), multiplicity(多样性)and indetermination(不确定性)comprise and accompany the postmodern text. A reaction against Modernism Modernists tried to control fragmented society through the agency of art and give it an art form, but postmodern writers were too nihilistic to trust their own ability to give shape or significance to the absurd world. Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) Lolita 1958--- it deals with Lolita, a girl of 12, who has an abnormal love affair with her stepfather of 40. Black Humor: Black Humor refers to the use of the morbid and absurd for darkly comic (喜剧的)purposes. It carries the tone of anger and bitterness in the grotesque(怪诞的) situations of suffering, anxiety and death. It makes readers laugh at the blackness of modern life. Kurt Vonnegut(1922-) Slaughterhouse Five 1969 Joseph Heller(1923-) Catich-22 1961 John Epdike (1932-) Rabbit, Run 1960 Rabbit Redux 1971 Rabbit Is Rich 1981 Norman Mailer (1923-) The Naked and the Dead 1948 The Armies of the Night 1968---national book award J.D. Salinger (1919--) The Catcher in the Rye 1951 John Barth (1930-) The Sot-Weed Factor 《烟草代理商》 Thomas Pynchon (1937-) V 1963 The Crying of Lot-49 《拍卖第49批》 Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) Howl ---poem 1956, a manifesto of the Beat Generation Jack Keroaac (1922-1969) On the Road ---novel, journey to look for freedom Modern Drama Eugene O’Neil (1888-1953) life: America’s greatest playwright. He is regarded as American Shakespeare. Works: The Hairy Ape 1922 The Emperor Jones 1920 The Great God Brown 1926 Mourning Becomes Electra 1931 The Iceman Cometh 1946 Long Day’s Journey into the Night 1956 24. Theatre of the Absurd This is the kind of theatre which develops from the existentialist philosophy, mainly in Europe. Its important playwright include Samuel Beckett (1906--), Eugene Ionesco(1912-), and Albee (1928- Basic assumption: human life lacks coherence and is chaotic. Everything is uncertain. People can not count on anything. The world is meaningless, so the play appears meaningless. It examines the problems of life and death, of isolation and communication. It satirizes people who are unaware of the ultimate reality (death) In absurd drama, situation is more important than character or events. 25. Edward Albee (1928-) Zoo Story 1958 The Sandbox 1961 The American Dream 1961 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 1962