Friday, October 30, 2009

1884: With Fire and Sword to Against the Grain.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Henryk Sienkiewicz. Polish. 1884. Novel. With Fire and Sword. Trilogy. History of Poland from 1648 to end of 17th century. War between Poland and the Ukraine. Poland vs. Sweden. Poland vs. Turkey. Best seller in Poland.

Helen Hunt Jackson. American. 1884. Romance. Ramona. Of mixed Scottish and Indian blood, Ramona marries an American Indian. Harassed by whites, he dies tragically. Novel helped change American attitudes toward native Americans.

Henry Adams. American. 1884. Novel. Esther. Esther, free-thinking painter, falls for clergyman. Alienated by his orthodox views, she breaks engagement.

Mark Twain. American. 1884. Novel. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Picaresque. Adventures on a raft on the Mississippi River. Life of the river. Social commentary. Portrays vividly the moral blindness of the respectable slave-holding society’s decaying social order.

Karl Huysmans. French. 1884. Novel. Against the Grain. The quest of the decadent hero for the rare and perverse in sensation. Seeks release from the ennui of existence.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

1883: The Story of an African Farm to Thus Spake Zarathustra

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Olive Schreiner. South Africa. 1883. Novel. The Story of an African Farm. Boer farm in South Africa in late 19th century. Three childhood playmates. One grows into a beauty who destroys the life of the others as well as her own.

Mark Twain. American. 1883. Autobiography. Life on the Mississippi. Apprenticeship as a river pilot. Return to the River in 1882 with conditions changed. Heroic steamboat era.

Robert Louis Stevenson. British. 1883. Novel. Treasure Island. Crew prevents a mutiny, finds a treasure with the help of Ben Gunn, a marooned sailor.

Carlo Lorenzini Collodi. Italian. 1883. Story. “Pinocchio.” Escapades serve to teach the puppet-come-to-life and his readers right from wrong.

Friedrich Nietzsche. German. 1883/92. Philosophy. Thus Spake Zarathustra. Persian philosopher used as a mouthpiece for the author. Doctrine of Ubermensch. Each should achieve individual goals which will add up to a universal goal/achievement.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1881 - 1882: A Modern Instance to Vice-Versa.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

William Dean Howells. American. 1881. Novel. A Modern Instance. Social realism. Ethics and character in the context of marriage. Desertion and divorce.

Jorge Echegaray. Spanish. 1881. Play. El Gran Galeoto (Gossip). Suspected couple are innocent, but can’t withstand the gossip. Woman’s husband dies in a duel over her honor.

Frank R. Stockton. American. 1882. Story. “The Lady or the Tiger.” Youth falls for king’s daughter. Condemned. Must open one of two doors. Behind one is a tiger. Behind the other is a lovely lady [not the Princess] to be given him in marriage. The Princess knows which is which. She signals. Which door does he open? We’ll never know.

Walt Whitman. American. 1882. Poetry. Specimen Days and Collect. Poet’s youth, Civil War experiences and some reminiscences in old age.

F Anstey. 1882. Novel. Vice-Versa, or A Lesson to Fathers. Transformation of father into son and son into father.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1881: Washington Square to Tales of Hoffmann.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Henry James. American/British. 1881. Novel. Washington Square. setting is the Washington Square of James’s youth, a fashionable residential district. Daughter is dominated by her father and suitor. After her father’s death, she rejects the suitor, choosing to live unmarried on Washington Square. Theme: Young, dependent person trying to escape the tyranny of older, more knowledgeable adult.

Mark Twain. American. 1881. Novel. The Prince and the Pauper. Edward VI and a pauper change places days after the death of Henry VIII. Edward wanders in rags. The Pauper suffers the horrors of princedom.

Giovanni Verga. Italian. 1881. Novel. I, Malavoglia. Decline and fall of a Sicilian fisher family. Rebellious son. Provincial town.

Anatole France. French. 1881. Novel. The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard. Kind old archeologist kidnaps orphaned daughter of a former lover from a school which abuses her.

Jacques Offenbach. German. 1881. Opera. Tales of Hoffmann. Poet Hoffmann recalls love affairs and other adventures over wine in a Nuremberg tavern.

Monday, October 26, 2009

1880 - 1881: "Tar Baby" to The Portrait of a Lady.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Joel Chandler Harris. American. 1880. Story. “Tar Baby.” Rabbit is so incensed by Tar Baby’s unresponsiveness that he hits it until he is completely stuck.

Henry Adams. American. 1880. Novel. Democracy. Social and political satire based on the corruption of the second Grant administration.

Joel Chandler Harris. American. 1880. Tales. Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings. Stories based on traditional fables of the black race. In dialect. Animals with human qualities.

Henry James. American/British. 1881. Novel. The Portrait of a Lady. American woman inherits English fortune; marries impoverished dilettante. Finds out she was set up by his mistress for the sake of her money.

Friday, October 23, 2009

1879 - 1880. The Brothers Karamazov to Nana.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Dostoevsky. Russian. 1879/80. Novel. The Brothers Karamazov. Who killed Fyodor Karamazov?

Tolstoy. Russian. 1879/81. Nonfiction A Confession. Account of a spiritual crisis; discontent with his life in civilized society . Living close to nature essential.

Lew Wallace. American. 1880. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Aristocratic Jew; false Roman friend, Messala. Galley slave; chariot race; converted to Christianity.

George W. Cable. American. 1880. Novel. The Grandissimes: A Story of Creole Life. New Orleans in the period of the Louisiana Purchase. Race, family feuds; struggle between the new order and the old.

Emile Zola. French. 1880. Novel. Nana. Product of a squalid environment becomes a prostitute; leads dissipated existence.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1878 - 1879: "Marshes of Glynn" to Green Henry.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Sidney Lanier. American. 1878. Poem. “The Marshes of Glynn.” Reconciles the techniques of music and poetry. Sea marshes of Glynn County, Georgia.

Henry James. American/British. 1878. Novel. The Europeans. Visit of European artist and Baroness sister to New England relatives. Comic treatment.

Henrik Ibsen. Norwegian. 1879. Play. A Doll’s House. Nora sheltered, petted by her father, then by her husband. Seeks to go out on her own to become a full human being.

George Meredith. British. 1879. Novel. The Egoist. Sir Willoughby has it all except humility and a sense of humor. His visiting lover wants out. Romantic mixups.

Gottfried Keller. German. 1879/80. Novel. Green Henry. Bildungsroman. Hasn’t talent to be a painter. Neglects his mother. She dies and he feels guilt (Version 1). Version 2: Mother dies. Henry adjusts himself to a life of civic service as a government official.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1877 - 1878: The Golden Dog to Daisy Miller.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

William Kirby. Canadian. 1877. Novel. The Golden Dog. Set in old French Quebec; served as model for numerous Canadian historical romances.

Henry James. American/British. 1877. Novel. The American. Simple, innocent American Christopher Newman vs. sophisticated, corrupt European aristocrats.

Emile Zola. French. 1877. Novel. L’Assommoir (The Dram Shop). Written in the argot of French streets. Study of the demoralizing effects of alcohol on the working class.

Thomas Hardy. British. 1878. Novel. The Return of the Native. Looking to escape her environment, Eustacia marries Clym Yeobright who has returned from Paris. His mother is opposed to the marriage. Failure of communication leads to tragedy.

Henry James. American/British. 1878. Novel. Daisy Miller. Unsophisticated pretty girl from Schenectady traveling in Europe. Runs up against the conventions of Europeanized Americans who enforce rules of the older European community with unthinking severity.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

1876 - 1877: Tom Sawyer to Black Beauty.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Mark Twain. American. 1876. Novel. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Tom and Huck witness a murder, flee, return home to hear their own eulogies.

Stephane Mallarme. French. 1876. Poetry. “The Afternoon of a Faun.” Wandering thoughts of a faun on a drowsy summer afternoon.

Ivan Turgenev. Russian. 1877. Novel. Virgin Soil. Concerns the revolutionary movement in Russia. A revolutionary discovers that he is not fitted to be a revolutionary leader and in despair kills himself. His wife marries again and works for a democratic Russia in a more gradual, realistic way.

Gustave Flaubert. French. 1877. Story. “A Simple Heart.” Endless self-denial of Felicite’s existence. Only her faith remains.

Anna Sewell. British. 1877. Novel. Black Beauty, the Autobiography of a Horse. Imaginary autobiography of a horse. Describes ill treatment. Pleads for humane treatment of animals.

Monday, October 19, 2009

1875 - 1876: The Raw Youth to The Dolliver Romance

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Dostoevsky. Russian. 1875. Novel. The Raw Youth. Youth tries to find something solid in the chaos of the times; decides on wealth. His true father is a product of the acceptance of Western ideas; he is also a rival for his son’s love interest. Disillusioned, the youth accepts his nominal father’s quest for the love of all of God’s creation.

Mark Twain. American. 1876. Sketch. “1601.” Subtitled “Conversations As It Was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors.” Twain freely uses Anglo-Saxon vocabulary.

Henry James. American/British. 1876. Novel. Roderick Hudson. American sculptor studies in Rome and becomes discouraged and disillusioned.

Herman Melville. American. 1876. Poetry. Clarel; a Poem and a Pilgrimage in the Holy Land. Asks if civilization can survive after science has caused a loss of faith. Characters interact on a pilgrimage from Jerusalem to Gethsemane, the Dead Sea, and Bethlehem. Faith vs. doubt.

Nathaniel Hawthorne. American. 1876. Novel. The Dolliver Romance (Unfinished). Dr. Dolliver prepares elixir of life so that he might live to care for his granddaughter; selfish Dabney overdoses, dies.

Friday, October 16, 2009

1874 - 1875: Far from the Madding Crowd to Wreck of the Deutschland.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Thomas Hardy. British. 1874. Novel. Far from the Madding Crowd. Bathsheba’s relationship to three suitors; two die tragically; she marries the steadiest of the three.

James Thomson. British. 1874. Poetry. “The City of the Dreadful Night.” Imaginary city of misery and horror created out of the author’s own sense of despair.

George Eliot. British. 1874/76. Novel. Daniel Deronda. High-spirited Gwen marries mean-spirited and tyrannical Grandcourt to avoid poverty. He drowns because she hesitates in throwing him a rope. Feels guilty. Daniel Deronda, a man with high ideals, offers her advice. She develops finer qualities. Deronda, however, marries another.

Henry James. American/British. 1875. Stories. The Passionate Pilgrim and Other Stories. Title story: American lover of England dies before he can claim a rich estate. Other stories about Americans’ adventures in England.

Gerard Manley Hopkins. British. 1875. Poetry. “The Wreck of the Deutschland.” Death of five nuns, drowned off the Welsh coast while seeking refuge in the U.S. from religious persecution in Germany. Problems of suffering, the decline of religion, man’s relationship with God and the nuns’ happiness in dying in God’s hands.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

1873 - 1874: Around the World.... to "Merlin."

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Jules Verne. French. 1873. Romance. Around the World in Eighty Days. Fogg wins bet, having circled the world in only 80 days, an incredible feat for its day.

Thomas Hardy. British. 1873. Novel. A Pair of Blue Eyes. Girl changes mind about eloping. Meets another. However, former affair destroys her life.

William Dean Howells. American. 1873. Novel. A Chance Acquaintance. Kitty falls for a Boston snob, realizes he is a snob and breaks the engagement.

Leo Tolstoy. Russian. 1873/76. Novel. Anna Karenina. Adulterous affair ending in suicide contrasted with a happy marriage between Levin and Kitty on the farm.

Ralph Waldo Emerson. American. 1874. Poetry. “Merlin.” Analyzes methods of the poet. Wait for inspiration, don’t merely devise form.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1872 - 1873: Through the Looking Glass to A Diary of a Writer.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Lewis Carroll. British. 1872. Children’s Story? Through the Looking Glass. Sequel to Wonderland; world behind the mirror, everything reversed. Alice is a white pawn in a chess game; eventually, she becomes queen and wakes up. The Jabberwocky is in this supposed children’s tale.

Jose Hernandez. Argentine. 1872. Narrative Poem. Martin Fiero. Argentine national classic; Gaucho literature; illiterate gauchos vs. Buenos Aires educated.

Friedrich Nietzsche. German. 1872. Nonfiction. The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music. Attacks conception that Greek culture was perfectly static, blissful. Apollonian vs. Dionysiac. Apollonian = individuation, rationality, form, structure. Dionysiac = “will,” directly opposed to the Apollonian. Enthusiasm, ecstasy; man gives up individuality and submerges himself in a greater whole.

Samuel Butler. British. 1872. Satiric Novel. Erewhon. Utopian. Satirizes English attitudes toward religion, science, crime, etc.

Dostoevsky. Russian. 1873. Variety. A Diary of a Writer. Articles, sketches published in the form of a journal. Concerned with political and social questions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

1871: The Possessed to Les Rougon-Macquart

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Dostoevsky. Russian. 1871. Novel. The Possessed. Depicts revolutionary movement in Russia; career of Nikolay Stavrogin, nobleman. Genuine spiritual nihilism vs. affected nihilism of revolutionaries. Russian upper classes lack organic ties with Russian people; adhere to Western political ideas. Aristocracy must return to people’s orthodox faith; must lead people to their destiny, a new world of universal love and brotherhood contained in orthodoxy.

Esteban Echeverria. Argentine. 1871. Story. “El Matadero (“The Slaughterhouse”). Buenos Aires slaughterhouse; denounces the brutality of the dictatorship of Juan Manuel de Rosas.

Walt Whitman. American. 1871. Essay. “Democratic Vistas.” Sees decline in vigor and moral consciousness in post-Civil War America.

George Eliot. British. 1871/72. Novel. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life. Idealistic woman, disillusioned by marriage to a scholar, makes an effort to contribute to medical reform; gives up her inheritance to marry the man she really loves.

Emile Zola. French. 1871/93. Novels. Les Rougon-Macquart. Twenty novels. National and social history of a family during the Second Empire. Characters depicted with brutal realism. Sordid lives. Dramatizes the desperate need for social change.

Friday, October 9, 2009

1870: "Miriam" to "Sister Helen."

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

John Greenleaf Whittier. American. 1870. Poetry. “Miriam.” Christian maiden and her Muslim lord.

Charles Dickens. British. 1870. Novel. The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Forced to marry Rosa Bud, Edwin Drood and she agree that they can never love each other and break off the engagement. He disappears. She is pursued by someone she is terrified of. A stranger appears and frustrates the pursuer’s efforts. Dickens didn’t finish. Was Edwin Drood the stranger? We’ll never know.

Jules Verne. French. 1870. Romance. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Predicts the invention of deep-sea submarines. Megalomaniacal Captain Nemo.

Dostoevsky. Russian. 1870. Novel. The Eternal Husband. Psychological study of relations between a cuckolded husband and his wife’s ex-lover.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti. British 1870. Poetry. “Sister Helen.” Young woman destroys false lover by melting waxen image of him.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

1869 - 1870: "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" to "Plain Language from Truthful James."

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Bret Harte. American. 1869. “The Outcasts of Poker Flat.” Outcasts sacrifice themselves in a blizzard so that a young eloping couple may live.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti. British. 1869. Poetry. “The Ballad of the Dead Ladies.” Translation of a poem by medieval poet Francois Villon.

Anthony Trollope. British. 1869/80. Novels. The Parliamentary (Palliser) Novels. Novels about political life in England.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich. American. 1870. Novel. The Story of a Bad Boy. Semi-autobiographical; not bad, just human; youth in New Hampshire. Early years in New Orleans. Forerunner to Tom Sawyer.

Bret Harte. American. 1870. Poetry. “Plain Language from Truthful James.” Chinese card shark gets the better of “Truthful” and Bill Nye.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1868 - 1869: Earthly Paradise to Innocents Abroad

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

William Morris. British. 1868/70. Poetry. Earthly Paradise. Norse sailors flee the Black Death. Tell 24 tales: medieval sagas, classic myths; in between each tale, a lyric poem celebrating the changing landscape.

RD Blackmore. British. 1869. Historical Novel. Lorna Doone, A Romance of Exmoor. 17th century. Hero kidnapped by the Doones, an outlaw clan. Saved b Lorna. Searches for her; marries her, but only because he learns she is the kidnapped daughter of Scottish nobleman. Novel postpones the problem of crossing class lines.

Matthew Arnold. British. 1869. Essays. Culture and Anarchy. Arguments for the role of literary culture in the spiritual life of England.

Gustave Flaubert. French. 1869. Novel. The Sentimental Education. Life among French dilettantes, intellectuals and revolutionaries at the time of Louis Philippe, 1848.

Mark Twain. American. 1869. Travel. The Innocents Abroad or, The New Pilgrim’s Progress. Looks at hallowed European landmarks from a fresh, humorous point of view, without reverence for the past.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

1868: The Ring and the Book to Little Women

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Robert Browning. British. 1868. Poetry. The Ring and the Book. Based on Italian murder case; dramatic monologues by 12 characters, each from a different point of view. Title: gold ring is shaped by use of an alloy. Story in an old book (gold) is shaped by the poet’s imagination and interpretation.

Dostoevsky. Russian. 1868. Novel. The Idiot. Fate of a saintly prince in the world; he is an “idiot,” who cannot return women’s love and inadvertently destroys lives.

Wilkie Collins. British. 1868.Novel. The Moonstone. First detective in English fiction. Who stole the moonstone that once adorned a Hindu idol?

Bret Harte. American. 1868. Story. “The Luck of Roaring Camp.” Gold-rush miners’ false toughness. Miners adopt child of a prostitute. Flood. Kentuck dies holding the infant in his arms.

Louisa May Alcott. American. 1868/69. Novel. Little Women, or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Heroine is Jo March, tomboyish, literary, who retires to the attic when “genius burns.” Pretty older sister Meg marries young tutor, John Brooke; gentle, music-loving Beth dies young; fashionable, artistic Amy marries Laurie, high-spirited friend of Jo, who will not marry him. Jo marries a kindly old German professor.

Monday, October 5, 2009

1867: "When Lilacs Last...." to Das Kapital

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Walt Whitman. American. 1867. Poetry. “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed.” With the return of lilacs in the spring, mourns the death of Abraham Lincoln. Death is the “great, strong deliveress.”

Ivan Turgenev. Russian. 1867. Novel. Smoke. Love triangle with the message that Russia needs to turn West for civilization.

Matthew Arnold. British. 1867. Poetry. “Dover Beach.” Pessimism regarding the future of the modern world; urges personal fidelity as a substitute for ebbing faith.

Jorge Isaacs. Colombia. 1867. Novel. Maria. Romantic idyll; ill-starred love affair; life in Colombia’s Cauca Valley.

Karl Marx. German. 1867/94. Nonfiction. Das Kapital. Systematic critical study of capitalist economy.