Thursday, November 19, 2009

1895: Red Badge of Courage.... to Light o' Love.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Stephen Crane. American. 1895. Novel. The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War. Psychological study of fear. Romantic notions about war are soon destroyed. “Red badge” is from the gun butt of a fellow soldier. Merges with the body of soldiers.

Andrew Paterson. Australian. 1895. Ballad. “Waltzing Matilda.” Swagman (hobo) steals and butchers a jumbuck (sheep), leaps to death in a billabong (pond after heavy rains) when pursued by squatter (landowner) and police. Pack bouncing as he hikes is nicknamed “Waltzing Matilda.” Rollicking verse epitomizes Australian gusto. Theme is of little man against repressive Establishment. Australia’s unofficial national anthem.

Thomas Hardy. British. 1895. Novel. Jude the Obscure. Dramatizes conflict between carnal and spiritual life. Traces Jude’s life from boyhood aspirations of intellectual achievement to miserable early death.

Stephen Crane. American. 1895. Poetry. The Black Riders and Other Lines. Inspired by Emily Dickinson. After watching waves beat on the shore, dreamed of black horses coming from the surf.

Arthur Schnitzler. German. 1895. Play. Light o’ Love. Man torn between two women, one of low, the other of high social standing.

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