Chapter VI Literature I. Fiction 1. Different types A. Novels: the emergence of fictional prose narrative from older verse forms, which led to the mixture of genres and styles known as the 'modern novels'. B. Stories: people used to tell each other orally before they leant to read and write. C. Fables: about animals or supernatural persons or incidents and its purpose is teaching a moral. Chapter VI Literature English literature has a long history and a secure position in world literature. England has often produced fine novelists, poets and playwrights. I. Fiction 1. Different types A. Novels: the emergence of fictional prose narrative from older verse forms, which led to the mixture of genres and styles known as the 'modern novels'. B. Stories: people used to tell each other orally before they leant to read and write. C. Fables: about animals or supernatural persons or incidents and its purpose is teaching a moral. D. Legends: more serious so far as the themes are concerned. They are unverifiable stories handed down from earlier times and accepted as historical. They bring in human heroes as well as gods with a strong element of magic and a predominance of realism. The best-loved story is about Robin Hood. 2. In the 16th century A. Thomas More (1478-1535): a. Masterpiece: Utopia in two books First: a long conversation on the social condition of England Second: detailed description of a communist society of Utopia Main idea: the poverty of the labouring classes and the greed and luxury of the rich Principle of Utopia: From everyone according to his capacities, to everyone according to his needs, which is the practical basis for a communist society. b. Thomas More: He was one of the giants of Renaissance and a far-sighted thinker, but was no revolutionary movement among the exploited classes. He could see what was wrong and what was needed, but he could not find the ideological means for realizing his wishes. 3. 17th century- Puritan period A. John Bunyan (1628-1668) a. A commanding prose writer b. great allegory--- Pilgrim’s Progress: the most widely read book in England after the Bible. c. It is a religious allegory which depicts the spiritual pilgrimage of a Christian. d. He cherished a deep hatred for the king and his government and detested the injustices of the law. 4.the 18th century: modern novel A. Daniel Defoe (1661-1731): Robinson Crusoe a. It carries factual realism to its limit. b. One of the few novels which has held its popularity undiminished for two centuries. B. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745): Gulliver’s Travels a. Swift criticizes the vices of the age. b. He hated all kinds of oppression and had deep love for the people. C. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761): story-teller a. He chose the epistolary form and wrote the first modern novel. b. He was skillful in inventing the private letters of an imagined girl to a young man. D. Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774): a. one of the outstanding representatives of the sentimentalist school b. masterpiece: Vicar of Wakefield: appeals to human sentiment as a means of achieving happiness and social justice. 5. 19th century: Golden age of the novel A. Charles Dickens (1812-1870): a. the outstanding representative of critical realism: wrote more about lower class b. one of the greatest creative writers who ever lived. c. a friend of the poor and a dangerous enemy to certain types of “public Servants” d. He was interested in public affairs and forcibly exposed social life. e. His humour and tremendous sympathy for the poor and the exploited leave us with an impression of happiness, faith and optimism. f. Masterpieces: Picwick Papers, David Copperfield, The Old Curiosity Shop, Hard Times, Great Expectation and A Tale of Two Cities B. Walter Scott (1771-1832) a. A poet and famous Scottish historical novelist b. He wrote much on a vast scale and the best-known novel is Ivanhoe and his best novel is The Heart of Midlothian. c. His language is difficult with Scottish dialect. C. William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) a. A representative of critical realism, who wrote about middle-class family. b. masterpiece: Vanity Fair c. He satirized various aspects of upper and middleclass society and the different kinds of people of the ruling class at the time. D. Women novelists a. Jane Austen (1775-1817): She wrote about middle-class family life with satire of social snobbery. widely-read novel is Pride and Prejudice , Sense and Sensibility and Emma. b. The Bronte sisters, Emily and Charlotte Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre Love story with social comment They were talented but died tragically young. c. Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810-1865) She wrote six novels about the class struggle between workers and capitalists. Humorous Cranford, tragic Ruth, realistic North and South and Mary Barton d. Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880): George Eliot She wrote about rural life influenced by the industrial revolution. Feature: detailed characterization of psychology Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda 6. the 20th century A. Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936): a. He was the first British novelist to win the Nobel Prize. b. He was a journalist and an assistant editor. He depicted the British colonial army and its officers. B. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928): a. He was a novelist and poet, one of the representatives of English critical realism at the turn of the century. b. He described the characters and environment of his native countryside. c. Under the Greenwood Tree, The Return of the Native, Jude the Obscure, Tess of the D’Urbervilles (the summit of his realism) C. David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930): a. an innovator of psychological fiction and one of the most controversial writers of the early 20th century. b. He was disgusted with industrial civilization and despaired for the future of the West. c. major works: Sons and Lovers, the Rainbow, Women in Love D. James Joyce (1882-1941): a. in the west the most important and influential novelist writing in English b. He surpassed Lawrence, second only to Shakespeare in his command of English. c. He revolutionized the methods of depicting characters and of developing a plot. d. His strength was the frank portrayal of human nature and a mastery of the English language. e. Works: Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man E. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941): a. A novelist and a critic b. the most important “stream-of-consciousness” novelist with Joyce in Britain c. New ways of looking at life and rich and expressive use of language d. Works: To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, the Waves F. Herbert George Wells (1866-1946): a. He is closely associated with science fiction, such as The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, etc. b. He was a Fabian Society reformer and supported progressive forces and opposed imperialist and fascist invasion and aggression. c. His works expose the crises of the capitalist society by means of fancies, visions and hyperbole. G. John Galsworthy (1867-1933): a. Novelist and dramatist b. He was a prolific writer. The Forsyte Saga established him as a first-class writer. c. In 1932, he won the Nobel Prize for literature. H. Bertrand Russell (1872-1970): a. Nobel Prize winner, a philosopher, mathematician, logician and novelist. b. Works on social problems: Roads to Freedom, Marriage and Morals c. Works on philosophy: Mysticism and logic, Skeptical Essays, The Analysis of Mind, The History of Western Philosophy d. Works on mathematics: Principia Mathematica e. Short novels: Satan in the Suburbs I. William Golding (1911-1993): He won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for his first novel Lord of the Flies. J. Doris Lessing (1919- ) a. She won Nobel Prize in 2007. b. One of her best-known novel is The Golden Notebook II. Poetry 1. Time: began in about the 7th century and began to blossom in the Elizabethan and post Elizabethan period 2. Preserved poem: Beowulf A. Depicts the deeds and death B. A folk legend brought to England by Anglo-Saxons C. Written down in the 10th century D. A reflection of a tribal society 3. Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) A. The father of English poetry B. His main contribution to English poetry is the introduction of rhyming stanzas of various types from France. C. His masterpiece: The Canterbury Tales D. His language is vivid and exact and he was the first to write in London dialect. 4. Poems in the 17th century A. John Milton (1608-1674): a. the greatest English revolutionary poet b. He wrote the long epic Paradise Lost in blank verse as his masterpiece. c. He is famous for his grand and majestic style resulting from his use of heroic rhythms and sentence structures and of highsounding names. B. Metaphysical poets: John Donne, Richard Crashaw, Andrew Marwell, etc. 5. 18th century – poets celebrated reason, rule and custom A. Thomas Gray (1716-1771): a notable poet, whose famous Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, “ the bestknown poem in the English language”, marked an early expression of “Romantic” feeling. B. Robert Burns (1759-1796): a. a Scottish peasant poet b. Inspired by the lives and loves of the rural people, he wrote many poems of democracy. c. The Cotter’s Saturday Night, Tam O’Shanter C. William Wordsworth (1770-1850): a. a famous nature-poet at the turn of the century lived in Lake District. b. The rocks and streams had a mystical influence on his mind. c. His works: Daffodils, Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude, Ode to Duty and The Excursion 6. In the19th century A. George Gordon Byron (1788-1824): Don Juan is his first work. B. Percy Bysshe Shelly (1792-1822): a. “the genius, the prophet” b. Ode to the West Wind, Ode to a Skylark, Queen Mab c. His poems are full of optimism, expressing his confidence in the future and the final victory of the revolution. C. John Keats (1795-1821): a. He “lived apart from men and all political measures, worshiping beauty like a devotee, perfectly content to write what was in his own heart, or to reflect some splendor of the nature world as he saw and dreamed it to be” b. Isabella, Hyperion All of them are prominent romantic poets D. Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892): a. an artist and a teacher b. His works have a grave and noble beauty. c. He was influenced by romantic revival and chose subjects daintily. d. His message reflects the order of the period and is summed up by “law’. e. The Princess, Maud, Enoch Arden, Idylls of the King, In Memoriam E. Robert Browning (1812-1889) a. He was conservative, full of energy and confidence. b. He showed that truth lay hidden in both the evil and the good. c. His descriptions are bold, rough, humorous. d. His message is the triumph of the individual will over all obstacles. e. Masterpiece: The Ring and The Book 7. The 20th century A. William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) a. 1890s: musical romantic poetry b. Early 20th C.: combination of colloquial language and realistic utterance with poetic formality; realistic detail and freer rhythm c. 1920s-1930s: realistic, symbolic and visionary poetry with lyrical themes d. The Second Cpming,The Wind Among the Weeds, Responsibilities, The Tower, The Winding Star e. Won the Nobel Prize in 1923 B. Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) a. best-known work: The Waste Land --originality and the attack on English and American society b. The Hollow Men, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Ash-Wednesday Parted from the techniques and subject matter of Victorian poetry and helped to reshape modern literature, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948. C. Ted Hughes (1930-): The Tribe of Ted: emphasizing the savagery animal life and is written on rough lines. III. Drama 1. William Shakespeare’s time A. English drama is completely dominated by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) a. Greatest genius of the world theater b. 37 plays, mostly in verse c. His plays contained a surprising variety of human qualities and moods, and a wealth of eloquence and word-mastery. d. His comedies: As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest and Twelfth Night e. His tragedies: Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Othello B. Cristopher Marlowe (1564-1593) a. Tamburlaine, The Jew of Malta, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (masterpiece) b. His heroes have resolute character and overpowering passion. c. The theme is the praise of individuality and the human effect in conquering the universe. C. Ben Jonson (1572-1637) a. The finest neo-classical dramatist of his day. b. Volpone: the medieval theory of “humours” 2. the 18th century A. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816): a. the most outstanding dramatist of the realistic school, b. well-known comedy The School for Scandal B. Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774): a. satirical comedy She Stoops to Conquer b. best poem The Deserted Village C. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) The Coffeehouse Politician, The Historical Register for the Year 3. the 19th century A. Oscar Wilde (1856-1900): a. an Irish playwright, an aesthete advocating “art for art’s sake”. b. His language is concise, witty and sharp. He criticizes the hypocrisy and corruption of the upper class. His attacks are more like jokes. c. Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest B. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950): a. He was against “art for art’s sake”. b. In popularity, he comes next to Shakespeare, and he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1925. c. He opposed the imperialist war, sympathized and supposed the U.S.S.R. d. He wrote 51plays such as Pygmalion, Too True To Be Good e. He is good at different means of artistic expression. 4. the 20th century A. Irish playwrights: George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge, William Butler Yeats and Sean O’Casey B. English drama developed in two new directions after the WW II: a. the Theater of the Absurd. b. Those of Existentialism or “kitchen sink” drama which had been popular on the English stage for nearly a century. C. Angry Young Men a. a title often to the playwrights who wrote drama which described the lower class life. b. Look Back in Anger, The Entertainer c. Arnold Wesker (1932-): Chicken Soup With Barley, The Old Ones D. Samuel Beckett (1906-1989): a. He was best known for his “absurd” plays, such as Waiting for Godot. b. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1969. The End Robin Hood He was a popular hero living under the greenwood with his men, taking from rich and giving to the poor and waging war against bishops and archbishops. three great allegories The world’s literature has three great allegories: Spenser’s Faery Queen Dante’s Divina Commedia Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress Art for art’s sake It is a theory advocated by Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. His novel “the Picture of Dorian Gray” is the product of this theory.