Friday, January 29, 2010

1914: "The Sisters" to "The Death of the Hired Man."

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

James Joyce. Irish. 1914. Story. “The Sisters.” Boy confronted with death the first time; learns the truth about the dead priest and the Catholic religion.

James Joyce. Irish. 1914. Story. “Clay.” Ineffectual spinster tricked into putting fingers into wet clay, symbol of her own and the Irish character.

Vachel Lindsay. American. 1914. Poetry. “The Congo: A Study of the Negro Race.” Black ragtime rhythms. High spirits. Hope of religion.

James Joyce. Irish. 1914. Story. “The Dead.” Thinks of aunts who will soon be dead, his own spiritual death, and his wife’s dead lover.

Robert Frost. American. 1914. Poetry. “The Death of the Hired Man. Argument between farmer and his wife over whether to keep defeated old hired hand. He dies.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

1913: Childhood to Remembrance of Things Past

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Maksim Gorky. Russian. 1913/14. Autobiography. Childhood. Memorable portrait of Gorky’s grandmother.

Marcel Proust. French. 1913/27. Novels. Remembrance of Things Past. Seven parts. In search of “lost time.” “Involuntary memories” = true meaning of past experience. Stimulated by object or circumstances; could not appreciate at the time of the experience. Conscious recollection colored by the person he has become. Unconscious association = simultaneous existence in present and past. Bourgeois and royalty, apparently different, are actually connected. Anticipated pleasure always exceeds actual pleasure. Art and dreams express associations that make essential reality perceptible—never life.

Swann’s Way. Introduces most themes. Recalls childhood house. Idealized love for Gilberte. Swann’s love for Odette many years before. Within a Budding Grove. Love for Gilberte ends. Falls in love with frolicsome girls. Albertine. Guermantes Way. Narrator ascends to summit of society. Saint-Loup’s passion for Rachel. Death of beloved grandmother. Cities of the Plain. Baron’s homosexuality. Changing nature of socially fashionable opinions. Discovers Albertine’s lesbian tastes. Baron launches Morel at Verdurins’ soirees. The Captive. Tries to keep complete watch of Albertine’s activities. She dies. The Sweet Cheat Gone. Oblivion gradually cures pain. Gilberte social climbs. Marries Saint-Loup, Morel’s lover. Past Recaptured. WWI accelerates changes in society. Finds most of former acquaintances almost unrecognizable. Turns “privileged moments” of memory into literary work of art.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1913: Pollyanna to Virginiq

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Eleanor H. Porter. American. 1913. Novel. Pollyanna. Always looks on the bright side in her numerous trials.

George Bernard Shaw. British. 1913. Play. Pygmalion. Phonetics teacher transforms guttersnipe into an elegant woman.

Compton Mackenzie. British. 1913. Novel. Sinister Street. Novel of growing up. Childhood and youth of illegitimate children of wealthy parents.

D.H. Lawrence. British. 1913. Novel. Sons and Lovers. Autobiographical. Because of bond with mother, can’t give love to other women.

Ellen Glasgow. American; 1913. Novel Virginia. Southern woman between 1884 and 1912. Unhappy marriage; can’t adapt to new environment. Loses respect of her husband and daughters, but retains the love of her son. Analysis of social change facing women in the early 20th century.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1913: The Custom of the Country to O Pioneers

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Edith Wharton. American. 1913. Novel. The Custom of the Country. Ruthless social climber.

Vachel Lindsay. American. 1913. Poetry. “General William Booth Enters into Heaven.” Rhythmic drumbeats of Salvation Army band.

Alain-fournier. French. 1913. Novel. Le Grand Meaulnes. Actuality and dream world intermingle; old house in middle of the woods. Girl and her brother.

George Bernard Shaw. British. 1913. Play. Heartbreak House. Indicts apathy, confusion, and lack of purpose as causes of the world’s problems. Characters are symbolic.

Willa Cather. American. 1913. Novel. O Pioneers. Strong woman with weak family builds prosperous farm. Deep devotion to the land.

Monday, January 25, 2010

1912: Campos de Castilla to Trent's Last Case.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Antonio Machado. Spanish. 1912. Poetry. Campos de Castilla. Poet’s soul in response to the geography of the Castillan landscape around him.

Theodore Dreiser. American. 1912. Novel. The Financier. First of a trilogy. Ups and downs of a typical industrial and financial magnate of the late 19th century.

Arthur Schnitzler. German. 1912. Play. Professor Bernhardi. To prevent young girl from learning of her impending death, Jewish doctor prevents a priest from administering Extreme Unction.

Joseph Conrad. British. 1912. Story. “The Secret Sharer.” Captain takes on board and hides a murderer who is his physical and psychological double.

Paul Claudel. French. 1912. Verse Drama. The Tidings Brought to Mary. Spiritual devotion vs. human life and love. Sympathetic kiss leads to leprosy and life of recluse. Recluse’s fiancĂ© marries her sister. Their baby dies. Asks recluse to hold and kiss the baby who is brought to life, but with the eyes of the recluse. Her sister returns and kills the recluse.

E.C. Bentley. British. 1912. Novel. Trent’s Last Case. Classic detective novel. Trent is an English painter, poetry lover and amateur detective. Uncovers three different plausible solutions to a murder.

Friday, January 22, 2010

1911: Ethan Frome to Zuleika Dobson.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Edith Wharton. American. 1911. Novel. Ethan Frome. Typical New England village. Ethan vs. hypochondriac wife. He loves her cousin. They try suicide. Fail. They become invalids and the roles are reversed.

Leo Tolstoy. Russian. 1911. Novel. Hadzhi Murad. Cossack uprising. Leader deserts, then returns to his people, knowing they will kill him.

Theodore Dreiser. American. 191. Novel. Jennie Gerhardt. A patient Griselda. Much misused. Patient acceptance.

Hugh Walpole. British. 1911. Novel. Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill. English boys’ boarding school: inbred, tense lives of the teachers.

H. G. Wells. British. 1911. Novel. The New Machiavelli. Handbook of English political life on the eve of WWI.

Joseph Conrad. British. 1911. Novel. Under Western Eyes. Nineteenth-century Russian police state and extremist revolutionaries. Betrays fellow student who has assassinated an official. Falls in love with his sister. Confesses truth to the revolutionaries and is brutally beaten, left for dead. Returns to Russia. “Western eyes” are those of the English man who reads and comments on his diary.

Max Beerbohm. British. 1911. Novel. Zuleika Dobson. Fantastic, satirical novel. Oxford undergrads drown themselves for love of a beautiful young woman.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

1910: Clayhanger to Notebooks of Malte Laurides Brigge

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Arnold Bennett. British. 1910. Novel. Clayhanger. Conflict between son and dominating, puritanical father. Descriptions of Five Towns life.

E.M. Forster. British. 1910. Novel. Howards End. Country house: brings together three important elements in English society: money, culture and the lower classes.

H.G. Wells. British. 1910. Novel. The History of Mr. Polly. Timid, middle-aged tradesman burns house, declared dead, gains freedom.

Rainer Maria Rilke. German. 1910. Novel. The Notebooks of Malte Laurides Brigge. Collection of diary entries of a Danish poet in Paris. Suffering, squalor. Symbolic repetition of the story of the prodigal son.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

1909: Strait Is the Gate to Tono-Bungay

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Andre Gide. French. 1909. Novel. Strait is the Gate. Heroine seeks mystic joy by self-renunciation, but never achieves what she seeks.

Gertrude Stein. American. 1909. Stories. Three Lives. Three character studies of women. Kindly, domineering German serving woman. Uneducated, sensitive black girl. Feebleminded young German maid.

H.G. Wells. British. 1909. Novel. Tono-Bungay. Uncle makes fortune from quack medicine. Narrator observes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1909: "Retrieved Reformation" to Personnae

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

O Henry. American. 1909. Story. “Retrieved Reformation.” Reformed safe cracker reveals his past when he opens a safe in an emergency.

H.G. Wells. British. 1909. Novel. Ann Veronica. Heroine’s struggle for independence, sexual freedom and equality with men.

Seibert and Newton. American. 1909. Poem. “Casey Jones.” American ballad about train wreck, the Cannonball Express (1900). Driver born in Cayce, Ky., hence the nickname.

Paul Claudel. French. 1909. Verse Drama. The Hostage. Aristocratic woman sacrifices herself and marries a former servant. She hates him but dies by a bullet meant for him.

Ezra Pound. American. 1909. Poetry. Personnae. “Masks of the Actor.” Indebtedness to the monologues of Browning.

Friday, January 15, 2010

1908: The Man Who Was Thursday to Wind in the Willows

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

G.K. Chesterton. British. 1908. Novel. The Man Who Was Thursday. Allegory of anarchists, spies and detectives. Theme: the primacy and sanctity of order.

Arnold Bennett. British. 1908. Novel. The Old Wives’ Tale. Two sisters go separate ways; reunited in old age; sense of passing time. Sympathetic picture of ordinary women’s lives.

Anatole France. French. 1908. Novel. Penguin Island. Satire on French history; semi-blind monk baptizes penguins thinking they are people.

E.M. Forster. British. 1908. Novel. A Room with a View. Italy represents forces of true passion. Love between upper and lower classes.

Kenneth Grahame. British. 1908. Fantasy. The Wind in the Willows. Characters are Mole, Water Rat, Mr. Toad; portrait of English countryside.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1907: Mother to The Secret Agent

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Maksim Gorky. Russian. 1907. Novel. Mother. Marxist propaganda. Mother is regenerated as she involves herself in the revolutionary movement.

John Millington Synge. Irish. 1907. Play. The Playboy of the Western World. Son is lionized after he thinks he killed his bullying father. Feelings of townspeople reverse when he fights with him again. Fierce humor offended Irish patriots. “Playboy riots” at the Abbey Theatre.

Joseph Conrad. British. 1907. Novel. The Secret Agent. Persuades brother-in-law to blow up observatory. Blows himself up by accident. Wife kills agent, commits suicide. Anarchists.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1907: Cautionary Tales to The Longest Journey

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Hilaire Belloc. British. 1907. Poetry. Cautionary Tales. Mock-heroic verses about fearful fates of children who chew string, tell lies, bang doors, etc.

James Joyce. Irish. 1907. Poetry. Chamber Music. Love poems. Influence of Elizabethan poets and Yeats.

Henry Adams. American. 1907. Autobiography. The Education of Henry Adams. Uses himself as a model of modern man searching for coherence in a fragmented universe.

O. Henry. American. 1907. Story. “The Last Leaf.” Sick woman decides to live until the last leaf drops off wall of building she can see from her sickbed. It never drops. It was painted on the wall by a friendly artist. She recovers.

E.M. Forster. British. 1907. Novel. The Longest Journey. Notable for picture of intellectual and social life of Cambridge students.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1906: Forsyte Saga to The Jungle

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

John Galsworthy. British. 1906. Novels. The Forsyte Saga. Large upper-middle-class London family of conventional materialistic businessmen. Marital issues.

O. Henry. American. 1906. Stories. The four Million. 25 short stories. Rebuttal to New York high society’s “Four Hundred.”

O. Henry. American. 1906. Story. “The Gift of the Magi.” He sells watch to buy her combs; she has hair cut off to buy him a watch fob.

Upton Sinclair. American. 1906. Novel. The Jungle. Grim account of life in the Chicago stockyards.

Monday, January 11, 2010

1905: Girl of the Golden West to White Fang.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

David Belasco. American. 1905. Play. The girl of the Golden West. Heroine is a courageous saloonkeeper in Western mining camp who falls in love with an outlaw.

Edith Wharton. American. 1905. Novel. The House of Mirth. Intent is to satirize weaknesses of New York society. Lily Bart tries to climb the social ladder.

H.G. Wells. British. 1905. Novel. Kipps. Draper’s apprentice, suddenly wealthy, learns that he cannot live in high society.

George Bernard Shaw. British. 1905. Play. Major Barbara. Major in Salvation Army refuses to accept money from her millionaire father, owner of an armament company, and resigns. Learns that poverty, not sin, breeds crime.

Baroness Orczy. British. 1905. Novel. The Scarlet Pimpernel. Adventure story of the French Revolution. Fop is really the savior of condemned French aristocrats.

E.M. Forster. British. 1905. Novel. Where Angels Fear to Tread. Set in Italy. Effect of the land and culture on insular British personalities.

Jack London. American. 1905. Novel. White Fang. Reversion of tame dog to the wild. Brutally beaten by first owner who wants a ferocious dog. Rescued by mining engineer who domesticates him. Wounded while defending master’s family against an escaped convict.

Friday, January 8, 2010

1904: Nostromo to Jean Christophe

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Joseph Conrad. British. 1904. Novel. Nostromo. Silver is the center of the novel; corrupts, destroys; reveals strengths, weaknesses of characters and ruling passions. “Incorruptible” Nostromo is corruptible.

Jack London. American. 1904. Novel. The Sea Wolf. Ruthless ship captain dominates and thwarts literary critic and poet who are in his power. Shipwreck. Deserted islands. Indomitable, angry, blind, paralyzed Wolf Larsen.

Romain Rolland. French. 1904/12. Ten Novels. Jean Christophe. Musician travels through France and Germany, observing and criticizing contemporary civilization.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1904: The Cherry Orchard to Mont-Saint-Michel....

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Anton Chekhov. Russian. 1904. Play. The Cherry Orchard. Landowning family about to lose estate and beloved cherry orchard. They fail to see life realistically.

Henry James. American/British. 1904. Novel. The Golden Bowl. Daughter marries prince. Friend marries father. Friend had had affair with prince.

William Henry Hudson. British. 1904. Romance. Green Mansions. Romance of South American tropics. Jungle girl becomes human, but killed by savages.

George Bernard Shaw. British. 1904. Play. John Bull’s Other Island. i.e., Ireland. Two men represent England and Ireland. In the end, roles reversed.

Henry Adams. American. 1904. Nonfiction. Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres. Western man was unified by faith in the 13th century, a coherent world view.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

1903: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to The Way of All Flesh

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Kate Douglas Wiggin. American. 1903. Children’s Story. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Goes to live with maiden aunts, one of whom is a trial.

Gerhart Hauptmann. German. 1903. Play. Rose Bernd. Has child outside of wedlock. Murders it. Everyone who has used her, deserts her.

Thomas Mann. German. 1903. Novel. Tonio Kroger. Artist wants to be normal; realizes he can’t be and that this conflict is the source of his art.

Joseph Conrad. British. 1903. Novel. Typhoon. Stolid sea captain rides out tempest, brings crew and cargo to safety.

Samuel Butler. British. 1903. Novel. The Way of All Flesh. Father is pious bully of a clergyman. Mother is docile, sanctimonious. Neither is a sympathetic character or lovable. Theme: relations between parents and children. Satirical criticism of middle-class English family life. Finally devotes his life to literature and wins self-respect and genuine success.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

1903: The Ambassadors to Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Henry James. American/British. 1903. Novel. The Ambassadors. Strether refuses to take Chad back to America from Paris because, “Live all you can: it’s a mistake not to.”

Jack London. American. 1903. Novel. The Call of the Wild. Dog adapts in Klondike to survive.

George Bernard Shaw. British. 1903. Play. Candida. Marriage. Man’s strength rests wholly on his wife.

Frank Norris. American. 1903. Novel. The Pit. Attempt to corner the Chicago wheat market in the “pit” of the stock exchange.

George Gissing. British. 1903. Novel. The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft. Diary divided into spring, summer, autumn, winter. Reflections on human condition.

Monday, January 4, 2010

1902: Peter "Youth."

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

JM Barrie. British. 1902. Fantasy. Peter Pan …Or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.

Euclides da Cunha. Brazilian. 1902. Novel? Rebellion in the Badlands. Chief classic of Brazilian literature. “Bible” of Brazilian nationality. Defies classification: treatise and novel. Rebels against central government. Description of hinterland: drought-ridden, backward, poverty-stricken inhabitants.

Owen Wister. American. 1902. Novel. The Virginian. Cowboy life in Wyoming, prototype of the modern western. “When you call me that, smile!” First walkdown in American literature.

Henry James. American/British. 1902. Novel. The Wings of the Dove. Woman urges her lover to become interested in a dying female friend who falls in love with him. Her goal in encouraging this friendship with her dying friend was to inherit her money. She leaves him the money. He refuses to accept it and the relationship of the original lovers ends.

Joseph Conrad. British. 1902. Story. “Youth.” From mature memory, looks back on first dangerous voyage; on youthful emotion and illusion.