am studies4

Category: Education

Presentation Description

No description available.


Presentation Transcript

Camelia Elias: 

Camelia Elias American Studies

Post civil-war writing: 

Post civil-war writing subjectivity of the spirit vs subjectivity of reality the focus was on describing ‘life as it is’ the dictum was: ‘write of what you know’

American realism: 

American realism Several forms of expression: regionalism popular humor (Mark Twain) the extravagant tall tale and mockery of hypocrisy (Ambrose Bierce: The Devil’s Dictionary, 1906)

Twain (1835 – 1910) & Bierce (1842 – 1914?) : 

Twain (1835 – 1910) & Bierce (1842 – 1914?) An Englishman is a person who does things because they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven't been done before. Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more. Bore  A person who talks when you wish him to listen. Cannon  An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries. Cat  A soft indestructible automaton provided by Nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle. Christian  One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin (Devil’s Dictionary)

Realism & aesthetic awareness: 

Realism & aesthetic awareness link between the local, the national, and the universal, OR seek aesthetic complexity to discover the nature of a serious realism realism of presentation: a fidelity to the commonsense material world realism of judgment: commonsense morality (Howells)


context away from the pastoral into technology determinism Darwinism

characteristics of American comedy: 

characteristics of American comedy innocence becomes a form of realism mockery of values and conventions in the East mockery of old Europe (Twain) focus on vernacular language through the farce, the burlesque, satire and dark irony comedy’s doubt about the sureness of human identity mockery of the deceit of social institutions and its pleasure in imposture and anarchy


strategies angle of simplicity native amazement mockery (yet ready to be charmed by pretensions, rank, manners, and status) ‘photographic’ writing: focus on small groups, happy scenes, rural society, street life

End of the Genteel Tradition: 

End of the Genteel Tradition women, mansions, and manners are replaced by a new individualist drive, which is male oriented Calvinism and transcendentalism are replaced by a new kind of pragmatism

The new man is Henry Ford 1863-1947): 

The new man is Henry Ford 1863-1947) "If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right." "You can paint it any color, so long as it's black." "The only history worth a tinker's damn is the history we make today"

the progressive era (1890-1920): 

the progressive era (1890-1920) muckraking literature investigating and exposing issues of corruption political corruption corporate crime child labor conditions in slums and prisons unsanitary conditions in food processing plants (such as meat) fraudulent claims by manufacturers of patent medicines labor racketeering, and similar topics.


naturalism relies on objective observations of so called ‘scientific reality’ naturalism vs. realism realism seeks to describe subjects as they really are naturalism attempts to determine "scientifically" the underlying forces (i.e. the environment or heredity) influencing these subjects' actions.

Henry James 1843 - 1916: 

Henry James 1843 - 1916 novelist and critic, b. New York City. master of the psychological novel innovator in technique one of the most distinctive prose stylists in English

Henry James: 

Henry James the first American novelist to bring his work into the mainstream of world literature the most outstanding American novelist and stylist ranked as having the same caliber as Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Faulkner. had a prodigious lifetime of writing.

writing career: 

extended from the late 1860s to the first two decades of the 20th century made the American novel something more than the product of an American made the novel an art form, a work as sophisticated as the well-written poem, his works rank with the outstanding writers not only of America, but also of Europe writing career


influences the son of Henry James, Sr., a Swedenborgian theologian, and the brother of William James, the philosopher. educated privately by tutors in Europe and the United States, he entered Harvard law school in 1862


1860s James wrote critical articles and reviews for the Atlantic Monthly was encouraged by William Dean Howells and other members of the Cambridge literary circle several of his novels later appeared in serial form in this periodical James's decision on writing as his profession was not an idealistic, romantic outburst, but a reasoned and mature commitment to writing as a career.


Expatriation in 1869 James went to Europe although he returned to America on several occasions, from that year on James was a resident of the European continent Europe signified a place where the artist could give himself the proper perspective from which he could continue with his craft

Expatriation 2: 

Expatriation 2 lived for the most part in London, but he spent some time in Paris, Rome, and other European cities devoted himself to literature and travel assumes the role of detached spectator and analyst of life became a British subject (1915) in protest of American neutrality during that time of the First World War. died in February, 1916

James's Criticism On The Novel: 

James's Criticism On The Novel "The Art of Fiction." (September, 1884) one of the most important studies on the art of fiction claim: the novel can be looked upon as a serious work of art

James's Criticism On The Novel 2: 

James's Criticism On The Novel 2 “The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life.” “A novel is history” “The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel . . . is that it be interesting”

James's Criticism On The Novel 3: 

James's Criticism On The Novel 3 “A novel is in its broadest definition a personal, a direct impression of life: that, to begin with, constitutes its value, which is greater or less according to the intensity of the impression” a novel cannot be written without a deep sense of reality, but the reality must come from an awareness of the extent of experience

James's Criticism On The Novel 4: 

James's Criticism On The Novel 4 "Experience is never limited . . . ; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of the consciousness, and catching every airborne particle in its tissue."

James's Criticism On The Novel 5: 

James's Criticism On The Novel 5 the novel is a “living thing” the novel is organic there can be no distinction between character and incident. These are complements of each other

James's Criticism On The Novel 6: 

James's Criticism On The Novel 6 "We must grant the artist his subject, his idea, his donnee: our criticism is applied only to what he makes of it."

literary achievements: 

literary achievements refined the technique of narrating a novel from the point of view of a character thus laying the foundations of modern stream of consciousness fiction the series of critical prefaces he wrote for the reissue of his novels (beginning in 1907) won him a reputation as a superb technician

stream of consciousness: 

stream of consciousness a technique that records the multifarious thoughts and feelings of a character without regard to logical argument or narrative sequence the writer attempts by the stream of consciousness to reflect all the forces, external and internal, influencing the psychology of a character at a single moment

Portrait of a Lady: 

Portrait of a Lady Themes international/cosmopolitan theme the theme of the artist in conflict with society the theme of the pilgrim in search of society the vehicle for all these themes is the figure of the innocent

the innocents: 

the innocents candid, and human have strength and respond with deep conviction when they see their ideals corrupted are almost always intelligent, and they naturally, without affectation, understand good and evil, right and wrong the sophisticated ones prey on these innocents, because they substitute experience in the world for natural decency however, the successes of the experienced are hollow the strong figures are the natural, good ones


context marriage laws property laws linked to the theme of confinement (which has psychological implications)

Souls Belated: 

Souls Belated Edith Wharton (1862-1937) best known for her stories and novels about the upper-class society into which she was born.


narration Narrator: intrusive, 3rd person Narrative voice: summarizes, raises issues Narrative techniques: several points of view Plot: little intrigue, focus on interaction and emotion Implied author: assessing the characters, non-judgmental


setting Abroad, yet in enclosure train, hotel rural area (Paris)


characterization character types Lydia: female protagonist Gannett ‘The Lintons’: a parallel to ‘the Gannetts’ Functional characters: society’s representatives


relations love and marriage gender differences class related matters


roles cheating / lying maintaining order and norms

thematics (surface of text): 

thematics (surface of text) traps enclosures ‘belatedness’

themes (deep structures): 

themes (deep structures) freedom individuality norms morality


genre psychological short story literature of manners


contexts naturalism/realism modernism (partially negated) early feminism social constraints

authorStream Live Help