Wednesday, November 25, 2009

1897: Recessional to The Devil's Disciple

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Rudyard Kipling. British. 1897. Poetry. Recessional. Celebrates the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Victoria. Warning to the British not to be overconfident in their hour of greatest glory.

Leo Tolstoy. Russian. 1897. Nonfiction. What Is Art? Considered art an extension of morality. Felt it should have a morally uplifting spirit. Work of art must be simple enough for every one, not just the well educated, to understand. Tolstoy’s views became the framework for Soviet extraliterary standards by which to judge a work of art: “Socialist Realism.”

Joseph Conrad. British. 1897. Novel. The Nigger of the Narcissus. Study of men’s characters under stress. Black sailor dying of TB. Presence of death brings out the best and worst of the crew.

Henry James. American/British. 1897. Novel. What Maisie Knew. Twelve-year-old Maisie sees divorced parents’ extra marital infidelities. Gives her a realistic knowledge of the adult world. Chooses to live with her governess, not her parents.

George Bernard Shaw. British. 1897. Play. The Devil’s Disciple. American Revolution. Convention and circumstances fix one’s life. In crises, people change, learn about themselves.

Note: Will resume blog on Monday, November 30, 2009. RayS.

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