英美文学通论
美国文学讲义5
发布时间: 2008-05-26   浏览次数: 281

Chapter 5 The Modern Period

  Section 1 The 1920s I. Introduction The 1920s is a flowering period of American literature. It is considered ※the second renaissance§ of American literature.

  The nicknames for this period:

  (1Roaring 20s  comfort

  (2Dollar Decade  rich

  (3Jazz Age  Jazz music

  II. Background 1.First World War  ※a war to end all wars§1Economically: became rich from WWI. Economic boom: new inventions. Highly-consuming society.

  (2Spiritually: dislocation, fragmentation.

  2.wide-spread contempt for law looking down upon law

  3.Freuds theory

  III.    Features of the literature Writers: three groups1Participants

  (2Expatriates

  (3Bohemian unconventional way of life  on-lookers

  Two areas:1Failure of communication of Americans

  (2Failure of the American society

  Imagism I.    Background Imagism was influenced by French symbolism, ancient Chinese poetry and Japanese literature ※haiku§

  II.  Development: three stages 1.1908~1909: London, Hulme

  2.1912~1914: England -> America, Pound

  3.1914~1917: Amy Lowell

  III. What is an ※image§?

  An image is defined by Pound as that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time, ※a vortex or cluster of fused ideas§ ※endowed with energy§. The exact word must bring the effect of the object before the reader as it had presented itself to the poets mind at the time of writing.

  IV.  Principles 1.Direct treatment of the ※thing§, whether subjective or objective;

  2.To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation;

  3.As regarding rhythm, to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in the sequence of a metronome.

  V.   Significance 1.It was a rebellion against the traditional poetics which failed to reflect the new life of the new century.

  2.It offered a new way of writing which was valid not only for the Imagist poets but for modern poetry as a whole.

  3.The movement was a training school in which many great poets learned their first lessons in the poetic art.

  4.It is this movement that helped to open the first pages of modern English and American poetry.

  VI. Ezra Pound 1.life

  2.literary career

  3.works

  (1Cathay

  (2Cantos

  (3Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

  4.point of view

  (1Confident in Pounds belief that the artist was morally and culturally the arbiter and the ※saviour§ of the race, he took it upon himself to purify the arts and became the prime mover of a few experimental movements, the aim of which was to dump the old into the dustbin and bring forth something new.

  (2To him life was sordid personal crushing oppression, and culture produced nothing but ※intangible bondage§.

  (3Pound sees in Chinese history and the doctrine of Confucius a source of strength and wisdom with which to counterpoint Western gloom and confusion.

  (4He saw a chaotic world that wanted setting to rights, and a humanity, suffering from spiritual death and cosmic injustice, that needed saving. He was for the most part of his life trying to offer Confucian philosophy as the one faith which could help to save the West.

  5.style: very difficult to read

  Pounds early poems are fresh and lyrical. The Cantos can be notoriously difficult in some sections, but delightfully beautiful in others. Few have made serious study of the long poem; fewer, if anyone at all, have had the courage to declare that they have conquered Pound; and many seem to agree that the Cantos is a monumental failure.

  6.Contribution

  He has helped, through theory and practice, to chart out the course of modern poetry.

  7.The Cantos  ※the intellectual diary since 1915§

  Features:

  (1Language: intricate and obscure

  (2Theme: complex subject matters

  (3Form: no fixed framework, no central theme, no attention to poetic rules

  VII.T. S. Eliot

  1.life

  2.works

  (1poems

  l The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

  l The Waste Land epic

  l Hollow Man

  l Ash Wednesday

  l Four Quarters

  (2Plays

  l Murder in the Cathedral

  l Sweeney Agonistes

  l The Cocktail Party

  l The Confidential Clerk

  (3Critical essays

  l The Sacred Wood

  l Essays on Style and Order

  l Elizabethan Essays

  l The Use of Poetry and The Use of Criticisms

  l After Strange Gods

  3.point of view

  (1The modern society is futile and chaotic.

  (2Only poets can create some order out of chaos.

  (3The method to use is to compare the past and the present.

  4.Style

  (1Fresh visual imagery, flexible tone and highly expressive rhythm

  (2Difficult and disconnected images and symbols, quotations and allusions

  (3Elliptical structures, strange juxtapositions, an absence of bridges

  5.The Waste Land: five parts

  (1The Burial of the Dead

  (2A Game of Chess

  (3The Fire Sermon

  (4Death by Water

  (5What the Thunder Said

  VIII.    Robert Frost

  1.life

  2.point of view

  (1All his life, Frost was concerned with constructions through poetry. ※a momentary stay against confusion§.

  (2He understands the terror and tragedy in nature, but also its beauty.

  (3Unlike the English romantic poets of 19th century, he didnt believe that man could find harmony with nature. He believed that serenity came from working, usually amid natural forces, which couldnt be understood. He regarded work as ※significant toil§.

  3.works  poems

  the first: A Boys Will

  collections: North of Boston, Mountain Interval mature, New Hampshire

  4.style/features of his poems

  (1Most of his poems took New England as setting, and the subjects were chosen from daily life of ordinary people, such as ※mending wall§, ※picking apples§.

  (2He writes most often about landscape and people  the loneliness and poverty of isolated farmers, beauty, terror and tragedy in nature. He also describes some abnormal people, e.g. ※deceptively simple§, ※philosophical poet§.

  (3Although he was popular during 1920s, he didnt experiment like other modern poets. He used conventional forms, plain language, traditional metre, and wrote in a pastured tradition.