English-American Literature

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  • commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain
  • It is the ninth largest island in the world Is made up of 3 countries - England, Scotland, and Wales
  • An association of nations consisting of the United Kingdom and several former British colonies that are now sovereign states but still pay allegiance to the British Crown.
  • The name "England" is derived from the Old English name ENGLALAND, which means LAND OF THE ANGLES"
  • Is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, while the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separate it from Continental Europe.
  • Its capital city is London Largest country on Great Britain
  • Few surviving texts with little in common. Language closer to modern German than modern English. Frequently reflect non-English influence. Beowulf, The Wanderer
  • Works frequently of a religiously didactic content. Written for performance at court or for festivals. Geoffrey Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales) The Cuckoos Song, mystery plays
  • Influence of Aristotle, Ovid, and other Greco-Roman thinkers, as well as science and exploration. Primarily texts for public performance (plays, masques) and some books of poetry. William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon, John Fletcher, Francis Beaumont.
  • England 1660-1785 America 1750-1800 Reaction to the expansiveness of the Renaissance in the direction of order and restraint. Developed in France (Moliere, Rousseau, Voltaire).
  • Emphasized classical ideals of rationality and control (human nature is constant through time). Art should reflect the universal commonality of human nature. (All men are created equal.) Reason is emphasized as the highest faculty (Deism).
  • Writing should be well structured, emotion should be controlled, and emphasize qualities like wit. England: John Locke, John Milton (Paradise Lost), Alexander Pope (Essay on Man), Jonathon Swift (Gullivers Travels), Henry Fielding (Tom Jones), Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe), Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Pride and Prejudice).
  • America: Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richards Almanack, autobiography), Thomas Paine (Common Sense), Thomas Jefferson (The Declaration of Independence), James Madison (The Constitution of the United States).
  • England 1785-1830 America 1800-1860 Reaction against the scientific rationality of Neoclassicism and the Industrial Revolution. Developed in Germany (Kant, Goethe). Emphasized individuality, intuition, imagination, idealism, nature (as opposed to society & social order).
  • Elevation of the common man (folklore, myth). Mystery and the supernatural. England: Robert Burns (To a Mouse), William Blake (Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience), William Wordsworth (Lyrical Ballads, Tintern Abbey, Intimations of Immortality, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud), Samuel Taylor Coleridge (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Kahn), Lord Byron (Don Juan), Percy Bysshe Shelley (Ozymandias), Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein), John Keats (Ode on a Grecian Urn), Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe).
  • America: Washington Irving (Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Philosophy of Composition), James Fennimore Cooper (The Last of the Mohicans), Herman Melville (Moby-Dick, Billy Budd), Nathaniel Hawthorne (Twice-Told Tales, The Scarlet Letter), William Cullen Bryant (To a Waterfowl), Oliver Wendell Holmes (The Chambered Nautilus), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Paul Reveres Ride), James Russell Lowell (The First Snowfall).
  • American Transcendentalism (Romantic philosophy) Named for the core belief that our spiritual nature transcends rationality and religious doctrine; thus, it is found in intuition. Developed in New England, influenced by Eastern philosophy. Pro-suffrage & abolitionist. Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature, The American Scholar), Henry David Thoreau (Walden, Civil Disobedience), Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass).
  • Named for the reign of Queen Victoria, Britains longest reigning monarch. Period of stability and prosperity for Britain. British society extremely class conscious. Literature seen as a bridge between Romanticism and Modernism. Generally emphasized realistic portrayals of common people, sometimes to promote social change. Some writers continue to explore gothic themes begun in Romantic Period.
  • Charles Dickens (David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations), George Eliot (Middlemarch), Thomas Hardy (Tess of the DUbervilles), Robert Louis Stevenson (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Rudyard Kipling (Jungle Book), Lewis Carroll (Alices Adventures in Wonderland), Charlotte Bront (Jane Eyre), Emily Bront (Wuthering Heights), Alfred, Lord Tennyson (In Memoriam), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnets from the Portuguese), Robert Browning (My Last Duchess), Matthew Arnold (Dover Beach), Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest).
  • Reaction against Romantic values (Civil War). Developed in France (Balzac, Flaubert, Zola). Emphasized the commonplace and ordinary (as opposed to the romanticized individual). Sought to depict life as it was, not idealized. Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), Ambrose Bierce (An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge), William Dean Howells (A Modern Instance), Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie).
  • Naturalism hyper-realism Named for the belief that man is simply a higher order animal, and thus under the same natural constraints and limitations as other animals. Controlled by heredity and environment. Stephen Crane (Maggie: A Girl of the Street, The Red Badge of Courage), Jack London (To Build a Fire), Upton Sinclair (The Jungle).
  • Named for King Edward. Some see as a continuation of Victorian Period; however, the status quo is increasingly threatened. Distinction between literature and popular fiction.
  • Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness), H.G. Wells (War of the Worlds), E.M. Forster (A Room with a View, A Passage to India), George Bernard Shaw (Major Barbara), A.C. Bradley (Shakespearean Tragedy).
  • Reaction against the values which led to WWI. Influenced by Schopenhauer (negation of the will), Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil), Kierkegaard (Fear and Trembling), as well as Darwin and Marx. If previous values are invalid, art is a tool to establish new values (Pound: Make it new). Writers experiment with form. Form and content reflect the confusion and vicissitudes of modern life. Expositions and resolutions are omitted; themes are implied rather than stated.
  • Poetry: Ezra Pound (The Fourth Canto), T.S. Eliot (Prufrock and other Observations, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men), W.B. Yeats (The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems, The Swans at Coole), H.D. (Pear Tree), Wallace Stevens (Harmonium), William Carlos Williams (The Red Wheelbarrow, This Is Just to Say), Robert Frost (Mending Wall, The Road Not Taken).
  • Fiction: James Joyce (Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle), Ernest Hemingway (In Our Time, The Sun Also Rises), William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury), F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath), Thornton Wilder (Our Town, The Bridge at San Luis Rey), D.H. Lawrence (The Rainbow), Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse).
  • Critical dispute over whether an actual period or a renewal and continuation Modernism postWWII. Influenced by Freud, Sartre, Camus, Derrida, and Foucault. Deconstruction: Text has no inherent meaning; meaning derives from the tension between the texts ambiguities and contradictions revealed upon close reading. Some believe it leads directly to the countercultural revolution of the 1960s.
  • Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot), Gabriel Garcia Marques (One Hundred Years of Solitude), William Burroughs (Naked Lunch), J.D. Salinger (A Catcher in the Rye), Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse Five), Thomas Pynchon (Gravitys Rainbow), John Updike (Rabbit Run), Phillip Roth (Portnoys Complaint, American Pastoral), J.M. Coetzee (Life & Times of Michael K), Joyce Carol Oates (Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaidens Tale), Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian), Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems), Charles Bukowski (The Last Night of the Earth Poems).
  • White Cliffs of Dover
  • Kings College, Cambridge