Wednesday, September 9, 2009

1855: Leaves of Grass to "Fra Lippo Lippi"

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Walt Whitman. American. 1855. Poetry. Leaves of Grass. “The United States are the greatest poem.” Celebrates common people; poet must incarnate spirit and geography of the U.S. Takes his title from the themes of fertility, universality, cyclical life.

Leo Tolstoy. Russian. 1855. Stories. Sevastopol Sketches. Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War; departure from the usual war descriptions. Showed war not as heroic and glorious, but dangerous, tedious, bloody horror. Used stream of consciousness technique. Internal monologue. The “hero” of his stories = “truth.”

Walt Whitman. American. 1855. Poetry. Song of Myself. Encompassing all, gives everything significance; equality and beauty of all things and people. Catalogues. Poet of wickedness as well as grandeur; dissolves into the universe.

John Greenleaf Whittier. American. 1855. Poetry. “The Barefoot Boy.” Joy of a country childhood.

Robert Browning. British. 1855. Poetry. “Fra Lippo Lippi.” Monologue. Painter in Florence gives his autobiography, views on life and art.

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