Thursday, August 6, 2009

1840: Two Years Before the Mast to Poe's Tales....

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Richard Henry Dana, Jr. American. 1840. Narrative. Two Years Before the Mast. Brutality of a ship’s captain and the sailors’ lack of redress. Aroused public opinion and led to legal action; influenced Melville and Conrad.

Robert Browning. British. 1840. Poetry. Sordello. Southern Europe in the 13th century; poet’s dilemma: action or song. Tennyson: Poem is obscure. Only understood first and last lines and they are not true.

Dickens. British. 1840. Novel. The Old Curiosity Shop. The adventures of Little Nell who accompanies her grandfather, an obsessive gambler, after he has lost the Curiosity Shop because of gambling.

Mikhail Lermontov. Russian. 1840. Novel. A Hero of Our Time. Young aristocrat in the reign of Tsar Nicholas I, in the 1830s. Serve the state or remain inactive? Aimless willfulness is threat to all he touches. Character of the superfluous man. Psychological analysis.

Edgar Allan Poe. American. 1840. Stories. Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. First book of tales. Based tales on the terror of the soul, not German Gothicism.

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