Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1935: Studs Lonigan to Winterset

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

James T Farrell. American. 1935. Novels. Studs Lonigan. Boyhood, adolescence, early manhood, and death of Studs Lonigan. Influences of social, economic environment lead to life of futile desperation. Recognizes, but is unable to escape constraints of environment. Monotony and crudity of thought processes, language of the streets, sordid sexual adventures. Depicting U.S. between 1912 and the 1930s. Concludes with death scene against background of family lamentations and quarrels and Catholic prayers for the dead.

Jean Giraudoux. French. 1935. Play. Tiger at the Gates. Troy. Hector tries to persuade everyone that war should not take place. Not he but warmonger’s lie actually precipitates the war.

John Steinbeck. American. 1935. Novel. Tortilla Flat. Contrasts complexities of modern civilization with the simpler life of Danny and his friends.

Clifford Odets. American. 1935. Play. Waiting for Lefty. Taxi drivers’ strike, news that popular committeeman’s been murdered rouses the union to decisive action.

Maxwell Anderson. American. 1935. Poetic Drama. Winterset. Son of Italian radical who was executed for murder he did not commit. Son seeks revenge, falls in love with the sister of one of the criminals, and disavows revenge. Criminals kill them both. Based on the Sacco-Vanzetti case.

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