20TH CENTURY LITERATURE

Key World Events:

       World War I (1914)

       World war II (1939)

       Persian Gulf war (1991)

       Maastricht Treaty (1991)

British Events:

       Pioneered commercial aviation (1924)

       Pioneered television (1936)

       Gave up colonies of India and Pakistan (1947)

       Ireland becomes independent (1949)

       Britain suffered economically

***Britain is no longer a world empire, but is still prominent in world affairs.

Literature:

I.  Modernism (early 1900s)

       New forms and styles

       Images and symbols

       Indirect evocative work

       Presented experiences in fragments rather than as a whole to show reality

       Psychological realism (Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad)

       James Joyce one of most famous; known for stream of consciousness writing

 

II.  The Auden Generation (1930s & 1940s)

       Named for poet W.H. Auden

       Increasing concern for political and social issues

       Subtle symbolism and imagery

       Romanticism re-emerges

       Thought-provoking meditation amidst suffering (war-related)

       Paint frightening pictures of the future based on the present

       Female authors increase (Nadine Gordimer; Elizabeth Bowen)

III.  The Movement (1950s and 1960s)

       Tried to capture everyday experiences in common language

       Abandoned flagrant symbolism

       Post-war peacefulness and serenity

       Optimism for a brighter, more secure future

IV.  Contemporary (1970s-1990s)

       Visionaries

       Intensity in writing

       Rich language and imagery

       Science fiction

       Incorporate technological advancements