The Custom House
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne nameless narrator set: Custom House (tax place) in Salem, MAThemes: making a career of writing, literary celebrity, capital, romance vs. success/capitalism
Bartleby the Scrivener
Herman Melvilleset: Manhattan, NY — Wall Streetcharacters: narrator, Bartleby, Nippers, Turkey, Ginger Nut themes: soul-sucking business life, limits of religion, dehumanization, sacrifice, homodiegesis, rebellion
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Modernist Manifestos: from Romanticism and Classicism
E. Hulme, 1912themes: Romanticism, the nature of man and tabula rasa, romantics believe in man and the world as endless & infinite, support of prose (“delivers you at a destination”),
Modernist Manifestos: A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste
Ezra Poundimagistes= contemporaries of post-impressionism and futurists. Only write in accordance with the best tradition and writers of all time. Brevity- write only the important stuff, no ornament. No descriptions. Words and rhythm go together.An “Image” is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time
“Oread” & “Sea Rose”
1914 Journal from England, written by Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound.
vorticism: vortex-“point of maximum energy”. Less static than imagistes. Want to blast convention, standardization, the middle class, and years 1837-1900Mass literacy, Freud
Mina Loy, 1914no “equality”, women need to find their identity within themselves
Songs to Joannes
poem by Mina Loy to her Italian poet lover experimental form, juxtaposed words that are seemingly meaningless
Virginia Woolfe, 1925. London. Characters: Clarissa & Richard Dalloway, Peter Walsh, Sally Seton, Septimus & Lucrezia Warren Smith, Hugh & Evelyn Whitbread, Elizabeth Darroway, Doris, Dr.
Holmes & Sir William Bradshaw, Lady Bruton, Ellie Henderson themes: heterodiegetic narrator (multiple focalizers, free indirect discourse, modernism and “newness”, proportion & conversion, Britishness/national identity, same sex desire, inscrutable love, Time
Emily Dickinson’s Poetry
themes: experimental style, Dickinson as avant-garde self publisher lit devices: hymn meter, slant rhyme, surreal imagery, “terror in the ordinary” 320: the slant of light & death340: funeral in my brain 479: Because I could not stop for death519: my letter to the world
Christina Rossetti, 1862characters: Laura & Lizzie themes: female sexuality, temptation, “the fall”, consumerism/consumptionfeatures: irregular rhyme, irregular meter; 4-5 stresses per line
Song of Myself & Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Walt Whitman, 1855free verse, American Renaissance, homosexuality, break from convention, periodic sentences (long & main idea doesn’t come til the end), unification of humanity
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Lewis Stevenson, 1886characters: Henry Jekyll, Edward Hyde, Utterson, Enfield, Mr. Poole themes: the gothic- medieval spaces, pleasurable terror, supernatural events, the uncanny/doppleganger, mad scientist as the uncanny figure of industrial age
James Joyce, 1914characters: Kate & Julie (aunts), Mary Jane, Gabriel & Gretta Conroy, Michael Furey, Ms.
Ivorsthemes: modernism- free verse, imagism, stream of consciousness, critique of bourgeoisie & consumerism, symbolism, disconnection, buried histories & closeness to characters, Hyper-realism of setting & historical reference, music as symbol of community
Waiting for Godot
Samuel Beckett, 1949on a country road by a treecharacters: Vladimir (GoGo), Estragon (DiDi), Pozzo, Luckythemes: minimalist & existential, Godot as a God figure, alienation, mocks cliched language, evoking Vaudeville comedy, breaking of 4th wall, human tragedy and injustice, the ego and the id
The Negro Artist & the Racial Mountain / I, Too / The Weary Blues
Langston B. Hughes, 1920sHarlem renaissance, urging blacks to embrace their culture and their artistic potential Jazz rhythms in his poetry, dramatic monologue, commodification of jazz music for white audiences, rhymed couplets, syncopation (stressing normally unstressed words)
kitchenette building/ the mother/ The White Troops Had Their Orders but the Negroes Looked Like Men/ We Real Cool/The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till/ To the Diaspora
Gwendolyn Brooks free verse, unconventional style, vernacular, syncopation, jazz influences, alliteration, racial injustice
T.S. Eliot 1922Super modernist! Broken up into 5 sections: The Burial of the Dead:bareness of life//of landscapeA Game of Chess: religious critique of religionThe Fire Sermon: sexual images, dissatisfactionDeath by Water: formally structured, realization of death What the Thunder Said: suffering & destruction, a meditation -lots of allusions, recurring themes and images: death, water, time, unreal city, Philomela (rape of), teethHOPE OR DESPAIR??
Seamus Heaney, 1975 condones Irish Republican Army’s treatment against Catholic women”Bog People” – ritualistic killingsgirl’s subjectivity, turned into an object, ends with speaker being turned on by their vulnerability reflected upon “the Troubles” the violent political struggles in N Ireland
W.B. Yeats, 1916torn emotions regarding Easter Rising, Ireland’s uprising against British (endless inner debate) rejection of violence, distance b/w speaker and revolutionary leaders, to distinct unity “Irish nationalism first sent Yeats in search of consistently simpler and more populated style, to express the elemental facts about Irish life and aspirations” colloquial + formal = austere diction, casual rhythms, & passionate syntax
The Second Coming
Yeats, 1919 winding stairs, spinning tops, gyres, spirals= resolving paradoxes of time + eternity, change and continuity, spirit/body, life/arthe is both a conservative & a radical disrupts generic conventions: off-rhyme, diction, tone, enjambments, stanzas intermix ceremony w/ contortionspiritus mundi: collective unconscious or memory
Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe, 1958 Characters:Okonkwo- clan leader Umuofia. Terrified of weakness.
Hard worker/ high status, rash decisionsNwoye – O’s son who he believes is lazy and a shit head. Beats him. Becomes more masculine but upsets his father when he converts to Christianity Ezinma – only child of O’s wife Ekwefi. Her and O’s favorite child. He wishes she was a boyIkemefuna – given to O by neighboring village. Close w Nwoye, looks up to O and O loves him Mr.
Brown – first white missionary in Umuofia. Compromising, understanding, and nonaggression. Respectful to tribe’s value system, opposite of rev. smith Rev Smith – no respect for indigenous cultures, stereotypical white colonist Chi- Okonkwo as having bad chi, an ill-fated man, evil followed him (other being in spirit land)
Leslie Marmon Silko, 1981 context: influenced by how religious beliefs permeate every aspect of people’s lives, how it shapes their relationship with the natural world”.
She has white blood through her great grandfather and also has Mexican blood. An attempt to identify what it means to be a “half blood”, being neither one nor the other. form: expressive, active presence, sympathetically creating landscape as well as animals and humans themes: colonialism, power, interweaves autobiographical elements (stories, poetry, photos, songs), oral tradition of storytelling in NA culture, storytelling as maintaining culture, memory — Ayah, Chato, Danny & Ella (taken by white doctors)
“At Navajo Monument Valley Tribal School”, “Pawn Shop”, “Crow Testament”
Sherman Alexie, 1992-2000context: trouble and humor equally, affected by a spinal condition and alcoholism, draws on simple incidents presented broadly, did stand up comedyform: repetition and parallelism, comedic and performative elements
The Waiter’s Wife
Zadie Smith, 1999context: English father and Jamaican mother – she’s a product of postwar demographic change in Britain (black and asian immigrants), multiplicity of identity and when identity is marked by physical representation (“personal multiplicity”), racist attacks on Bangladeshis in London 1970sfeatures of work: humor and wit, lots of different accents and tongues, vibrant portrayal of London’s immigrants
How to Tame a Wild Tongue
Gloria Anzaldua, 1987 context:the reshaping of the term “Chicano” into a positive one in the 60s, was a migrant field worker before earning her university degrees, representations of women in symbols of being either a virgin or *****, being aware that Chicanos have native american blood features: metaphor of doctor “cleaning out her roots” and taming her tongue; mixing Spanish and English,
The Mortal Immortal
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1843 context: interactions between art/science and nature/culture, changing technologies in literature (digital printing), radical thinking parents, admires natural history but critiques scientific aspirations to control and order nature, Shelly critiques the Enlightenment and Age of Reason, proto sic-fi author, humanism over “The Occult” – knowledge only accessed through alchemy and not empirical science or observationfeatures: Gothic “pleasurable terror”, “the fantastic” a hesitation between explaining the supernatural and not, ambiguous ending
“Science and Culture” and “Literature and Science”
Arnold Debates 1890scontext: reshaping education, both believe in the inclusion of different disciplines into higher education, emergence of “rhetoric” as a form of literature, Huxley shift from “belles-lettres” to “humane letters”, Arnold’s need for beauty, Nuclear risk and Space Exploration in Cold War, seeing Earth from space makes it look more vulnerable
“The Fish” and “The Armadillo”
Elizabeth Bishop, 1946 & 1965context: very aware of Cold War and how it turns the world into separate blocks, contests the rise of specialist knowledge and technological fields, bridge between modernist/imagist poetry and the Confessional School of Poets, childhood marked with loss of father and mentally ill mother features: “the small” as a way of amending the gigantic nature of the world, turns poetry into “amateur science”, writing not to confess but to investigate, resists sentiment and self-pity = “reticent” language, deep feelings rise from description, descriptions of biology connected with cultural detail, combine artistic and scientific language, “The Armadillo” shows the ecological impacts of Cold War technologies
Thoman Pynchon, 1984context: techno-fiction, postmodernism (Human-machine interface, commodification, simulation, global markets)features: patchwork of different discourses, chaos, mathematical terms, entropy in plot, chaos vs. death, language of: thermodynamics, horticulture, musicology, information science, magic and miracles characters: Meatball Mulligan, Callisto, Aubade, Saul, Callisto’s bird
Jennifer Egan, 2012context: technologies of literature changing, spy manuals and dispatches from the Cold War, 9/11, emerging states of surveillancefeatures: the body as a black box(knowledge of input and output but no inter workings), the superhuman and the body as data