Wednesday, November 11, 2009

1890 - 1891: The Golden Bough to The Countess Cathleen.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

George Frazer. Scottish. 1890/1915. Nonfiction. The Golden Bough. Comparative religion and mythology. Cross-cultural analysis. Archetypal elements in religion and magic.

Hamlin Garland. American. 1891. Stories. Main-Travelled Roads. Set in Dakotas, Iowa; local color, realistic. Grim lives of farmers at the mercy of the elements and rapacious landlords. “Under the Lion’s Paw” is an excellent example.

Thomas Hardy. British. 1891. Novel. Tess of the D’urbervilles; a Pure Woman. Working for wealthy woman, Tess is forced into sexual relations and becomes pregnant. She falls in love with the rector’s son. On the eve of their wedding, they make mutual confessions. He expects to be forgiven, but he cannot forgive her past. She returns to her wealthy seducer and kills him, fleeing with her true love. She is caught and executed.

George Gissing. British. 1891. Novel. New Grub Street. Grim, realistic treatment of the struggles and compromises of the modern literary world. Success goes to the critic with no moral or artistic integrity.

William Butler Yeats. Irish. 1891. Verse Drama. The Countess Cathleen. Countess sells her soul to the devil for the souls of the starving Irish peasants. God saves her soul in the end.

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