Friday, August 14, 2009

1843 - 1844: "The Gold Bug" to "Rappaccini's Daughter

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Edgar Allan Poe. American. 1843. Story. “The Gold Bug.” Sullivan’s Island off South Carolina. Location of buried treasure. Unravels instructions. Beetle = the gold bug.

George Borrow. British. 1843. Travel. The Bible in Spain. Travel book. Vivid picture of Spanish life during Carlist troubles.

John Ruskin. British. 1843/60. Art Criticism. Modern Painters (5 vols.). Landscape painters; superiority of contemporary artists over Old Masters.

Blaise Pascal. French. 1844. (Written in 1670). Nonfiction. Pensées. Reflections on religion; testament of religious faith; man is helpless, a frail reed in a vast universe, but a thinking reed. Man’s fall must be true; otherwise one can’t explain the contradictions in man’s nature. Faith not by reason alone. God’s grace speaks to the heart.

Nathaniel Hawthorne. American. 1844. Story. “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” Daughter brought up on poisons becomes invulnerable to them. Scientist subordinates ‘heart to head.’ She drinks an antidote from a suitor, knowing she will die.

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