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Modern and Contemporary American Literature

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UNIT 1: A NATION’S COMING OF AGE

PRESENTATION: CLUES OF THE PERIOD


The United States at the turn of the century

Beginning of 20th C > rejected former beliefs and values and searched for new ones.

US had been engaged in a Civil War > initiated significant social and economic changes > nation was still to undergo profound transformation in their public and private affairs.

Important intellectual landscape of 19th C:

  • Darwin’s On the origin of Species and The Descent of Man

  • Marx’s Das Kapital.

  • Freud’s The interpretation of dreams

  • Einstein’s General theory of Relativity.

    His scheme of time, space and matter quickly took ground among intellectuals and artists alike.

  • Frazer’s The golden Bough: A study in Magic and Religion > religious and folkloric systems held by several civilizations.

    Religious beliefs as cultural phenomena

  • Freud and Frazer stressed the irrational.

  • Postulates of Enlightenment interrogated and progressively abandoned (particularly those which perceived world through reason, capable of achieving universal / eternal truths through science and gnosis)

  • Authoritative voices and institutions characterized the pre-Modernist age

    • Rejected the authority of the imperfect establishments

    • Set out to replace lost references.

    • Modernists authors understood the subject as fragmented in the psyche, and deconstructed its deceptive wholeness of being.

    • They challenged notion of life as a line

  • Industrialization and technology transformed life (American railway system, 1st skyscraper, Henry Ford + assembly line, 1st movie theatre .)

    • Mass society under way

    • Life became faster > Automobiles provided Americans mythical power and freedom, instead of entrapping them like the machines represented in late 19th century works.

  • Turn of the century = consolidation of a nation.

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  • 2.

    3. 3+++∂’≈ +++∂ 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ 0+∋;≈⊥ +† 4⊥∞ ≤∋≈ +∞ ≤+≈≈;⊇∞+∞⊇ ∋ ≈∞≠ “4∋∞+;≤∋≈ ≈≤++†∋+” ∋⊇⊇+∞≈≈ †+ +;≈ ⊥∞≈∞+∋†;+≈, ≈;∋;†∋+ †+ 5∋†⊥+ 3∋†⊇+ 9∋∞+≈+≈’≈ ;≈ †+∞ ⊥+∞=;+∞≈ ≤∞≈†∞++.

  • 8;≈∋⊥⊥∞∋+;≈⊥ †++≈†;∞+ ;≈ ;†≈ ⊇+∞+†∞ ++†∞: ∋≈ ∞≤+≈+∋;≤ †∋≤†++ ∋≈⊇ ∋≈ ∋+†+.

    • 0†+≈;≈⊥ +† †+∞ †++≈†;∞+ ;≈ †+∞ 1890≈ = “+∞≈≈;≈⊥ +∞† +† 3∞≈†”.

      • 19†+ 0 &⊥†; ≈∋†;+≈ ;∋∋∞+≈∞⊇ ;≈ ;≈⊇∞≈†+;∋†;=∋†;+≈ + ∋∞≤+∋≈;=∋†;+≈ &⊥†; †++∞∋†∞≈∞⊇ ⊥∋≈†++∋† ;∋∋⊥∞ †+∋† †+∞ 4∋∞+;≤∋≈≈ +∋⊇ ∋++∞† †+∞∋≈∞†=∞≈.

      • 4+†+ +† †+∞ †++≈†;∞+ ∋+†;≤∞†∋†∞⊇ ;≈ ⊥∞≈⊇∞+-≤†∋≈≈-∞†+≈;≤ †∞+∋≈ &⊥†; ∋∋≈≤∞†;≈∞, ∋;⊇⊇†∞-≤†∋≈≈ ∋≈⊇ ≠+;†∞

        • 0++⊥+∞≈≈ ;≈ †+∞ ≤+≈⊥∞∞≈† +† +;⊥+†≈ †++ ≠+∋∞≈ ∋≈⊇ ∋;≈++;†+ ⊥++∞⊥≈.

    • 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ 8+∞∋∋ ⊥∋+∋††∞† ;≈ †∋≈†∋≈+ +† +⊥∞≈ †∋≈⊇ + +∋+∋+≈;+∞≈ +∞†∋†;+≈≈+;⊥ +∞†≠∞∞≈ +∞∋∋≈≈ ∋≈⊇ ≈∋†∞+∞.

  • 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ †;†∞+∋†∞+∞ +† 20†+0 ≠+∞†⊇ ∋;++++ ⊇;≈;≈†∞⊥+∋†;+≈ +† ≈∞≤+ †∋≈†∋≈+ + ∞††++†≈ †+ ≤+⊥∞ ≠;†+ ;†≈ ⊇;≈∋⊥⊥∞∋+∋≈≤∞.

  • 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ ⊥++≤∞≈≈ +† ≈∋†;+≈∋† ⊇∞†;≈;†;+≈ = ;≈+†∋†;+≈ †++∋ 9∞++⊥∞∋≈ ∋≈⊇ ≠++†⊇ ∋††∋;+≈

    • 0≈†;† 4∋∞+;≤∋≈’≈ ;≈=+†=∞∋∞≈† ;≈ 331 ;≈ 1917.

      • 1≈†∞††∞≤†∞∋† +∞;≈ †+∞≈⊇ ≤+∞≈†∞+⊥∋+† ;≈ †+∞ ⊥++≈;≤∋† +∞;≈ +† ⊥∞+⊥†∞ ∋≈⊇ ⊥†∋≤∞≈.

      • 3∋+ ;≈†∞≈≈;†;∞⊇ ++++++ + †∋≤∂ +† ≤+≈†;⊇∞≈≤∞ ;≈ ;≈≈†;†∞†;+≈≈ ∋≈⊇ ∋∞†∋≈∋++∋†;=∞≈.

      • 0∞∞≈†;+≈∞⊇ +∞∋∋≈ ≤∋⊥∋≤;†+ †+ ++⊥∋≈;=∞ / ⊇;+∞≤† †;†∞ †+++∞⊥+ +∞∋≈+≈.

      • 4∋+≠;≈∋ ≤∋∋∞ †+ †+∞ †++≈† ;≈ †+∞ 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ 1930≈; 6+∞∞⊇;∋≈ ⊥≈+≤++†+⊥+ ⊥++⊥+∞≈≈;=∞†+ +∞≤∋∋∞ +;⊥+†+ ⊥+⊥∞†∋+ ∋≈⊇ 0∋†++†;≤;≈∋ +∞≤∋∋∞ ∋≈ ∋⊥† +⊥†;+≈ †++ +†+∞+≈.

    • 8;≈≈+†∞†;+≈ +† 4∋∞+;≤∋’≈ ≈∞≈≈∞ +† ;†≈∞†† ++≈∞+=∞⊇ ;≈ 5∞∋†;≈† ∋≈⊇ 5∞⊥;+≈∋†;≈† †+∞≈⊇≈ +† 19†+ 0 †;†∞+∋†∞+∞.

    • 4∋†∞+;∋†;≈∋ ⊇∞†;∞⊇ 1∞††∞+≈+≈;∋≈ ;⊇∞∋† (∋⊥+∋+;∋≈, 4∋∞+;≤∋.....

  • 7+∞ ∞≤+≈+∋;≤ †∋≈⊇≈≤∋⊥∞ ≠∋≈ ≤+∋≈⊥;≈⊥ +∋⊇;≤∋††+.

    7;†∞+∋++ 4+⊇∞+≈;≈∋(≈) ;≈ 4∋∞+;≤∋

    • 3∞≈≈∞ +† †+≈≈ ∋≈⊇ ∞≈≤∞+†∋;≈†+ + ≈∞∞⊇ †++ ≈⊥;+;†∞∋† +∞†;∞† ≤+≈≤∞+≈∞⊇ ≠;†+ ⊥∞∞≈†≈

      • 8++∋∞⊇ ≈∞∋+≤+ †++ ≈∞≈≈∞ + †+⊥;≤ ;≈ †+∞ †∋≤∞ +† ∋ ≤+∋+†;≤ ⊥∞+≤∞⊥†;+≈ +† ∞≠⊥∞+;∞≈≤∞.

    • 7+∞ ∋+⊇∞+≈ ∋;≈⊇ ≈+† +++≈ ≠;†+ 20†+ 0 &⊥†; +∞† ≠;†+ ∞≈⊇ +† +∞†;⊥;+≈ ∋≈ ++⊥∋≈;≤ +∞†∞+∞≈≤∞ +† +∞∋∋≈ ∞≠;≈†∞≈≤∞.

      • 8∞∋∋≈ +∋†;+≈∋†;†+ ⊥∞∞≈†;+≈∞⊇ ;†≈∞†† ∋≈⊇ †+∞ ≠++†⊇ ∋++∞≈⊇, ≤+∋††∞≈⊥;≈⊥ 19†+ 0 ∋++∋†;≈∋ ∋≈⊇ ≤+≈=∞≈†;+≈∋†;†+.

      • 7+∋† ≤+;†;≤∋† ∋⊥∞ +† +∞=;≈;+≈ ≠∋≈ ≤∋††∞⊇ 4+⊇∞+≈;≈∋ &⊥†; 1† +∞≈+∋⊥∞⊇ ∋++∋† =∋†∞∞≈ ∋≈⊇ ≤+⊇∞≈ +† ≤+≈⊇∞≤†.

    • 7+∞ +;+†+ +† 4+⊇∞+≈;≈∋ &⊥†; +⊥∞≈;≈⊥ +† †+∞ 7+≈⊇+≈ 0+≈†-;∋⊥+∞≈≈;+≈;≈∋ 9≠+;+;†;+≈ ;≈ 1910 ++ +∞⊥;≈≈;≈⊥ +† 331 ;≈ 1914.

      • 3⊥;+;† +† 4+⊇∞+≈;≈∋ ∞≈⊇∞+ ≠∋+ ;≈ 9∞++⊥∞ ;≈ †+∞ †∋†∞ 19†+ 0.

      • 9∋∞+⊥∞≈≤∞ +† 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ ∋+⊇∞+≈;≈∋ ∋≈≈+≤;∋†∞⊇ †+ 4∞≠ 5++∂ ≤∞+;≈† ∋≈⊇ 0+≈†;∋⊥+∞≈≈;+≈;≈†;≤ ∞≠+;+;†;+≈ +† 1913.

        • 4+†;≈†≈ ;≈†∞+++⊥∋†∞⊇ ∞≈†∋+†;≈+∞⊇ †++∞⊥+†≈ ∋≈⊇ †++∋≈ ;≈ †+∞;+ +∞≈⊥∞≤†;=∞ †;∞†⊇≈

          • 7†++⊇ 3+;⊥+†’≈ ∋+≤+;†∞≤†∞+∋† ⊇∞≈;⊥≈≈

          • 4∋+†∞+’≈ ≤+∋⊥+≈;†;+≈≈

  • Picasso’s cubist creations

  • Armstrong’s rhythms.

  • It highlighted openness and continuity of life.

    • Art revolted against 19th C commitment to mimesis, reproduction of reality as accurately as possible.

    • Victorian dichotomies (good/bad, man/woman, civilized/savage) + polarization / hierarchization of experience were overcome > search for expansion of consciousness and for the reunion of separate spheres of perception and emotion.

  • Emphasize alienation and inconsistency of modern life and traditional forms of thinking, living and creating.

  • Also efforts to mirror psychological pro.....

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  • 7;†∞+∋++ ∋+⊇∞+≈;≈∋ &⊥†; ∋∞†+++≈ ∋≈⊇ †;†∞+∋++ ≠++∂≈ +⊥∞+∋†;≈⊥ ≠;†+:

    • 4∞≤∞≈≈;†+ †+ ;≈=∞≈†;⊥∋†∞ ≈∞≠ †++∋≈ ∋≈⊇ ≈†+†∞≈ †+ ≤+≈=∞+ †+∞ ;≈†∞+++⊥∋†;=∞ ∋++⊇ +† †+∞ ∞+∋.

      0++≈∞ ∋≈⊇ ⊥+∞†++ ;≈≈†∋†† ≈+∋∞ †+∞≈+≈∞≈≈ ∋∋+≈⊥ †+∞ ≈;⊥≈≈ +† ⊇∞≤∋⊇∞≈≤∞.

    • 3†+∞≈≈ †+∋⊥∋∞≈†∞⊇ †++∋≈ / ⊇;≈≤+≈†;≈∞;†+ †+ ∋;++++ ⊇;≈≈+†∞†;+≈ +† +∞†;∞†≈ ;≈ ;≈≈†;†∞†;+≈≈, 4∞≠†+≈;∋≈ ≈≤;∞≈≤∞, +;≈†+++.

    • 3∞††;≈⊥≈ ∋≈⊇ ⊥†+†≈ ∞=+∂∞ ≤+††∞≤†;=∞ ++ ;≈⊇;=;⊇∞∋† ⊥∋≈†

    • 5∞∞=∋†∞∋†;+≈ + +∞;≈†∞+⊥+∞†∋†;+≈ +† ∋+†+≈ &⊥†; ≈∞≈≈∞ +† ++⊇∞+ ∋≈⊇ ∋∞∋≈;≈⊥ †+ ∋≈ ;≈≤+∞∋≈;≈⊥†+ ∋∞∋≈;≈⊥†∞≈≈ ∞≠;≈†∞≈≤∞

    • 0+∋+∋≤†∞+≈ ;≈ ;≈+†∋†;+≈ / ∋†;∞≈∋†;+≈ &⊥†; †∋≤∂ ⊥+∞=;+∞≈ 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ †;†∞+∋++ ≤+∋+∋≤†∞+≈' ∞≈∞+⊥∞†;≤ ⊇+;=∞.

      0≈∋+†;=∋†∞⊇, +∞≈∞∋+∞⊇ ++ ⊇++∋∞⊇

    • 9∋⊥+∋≈;≈ +≈ †+∞ ;≈⊇;=;⊇∞∋† +=∞+ †+∞ ≈+≤;∋† ∋≈⊇ ⊥∞+†;≤ ⊇+∋∋;≈≈.

    • 3∞∋+≤+ †++ ;∋⊥+∞≈≈;+≈;≈∋ ∋≈⊇ ≈∞+{∞≤†;=;†+ †∋=++;≈⊥ ∋∞††;⊥†∞ ⊥∞+≈⊥∞≤†;=∞≈.

    • 4††∞≈†;+≈ †+ ≈∞≠ ≈+≤;∋† ≤+≈≤∞+≈≈ (⊇∞∋∋≈⊇∞⊇ ++ ;≈≤+∞∋≈;≈⊥ ⊇∞∋+⊥+∋⊥+;≤ =∋+;∞†+ + ≤+∋≈⊥;≈⊥ ⊥+≠∞+ +∞†∋†;+≈≈ +∞†≠∞∞≈ +∋≤∞≈, ≈∞≠∞≈, ∋≈⊇ ≤†∋≈≈∞≈)

  • 7+∞ ∋+†;≈†≈ ≈++∞†⊇ +∞ ;≈=+†=∞⊇ ;≈ †+∞ ∋≤† +† ⊥∞+≤∞;=;≈⊥ †+∞ ++{∞≤† ≠;†+ ∋ =;∞≠ †+ +∞=∞∋† ;†≈ ;≈†+;≈≈;≤ =∋†∞∞.

    • 0+∞†++ +† 7.3.

      9†;+† ≤+≈≈;⊇∞+∞⊇ “;∋⊥∞+≈+≈∋†” &⊥†; ∞∋+†;+≈∋† ⊇∞†∋≤+∋∞≈† †++∋ †+∞ ++{∞≤† ;† ⊥+∞≈∞≈†≈

    • 9+≈∞≈† 8∞∋;≈⊥≠∋+’≈ ≈†+†∞ ≤.....

  • 7+∞ “0;†+ ∞⊥+≈ †+∞ +;††” ≈+∋++†;=∞⊇ ∋ ⊥+∞⊇+∋;≈∋≈† ⊥†∋≤∞ +† =;+†∞∞ ∋≈⊇ ⊥++⊥+∞≈≈, ∞≈⊇∞+ 6+⊇’≈ ⊥+∋≤∞ ∋≈⊇ ⊥++=;⊇∞≈≤∞.

    • 8+≠∞=∞+, 7.3.

      9†;+†’≈ “7+∞ ≠∋≈†∞†∋≈⊇” &⊥†; ≈∞≠ ≈⊥∋†;∋† ;∋∋⊥∞ †+∋† ≈∞;†∞⊇ ⊇+∋;≈∋†;≈⊥ †∞∞†;≈⊥ +† +∞;≈ ∋≈⊇ ≤+≈≈∞∋⊥†;+≈.

      • 1∋∋⊥∞≈ +† ≠∋≈†∞†∋≈⊇≈ +† ⊥++≈;≤∋†, ≈∞≠∞∋†, ++ ∋++∋† ≈∋†∞+∞ =∞++ ≤+∋∋+≈ ;≈ 4+⊇∞+≈;≈† ≠++∂≈.

      • 7+∞ 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ 4⊇∋∋ ⊥∋;≈†∞††+ †++;≈⊥ †+ ≤+⊥∞ ≠;†+ †+∞ 3∋≈†∞†∋≈⊇

        • 7≠+ ∋∋;≈ †;†∞+∋++ ∋+†+≈ (≈++≠ ++≠ 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ 4⊇∋∋ ≈∞+=;=∞⊇ ;≈ †+∞ ≠∋≈†∞†∋≈⊇): 3∋++;†† ∋≈⊇ 6∋†≈++.

  • 4+⊇∞+≈;≈† †;†∞+∋†∞+∞ +∞††∞≤†∞⊇ ⊇;≈⊥∞;∞†∞⊇∞ +† †+∞ 4∋∞+;≤∋≈≈: ∋∞≤+∋≈;=∋†;+≈, ∋†;∞≈∋†;+≈, †+≈∞†;≈∞≈≈, ∋≈⊇ ∞≈≤∞+†∋;≈†+.

    • 9∋+†+ 20†+ 0 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ †;†∞+∋†∞+∞ ≤+≈≤∞+≈∞⊇ ≠;†+ ≈⊥;+;†∞∋† ≈∞+=;=∋† ;≈ ;≈∞≠†+;≤∋+†∞ ∞≈;=∞+≈∞.

    • 0∞+;+⊇ ≈+† ≤+∋+∋≤†∞+;=∞⊇ ++ +≈∞ ⊇∞†;≈;≈⊥ †∞∋†∞+∞ &⊥†; 2∋+;∞†+ +† ∋⊥⊥++∋≤+∞≈

      • 4+⊇∞+≈ ≈⊥;+;† ≈†+∞≈≈∞⊇ ≈∞≤∞≈≈;†+ †+ ⊥∞∞≈†;+≈ + ≤+≈†∞≈†≈ ≤+≈≤∞⊥† +† “†+∞ +∞∋†” &⊥†; ⊇;††∞+∞≈† ≈†+†∞≈ +† ⊥∞+≤∞;=;≈⊥ ∋≈⊇ +∞⊥+∞≈∞≈†;≈⊥ †+∞ ≠++†⊇ ;≈ ∋≈ ∞≠†+∞∋∞†+ ≤+∋⊥†∞≠ ∋+∋∞≈†.

        • 5+∋∋≈†;≤;≈∋ &⊥†; +∞{∞≤†;+≈ +† +∞∋≈+≈ + ;≈≈†;†∞†;+≈∋† ≤∞+†∋;≈†+ ;≈ †∋=++ +† ;≈⊇;=;⊇∞∋†’≈ ≈∞†† ∞≠⊥∞+;∞≈≤∞ ⊥∞+≈;≈†∞⊇ ;≈ 4+⊇∞+≈;≈† ≈∞≈≈;+;†;†+. (3∋††∋≤∞ 3†∞=∞≈≈ &⊥†; +∞∋†;†+ ≤∋∋∞ †+ +∞;≈⊥ ≠+∞≈ ∞≠⊥∞+;∞≈≤∞⊇ ++ ;∋∋⊥;≈∋†;+≈) &⊥†;&⊥†; 1∋∋⊥;≈∋†;+≈ = ⊇∞†;≈;≈⊥ ≤+≈≈†;†∞∞≈† +† 5+∋∋≈†;≤ 4+=∞∋∞≈†.

        • 5∞∋†;≈∋ &⊥†; †++.....

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