Wednesday, March 24, 2010

1925: The Pot of Earth to A Vision

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Archibald MacLeish. American. 1925. Poetry. The Pot of Earth. Description of an ancient fertility rite.

Mary Webb. British. 1925. Novel. Precious Bane. Harsh farming life. Fierce, morose country people. Narrator (she) marries despite harelip.

Robinson Jeffers. American. 1925. Poetry. Roan Stallion, Tamar, and Other Poems. Religious feeling for the beauty of the red stallion which tramples her brutal husband to death. She shoots the stallion “out of some obscure human fidelity.”

Hugo Von Hofmannstahl. German. 1925. Poetic drama. The Tower. Adapted from Calderon’s Life Is a Dream, with changes.

Franz Kafka. German. 1925. Novel. The Trial. Confrontation of an individual and a baffling bureaucracy. Accused by mysterious legal authority of an unnamed crime about which he knows nothing. Fruitless attempts to gain justice from authority with which he cannot effectively communicate. Utter frustration, complete loss of human dignity, and cruel death by stabbing. Novel lends itself to innumerable allegorical interpretations.

William Butler Yeats. Irish. 1925. Book. A Vision. History is cyclical and recurrent for the individual and mankind, in a gyre or corkscrew pattern; all human personality types have their opposite and antithetical selves or masks. Complete man should assimilate the characteristics of his mask. Supposedly dictated by spirits in automatic writing recorded by his medium wife.

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