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The History of World Literature 1000 BC - Present


Title: The History of World Literature 1000 BC - Present Author: jstrouse Last modified by: jstrouse Created Date: 9/9/2010 9:08:41 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The History of World Literature 1000 BC - Present

The History of World Literature 1000 BC - Present
800BC-400BC Ancient Greek Literature
  • Forms the basis of liberal arts education, and
    has been taught since organized education began.
    Includes philosophical treatises, epic poetry,
    myths and plays.
  • Aristotle, Poetics
  • Plato, The Apology
  • Sophocles, Antigone
  • Homer, The Illiad The Odyssey

450-1066 Anglo-Saxon (Old English) Literature
  • Primarily consists of poems already circulating
    in oral form at the time they were first written
    down. The bulk of the prose literature is
    historical or religious in nature.
  • Beowulf

1066-1500 Middle English Literature
  • The transitional period between Anglo-Saxon and
    modern English literature. This time period saw
    a flowering of secular literature, including
    ballads and allegorical poems.
  • Petrarch Petrarchan sonnets
  • Dante Aligheri The Divine Comedy
  • Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales

1500-1660 The Renaissance
  • Influenced by the artistic and cultural
    Renaissance, the transformation of both English
    language and literature in this period can be
    seen to move away from the medieval Middle
    English literature period and into the more
    recognizably modern Elizabethan literature.
  • The period is characterized by the influence of
    the classics (in literature, language, and
    philosophy), as well as an optimistic
    forward-thinking approach to the potential of

The Renaissance (contd)
  • Miguel Cervantes Don Quixote,
  • William Shakespeare plays sonnets
  • Christopher Marlowe Dr. Faustus, pastoral
  • Ben Jonson satirical plays lyric
  • John Donne metaphysical poetry
  • Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queen
  • John Milton Paradise Lost

1660-1785 Neoclassicism
  • A movement whose artists looked to the classical
    texts for their creative inspiration in an effort
    to imitate classical form. The writers in
    particular drew on what were considered to be
    classical virtuessimplicity, order, restraint,
    logic, economy, accuracy, and decorumto produce
    prose, poetry, and drama. Literature was of value
    in accordance with its ability to not only
    delight, but also instruct.

Neoclassicism (contd)
  • Voltaire Candide
  • Alexander Pope epic and narrative poetry,
    heroic couplet
  • Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe
  • Jonathan Swift Gullivers Travels

1650 - 1730 Puritan Literature/Puritan Plain
Style (United States)
  • In Puritan literature, the writers' purpose is to
    show how God works in their lives. Plain style
    writing avoids irony, humor, hyperbole, and any
    literary device that might keep the reader from
    understanding the writer's purpose.
  • Anne Bradstreet To My Dear and Loving
  • Edward Taylor Huswifery
  • Jonathan Edwards Sinners in the Hands of an
    Angry God

1730-1800 The Age of Reason (United States)
  • The 18th-century American Age of Reason was a
    movement marked by an emphasis on rationality
    rather than religious tradition. Its foremost
    thinkers, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson,
    also served as political leaders of the American
    Revolution. Some of the most noteworthy
    characteristics of this movement were
  • constructive deism the belief that Reason leads
    us to some basic religious truths and that
    morality is an intellectual pursuit rather than a
    religious one.
  • scientific inquiry instead of unquestioning
    religious dogma
  • representative government in place of monarchy.
  • emphasis on ideals of justice, liberty, and
    equality as the natural rights of man
  • intellectual pursuit is the highest form of human
    consciousness. Faith in human goodness and
    dignity of humankind.

1785-1830 Romanticism
  • Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual
    movement that originated in late 18th century
    Western Europe and quickly spread to America.
    Some of the main underlying ideas of the movement
  • The idea that neither theism nor deism can
    adequately answer the question of mans
    relationship with God.
  • The belief in the natural goodness of man and the
    idea that man, in a state of nature, would behave
    well but is hindered by civilization.
  • A revolt against aristocratic, social, and
    political norms of the Enlightenment period and a
    reaction against the rationalization of nature,
    in art and literature.
  • Influenced by ideas of the Enlightenment,
    particularly that the past is the key to the
  • Romantic artists wished to move away from the
    formality of the previous generation. Strong
    emotion became a source of aesthetic experience,
    placing new emphasis on such emotions as
    trepidation, horror, and the awe experienced in
    confronting the sublimity of nature.

Romanticism (contd)
  • British Poetry
  • William Blake
  • William Wordsworth
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Lord Byron
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • John Keats
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • British Literature
  • Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice
  • Mary Shelley Frankenstein
  • American Literature
  • Washington Irving Rip Van Winkle
  • James Fenimore Cooper Last of the Mohicans

1830-1900 The Victorian Period
  • Victorian novels tend to be idealized portraits
    of difficult lives in which hard work,
    perseverance, love and luck win out in the end
    virtue would be rewarded and wrongdoers are
    suitably punished. They often contain a central
    moral lesson or theme.

Victorian Period (contd)
  • World Literature
  • Henrik Ibsen A Dolls House
  • Victor Hugo Les Miserables
  • Gustave Flaubet Madame Bovary
  • British Victorian Poetry
  • Robert Browning
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • British Victorian Literature
  • Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre
  • Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights
  • Charles Dickens Great Expectations

1830-1865 American Renaissance
  • A period during which American literature came of
    age as an expression of a national spirit. These
    authors utilized native dialect, history,
    landscape, and characters in order to explore
    uniquely American issues. Critics regard some of
    the short fiction produced during the American
    Renaissance as some of the best American fiction
    ever written.
  • Emily Dickinson poetry
  • Walt Whitman poetry
  • Herman Melville Moby Dick Billy Budd
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter

1835-1860 Transcendentalism
  • The American Renaissance was closely associated
    with an intellectual movement known as
    Transcendentalism, a philosophy or system of
    thought based on the idea that humans are
    essentially good, that humanity's deepest truths
    may be formulated through insight rather than
    logic, and that there is an essential unity to
    all of creation.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Nature Self Reliance
  • Henry David Thoreau Walden Civil

1855-1900 American Realism Regionalism
  • A literary movement that attempted to portray an
    accurate, detailed picture of ordinary,
    contemporary life. Some of its main ideas were
  • Character is more important than action and plot
    complex ethical choices are often the subject.
  • Humans control their destinies characters act on
    their environment rather than simply reacting to
  • Renders reality closely and in comprehensive
    detail Selective presentation of reality with an
    emphasis on verisimilitude, even at the expense
    of a well-made plot.
  • Events will usually be plausible Realistic
    novels avoid the sensational, dramatic elements
    of the Romantic movement.
  • Class is important primarily, the interests and
    aspirations of an insurgent middle class.
  • Diction is the natural vernacular not heightened
    or poetic tone may be comic, satiric, or
  • The use of symbolism is controlled and limited
    the realists depend more on the use of images.
  • Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Kate Chopin The Awakening

1890-1910 Naturalism (United States)
  • Naturalism describes a type of literature that
    attempts to apply scientific principles of
    objectivity and detachment to its study of human
    beings. It focuses on the "brute within" each
    individual, comprised of strong and often warring
    emotions passions such as lust and greed, the
    desire for dominance or pleasure, and the fight
    for survival in an amoral, indifferent universe.
    Naturalist authors viewed nature as an
    indifferent force acting on the lives of human
  • Jack London The Call of the Wild
  • Theodore Dreiser Sister Carrie
  • Edith Wharton Ethan Frome

1900-1940 Modernism
  • Modernism provided a radical break with
    traditional modes of literature. Its main
    characteristics were stylistic innovations -
    disruption of traditional syntax and form and
    an obsession with primitive attitudes (violence,

1918-1940 The Lost Generation
  • A term used to describe the generation of
    writers, many of them soldiers, who published in
    the years following WW I. These authors were
    said to be disillusioned by the large number of
    casualties of the First World War, cynical,
    disdainful of the antiquated notions of morality
    and propriety of their elders and ambivalent
    about gender ideals.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby
  • Ernest Hemingway The Sun Also Rises

1918-1930 The Harlem Renaissance
  • An explosion of African-American literature, art
    and music during the 1920s. The artists of the
    Harlem Renaissance represented the first
    generation of African-Americans to receive a
    formal education, and their ascendance was
    predicted by author W.E.B. DuBois The Souls of
    Black Folk "One ever feels his twoness - an
    American, a Negro two souls, two thoughts, two
    unreconciled stirrings two warring ideals in one
    dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it
    from being torn asunder."
  • Langston Hughes poet
  • Claude McKay poet
  • Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God

1945-Present Postmodernism
  • Because the postmodernism movement continues to
    this day, the periods definition is constantly
  • Unlike Modernism, Postmodernism has no crisis of
    belief in traditional authority. Modernist
    angst has been replaced with an "anything and
    everything goes" attitude.
  • Instead of seeking larger truths that appeal to a
    wide audience, literature seeks little truths
    that hopefully mean something to a portion of its
  • Postmodernist literature doesn't believe there's
    a real real to represent everything is a
  • Experimentation with form is no longer considered
    radical, as in modernism. Rather,
    experimentation with conventional forms is the
    norm--the convention--in postmodernism.
    Postmodernist authors aggressively attempt to mix
    of forms, genres, disciplines, and systems all
    within one work.

Postmodernism (contd)
  • Some of the main ideas of the Postmodern movement
  • Inaugurated by the Bomb Psychological effects of
    Post-Hiroshima America The Nuclear Age
  • New Forms of War Wars over political ideology
    (Korea, Vietnam) Transition from world wars to
    cold wars civil wars Conceptual wars Drugs,
  • The rise of multinationalism capitalism Global
    village Global economy
  • Multiculturalism Minorities Women Confessional
  • Decline of industry rise of the Information
    Age Internet/Video Games Technoculture

1948-1960 The Beat Generation
  • The Beat Generation is a term used to describe
    both a group of American writers who came to
    prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s and
    the cultural phenomena that they wrote about and
    inspired (later sometimes called "beatniks).
    Beat Generation literature highlighted the core
    values of the movement spontaneity, open
    emotion, visceral engagement in gritty worldly
  • Allen Ginsberg Howl (1956)
  • William S. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1959)
  • Jack Kerouac On the Road (1957)

1958-1965 Confessional Poetry
  • Confessional poetry is defined as the poetry of
    the personal. The confessional poetry of the
    mid-twentieth century dealt with subject matter
    that previously had not been openly discussed in
    American poetry. Private experiences with and
    feelings about death, trauma, depression and
    relationships were addressed in this type of
    poetry, often in an autobiographical manner.
  • Robert Lowell Skunk Hour, Fathers Bedroom
  • Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar

1930s-Present Magic Realism
  • Magic realism is a type of fiction in which
    magical elements are blended into a realistic
    atmosphere in order to access a deeper
    understanding of reality. These magical elements
    are explained like normal occurrences that are
    presented in a straightforward manner which
    allows the "real" and the "fantastic" to be
    accepted in the same stream of thought.
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez Love in the Time of
  • Laura Esquivel Like Water for Chocolate

1950s-Present Postcolonial Literature
  • Literature by and about authors from former
    European colonies, primarily from Africa, Asia,
    South America and the Carribean. This literature
    aims to challenge Eurocentric assumptions through
    intense examination of culture and identity.
  • Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart
  • Salman Rushdie Midnights Children

1960s-Present Metafiction
  • Metafiction is a type of fiction that
    self-consciously addresses the devices of
    fiction, constantly reminding the reader that he
    or she is reading a fictional work. Some
    examples of metafiction are
  • A novel about a person writing a novel
  • A novel about a person reading a novel
  • A novel in which the author is a character
  • Characters who express awareness that they are in
    a work of fiction. (also known as breaking the
    fourth wall.)
  • A work of fiction within a fiction.
  • Thomas Pynchon The Crying of Lot 49
  • Tim OBrien The Things They Carried

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