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.

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