英美文学通论
美国文学讲义3
发布时间: 2008-05-26   浏览次数: 312

Romantic Poets I. Walt Whitman

  1.life

  2.work: Leaves of Grass 9 editions

  (1Song of Myself

  (2There Was a Child Went Forth

  (3Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

  (4Democratic Vistas

  (5Passage to India

  (6Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking

  3.themes  ※Catalogue of American and European thought§

  He had been influenced by many American and European thoughts: enlightenment, idealism, transcendentalism, science, evolution ideas, western frontier spirits, Jeffersons individualism, Civil War Unionism, Orientalism.

  Major themes in his poems almost everything:

  lequality of things and beings

  ldivinity of everything

  limmanence of God

  ldemocracy

  levolution of cosmos

  lmultiplicity of nature

  lself-reliant spirit

  ldeath, beauty of death

  lexpansion of America

  lbrotherhood and social solidarity unity of nations in the world

  lpursuit of love and happiness

  4.style: ※free verse§

  (1no fixed rhyme or scheme

  (2parallelism, a rhythm of thought

  (3phonetic recurrence

  (4the habit of using snapshots

  (5the use of a certain pronoun ※I§

  (6a looser and more open-ended syntactic structure

  (7use of conventional image

  (8strong tendency to use oral English

  (9vocabulary powerful, colourful, rarely used words of foreign origins, some even wrong

  (10  sentences catalogue technique: long list of names, long poem lines

  5.influence

  (1His best work has become part of the common property of Western culture.

  (2He took over Whitmans vision of the poet-prophet and poet-teacher and recast it in a more sophisticated and Europeanized mood.

  (3He has been compared to a mountain in American literary history.

  (4Contemporary American poetry, whatever school or form, bears witness to his great influence.

  II. Emily Dickenson

  1.life

  2.works

  (1My Life Closed Twice before Its Close

  (2Because I Cant Stop for Death

  (3I Heard a Fly Buzz  When I died

  (4Mine  by the Right of the White Election

  (5Wild Nights  Wild Nights

  3.themes: based on her own experiences/joys/sorrows

  (1religion  doubt and belief about religious subjects

  (2death and immortality

  (3love  suffering and frustration caused by love

  (4physical aspect of desire

  (5nature  kind and cruel

  (6free will and human responsibility

  4.style

  (1poems without titles

  (2severe economy of expression

  (3directness, brevity

  (4musical device to create cadence rhythm

  (5capital letters  emphasis

  (6short poems, mainly two stanzas

  (7rhetoric techniques: personification  make some of abstract ideas vivid

  III.    Comparison: Whitman vs. Dickinson

  1.Similarities:

  (1Thematically, they both extolled, in their different ways, an emergent America, its expansion, its individualism and its Americanness, their poetry being part of ※American Renaissance§.

  (2Technically, they both added to the literary independence of the new nation by breaking free of the convention of the iambic pentameter and exhibiting a freedom in form unknown before: they were pioneers in American poetry.

  2.differences:

  (1Whitman seems to keep his eye on society at large; Dickinson explores the inner life of the individual.

  (2Whereas Whitman is ※national§ in his outlook, Dickinson is ※regional§.

  (3Dickinson has the ※catalogue technique§ direct, simple style which Whitman doesnt have.

  Edgar Allen Poe

  I. Life

  II. Works

  1.short stories

  (1ratiocinative stories

  a. Ms Found in a Bottle

  b. The Murders in the Rue Morgue

  c. The Purloined Letter

  (2Revenge, death and rebirth

  a. The Fall of the House of Usher

  b. Ligeia

  c. The Masque of the Red Death

  (3Literary theory

  a. The Philosophy of Composition

  b. The Poetic Principle

  c. Review of Hawthornes Twice-told Tales

  III.    Themes

  1.death  predominant theme in Poes writing

  ※Poe is not interested in anything alive. Everything in Poes writings is dead.§

  2.disintegration separation of life

  3.horror

  4.negative thoughts of science

  IV.     Aesthetic ideas

  1.The short stories should be of brevity, totality, single effect, compression and finality.

  2.The poems should be short, and the aim should be beauty, the tone melancholy. Poems should not be of moralizing. He calls for pure poetry and stresses rhythm.

  V.  Style  traditional, but not easy to read

  VI.     Reputation: ※the jingle man§ Emerson

  VII.  His influences