Wednesday, June 30, 2010

1940: For Whom the Bell Tolls to Strangers and Brothers

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Ernest Hemingway. American. 1940. Novel. For Whom the Bell Tolls. Spanish Civil War. Politics of guerrillas. Idealistic American professor. Loves, blows bridge, left to die.

William Faulkner. American. 1940. Novel. The Hamlet. Trilogy. Fifty years in time. Snopes family. Narrated by characters observing, not participating in the action.

Christina Stead. British. 1940. Novel. The Man Who Loved Children. Archetype of the American male: good-natured, always kidding, naively optimistic, egotistical.

Richard Wright. American. 1940. Novel. Native Son. Product of Chicago slums victimized because of race. Commits murder. Condemned to death.

Thomas Wolfe. American. 1940. Novel. You Can’t Go Home Again. Sequel to The Web and the Rock. Revisits hometown, is disillusioned by what he sees.

CP Snow. British. 1940/70. Novels. Strangers and Brothers. Narrator is a lawyer and a government administrator whose development parallels the author. Deals with power struggles; conflicts between conscience and public life.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

1939: The Time of Your Life to The Web and the Rock

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

William Saroyan. American. 1939. Play. The Time of Your Life. Waterfront Saloon. Theme: Need to make the most of life. Compassionate to weak; oppose enemies of life; lovable eccentrics.

Jean-Paul Sartre. French. 1939. Stories. The Wall. Title story: Awaiting execution, is promised release if he tells where leader is hiding. Lies. Unfortunately, the leader has moved to that spot and is captured.

Thomas Wolfe. American. 1939. Novel. The Web and the Rock. Entranced, then disillusioned by New York City, escapes to Europe to older culture. Seeks stability he could not find in the American city.”

Monday, June 28, 2010

1939: Old Mortalityto Purgatory

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Katherine Anne Porter. American. 1939. Novel. Old Mortality. Child learns that revered aunt was a totally self-centered woman to whose whims several other people had been sacrificed.

Katherine Anne Porter. American. 1939. Three Short Novels. Pale Horse, Pale Rider. One of them deals with a love affair during the flu epidemic of WWI. Like all of her stories, suggestive of more than it says.

Philip Barry. American. 1939. Play. The Philadelphia Story. Tracy Lord remarries her first husband after she proves to have flaws as well as he.

William Butler Yeats. Irish. 1939. Verse Drama. Purgatory. Purgatory is a spirit obsessed by remorse or other emotions. Constantly relives the crises of its life.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

1939: The Little Foxes to No Time for Comedy

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Lillian Hellman. American. 1939. Play. The Little Foxes. Depicts unfavorably the rise of industrialism in the South; new breed of Southerners, rapacious, ruthless.

Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. American. 1939. Play. The Man Who Came to Dinner. Burlesque of Alexander Woolcott; Midwest; immobilized, he meddles and insults everyone.

Bertolt Brecht. German. 1939. Play. Mother Courage and Her Children. Utter horror and loss experienced by people who survived the Thirty Years’ War.

SN Behrman. American. 1939. Play. No Time for Comedy. Playwright who wants to be a serious writer, but can only write comedy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

1939: How Green Was My Valley to Knight's Gambit

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Richard Llewellyn. Welsh. 1939. Novel. How Green Was My Valley. Story of a Welsh mining family. Lyrical.

Eugene O’Neill. American. 1939. Play. The Iceman Cometh. Existence derives meaning from fantasies and pipe dreams we use to conceal realities.

Dalton Trumbo. American. 1939. Novel. Johnny Got His gun. Antiwar novel. Armless, legless, faceless, deaf veteran of WWI.

William Faulkner. American. 1939. Stories. Knight’s Gambit. Detective stories. Monk: idiot imprisoned for murder he did not commit, but incited to kill warden.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

1939: The Family Reunion to The Grapes of Wrath

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

T.S. Eliot. American/British. 1939. Play. The Family Reunion. Family curse and disintegration.

James Joyce. Irish. 1939. Novel. Finnegans Wake. Language, allusions, rich connotations; relates obscure story to whole experience of mankind.

Bertolt Brecht. German. 1939. Play. The Good Woman of Setzuan. Only good person the gods are able to find is a prostitute Good person must be bad in order to survive.

John Steinbeck. American. 1939. Novel. The Grapes of Wrath. “Okie” families forced from homes in Oklahoma dust bowl, drive to California, harassed, beaten, unbowed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

1939: Abraham Lincoln: the War Years to The Day of the Locust

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Carl Sandburg. American. 1939. Biography. Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. For Sandburg, Lincoln was the archetypal American. Won Pulitzer Prize.

Aldous Huxley. British. 1939. Novel. After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. Discovers English earl who has used a rejuvenating system; he’s 200 years old and a filthy ape. Reverse evolution.

Thomas Mann. German. 1939. Novel. The Beloved Returns. Goethe’s youthful love returns to Weimar and encounters the old, established Goethe.

Nathanael West. American. 1939. Novel. The Day of the Locust. Hollywood. Appalling misfits living lives of monotony and boredom.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

1938: "The Short Happy Life of Frances Macomber" to The Yearling.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Ernest Hemingway. American. 1938. Story. “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” Coward tries to prove his courage to his contemptuous wife who shoots him accidentally.

John Dos Passos. American. 1938. Novels. U.S.A. Panoramic picture of life in the U.S. from just before WWI through the first five years of the Great Depression. Tone is bitter. Victors are unscrupulous opportunists; heroes: few among radicals who preserve their integrity.

William Faulkner. American. 1938. Stories. The Unvanquished. Interlocking stories. Sartoris family. Adventures of Bayard Sartoris and his black companion, Ringo.

Marjoire Kinnon Rawlings. American. 1938. Novel. The Yearling. Set in the scrub country of northern Florida. One year in the lives of a backwoods family. Boy adopts orphaned deer, finds love and companionship he craves. Fawn begins to eat the family corn. Father orders his son to shoot it. Boy achieves more mature relationship with his parents.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

1938: The Life of Galileo to The Private Life of the Master Race

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Bertolt Brecht. German. 1938. Play. The Life of Galileo. 15 episodes. Galileo as self-serving, unheroic, willing to compromise principles in the face of pressure. Galileo’s recantation and complex motivation for doing so.

Jean-Paul Sartre. French. 1938. Novel. Nausea. People can’t help existing, but no reason for existing; absurdity of human life. With no reason to live, he is free, despite loneliness of freedom. Only escape from oppressiveness of existence is creation. Resolves to write a book.

Nikos Kazantzakis. Greek. 1938. Poetry. The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel. The continued adventures of Odysseus representing modern man’s hopes and travails.

Thornton Wilder. American. 1938. Play. Our Town. Daily life, love and marriage and death in a typical turn-of-century New England town.

Bertolt Brecht. German. 1938. Play. The Private Life of the Master Race. Collection of 24 dramatic scenes, each revealing Hitler’s atrocities from 1933-1938.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

1938: "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" to The Herne's Egg

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Ernest Hemingway. American. 1938. Story. “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” Writer on safari hopes to rejuvenate himself; suffers gangrene, reviews his life and dies. Just before dying, sees the legendary gigantic frozen leopard on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Robert E. Sherwood. American. 1938. Play. Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Life of Lincoln up the election. Dialogue contains selections from Lincoln’s own writings.

Elizabeth Bowen. British/Irish. 1938. Novel. The Death of the Heart. Idealistic girl learns to accept the world as it is.

William Butler Yeats. Irish. 1938. Verse Drama. The Herne’s Egg. Symbolism of Yeats’s occult system. Two warring Irish kings, theft of eggs, curse, and death.

Monday, June 14, 2010

1937: The Late George Apley.... to To Have and Have Not

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

John P. Marquand. American. 1937. Novel. The Late George Apley: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir. Narrator satirizes himself as he recounts the life of the deceased George Apley, conventional Bostonian.

Katherine Anne Porter. American. 1937. Novel. Noon Wine. Ineffectual farmer kills disagreeable stranger; acquitted; commits suicide anyhow.

John Steinbeck. American. 1937. Novel. Of Mice and Men. Friendship of two migrant workers in California who have a dream.

Ernest Hemingway. American. 1937. Novel. To Have and Have Not. Tries to make a living by operating a boat for fishing parties. In the Depression, smuggles Chinese immigrants and illegal liquor. Shot assisting bank robbers to escape. “One man alone ain’t got…no chance.”

Thursday, June 10, 2010

1937: Bread and Wine to How to Win Friends....

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Ignazio Silone. Italian. 1937. Novel. Bread and Wine. Realizes the effects of Fascism in Italy. Flees to avoid arrest.

Stephen Vincent BenĂ©t. American. 1937. Story. “The Devil and Daniel Webster.” Jabez Stone saved from paying debt to the devil by Daniel Webster’s oratorical brilliance.

Evelyn Waugh. British. 1937. Novel. A Handful of Dust. Satirical treatment of upper-class English society.

Dale Carnegie. American. 1937. Nonfiction How to Win Friends and Influence People. Catch phrase for success-oriented, self-improvement type of book.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

1936: Gone with the Wind to You Can't Take It with You

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Margaret Mitchell. American. 1936. Novel. Gone with the Wind. From the Southern point of view; the tumult and suffering of the years of the Civil War and reconstruction.

John Steinbeck. American. 1936. Novel. In Dubious Battle. Labor organization among the migrant fruit-pickers in California.

George Santayana. American. 1936. Novel. The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel. Oliver Alden, descendant of an old, wealthy New England family, out of place in the 20th century.

Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. American. 1936. Play. You Can’t Take It With You. Bizarre but happy family’s behavior embarrasses its one conventional member. Make fireworks in the cellar, write plays, practice ballet.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

1936: The Children's Hour to A Further Range

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Lillian Hellman. American. 1936. Play. The Children’s Hour. Psychologically devastating effects when two boarding school teachers are accused of lesbianism.

George Bernanos. French. 1936. Novel. The Diary of a Country Priest. Saintly priest in failing health and his greedy, ungrateful parish. Dies a failure.

Walter D Edmonds. American. 1936. Novel. Drums Along the Mohawk. British and the Indians vs. supporters of the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley.

Robert Frost. American. 1936. Poetry. A Further Range. Collection. Poet’s concern with contemporary political developments.