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American Literature Test 3

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No Burst of Literary Energy after…
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WWII
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Begininning of historical barbarisms that would graduallly change literature…
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WWII
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WWII was
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1939-1945
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The atomic bomb was detonated over Hiroshima on…
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August 6, 1945
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A new reality so unimaginable that words like ‘crisis’ and ‘alienation’ seem inadequate understatements to the…
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Postwar Era
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Cold War Era- Soviet Communism took…
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1) Hungary 2) Romania 3) Poland 4) Czechoslovakia 5) and East Germany between 1947 and 1949
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Cold War Era
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decades of build up of nuclear weapons between the United States and Soviet Union.
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Historical Influences-
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Development of Atomic Bomb
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Continuing inflation underscored…
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American Poverty
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Automation urbanized…
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landscape
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Civil Rights Movement of…
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1950s and 1960s
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Cuban Missile Crisis of…
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1962
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Assassination of JFK in…
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November 1963
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Assassination of JFK’s brother Bobby in…
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1968
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Assassination of MLK in…
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1968
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Korean War
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1950-1953
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Vietnam War
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1964-1973
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Violence in ghettos after….. and ……. laws passed.
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1) Civil Rights 2) Voting Rights
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Increased violence in…
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inner cities
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Resignation of Richard Nixon
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1974
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Postwar fiction was more than ever characterized by…
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feelings of doom.
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Postwar fiction has a view of the world as…
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violent, vulgar, and spiritually empty.
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Postwar Fiction had a loss of faith in…
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life itself.
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Postwar Ficiton had a cynacism about…
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human values.
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Postwar fiction characters fail to achieve…
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personal identity.
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Postwar fiction- Indiviuality dwarfed by massive power of…
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nonhuman things.
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Postwar fiction scarred…
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humanity.
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Reflection of themes and methods before War.
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Unconventional Literary appearances -No punctuation -Endless sentences -Obscure phrasing
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Literary modernism continued to be pervasive…
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(began after WWI as writers felt need to break with past, to find new ways of saying)
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Reflection of themes and methods before War…
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-Realistic detachment of author -attention to detail -naturalistic dterminism -fragmentation -psychological problems
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Literary Traditionalism continued…
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combined modernist techniques with traditional American themes.
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American Literature (1945-1960)- Distinct Groups
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1- Southern Writers 2- New York writers
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Southern writers…
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-Faulkner -Katherine Anne Porter – Eudora Welty
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Some displayed absorbtion in the…
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-grotesque -fascination with the extreme and perverse incongruitues of character and scene -cultivation of verbal effects — Flannery O’Connor, Pete Taylor, Walker Percy
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New York Writers
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– Bernard Malamud – Delmore Schwartz
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New york writers- Host of critics who contirbuted to…
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major periodicals that reviewed literature.
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1950s- Writers often focused on tranquilized US that didn’t recognize problems as majority of Americans were…
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– employed – paid better – using household labor saving devices — extremity increased over decade
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J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye
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1951 — protagonist exposes phoniness of society
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Ellison’s Invisible Man
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1952
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knew thier region thoroughly and conveyed its surface with the skill of a trained photographer; shimmering beneath that surface, however, there are almost always the deeper waters where objective reality merges with symbol and myth.
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Eudora Welty
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“It seems plain that the art that speaks most clearly, explicitly, directly, and passionately from its place of origin will remain the longest understood.
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Eudora Welty
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not a protest writer or an advocate of causes, and like him, though never so spectacularly she was always an experimenter in the modes of fictional presentation.
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Eudora Welty
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a retrospective collection establishes a mastery of delicate renderings of family tensions and individual spiritual crises that has seldom been surpassed.
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John Cheever
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writing was always so close to his experience that is tempting to view it as thinly disguised autobiography. Aware of this, he was careful to remind readers of the unfathomable depths of art. “It seems to me,” he said, “that any confusion between autobiography and fiction debases fiction. The role autobiography plays in fiction is precisely the role that reality plays in a dream. As you dream your ship, you perhaps know the boat, but you’re going towards a coast that is quire strange; you’re wearing strange clothes, the language that is being spoken around you is a language you don’t understand, but the woman on your left is your wife. It seems to me that this is not capricious but quire mysterious union of fact and imagination one also finds in fiction?
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John Cheever
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novel Invisible Man (1952) was the most distinguished work of fiction to appear in the post World War II period. That poll may be taken as a tribute not only to the power of the novel but to the continuing literary reputation of a man who in the intervening years had published only one other volume, a collection of essays called Shadow and Act… …(H)e was a a slow, painstaking author, who, after some success with short stories in his twenties, directed his attention to the completion of Invisible Man, which was published when he was thirty-eight.
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Ralph Ellison
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The effect of Invisible Man is due in large measure to the successful amalgamation of so many diverse elements in its structure. It is a folk novel strong in the rhythms of jazz and blues, powerful in its projection of the dual consciousness of the American black. It is also highly literary, and literate, novel, its epigraphs taken from Melville and T.S. Eliot, its prose polished, its episodes constructed with a care reminiscent of the practice of the greatest American and English novelists. Although the accomplishment is difficult to represent by a selection, something of the flavor of the book may be seen in the first chapter, which was originally published separately as a short story.
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Ralph Ellison
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lived the first thirteen years of her life in costal Savannah, Georgia, her birthplace, but the family’s move inland to a farm in Milledgeville gave the writer both her emotional and fictional home.
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Flannery O’Connor
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Diagnosed as suffering from disseminated lupus in December 1950, O’Connor returned to her mother’s farm, where she lived out the rest of her life, dying of lupus at the age of thirty-nine.
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Flannery O’Connor
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Her family had been Roman Catholic on both sides for several generations, and when her health permitted, she was a daily communicant. Her writing is filled with the themes and symbols of Christianity, and she explained her use of grotesque characters and situations as a technique for making her spiritual “vision apparent by shock – to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.”
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Flannery O’Connor
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serious about her craft, genuinely concerned with the enigmatic, subconscious levels of human experience. For her the role of the fiction writer was to “present mystery through manners, grace through nature, but when he finishes, there always has to be left over that sense of Mystery which cannot be accounted for by any human formula.”
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Flannery O’Connor
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continually aware as he writes of the nature of fiction as artifice; his works abound with reminders of their imagined and therefore artificial reality.
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John Barth
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comic vision and verbal fecundity, which together push his works at times beyond the edges of farce and tedium, make linear plots and traditionally realistic modes of presentation increasingly irrelevant to him. “I admire writers who can make complicated things simple,” he has said, “but my own talent has been to make simple things complicated”
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John Barth
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Updike has been able to achieve a versatility that ranges from practice absurdity to irony sharpened and refined by acute observation. A writer who has an accurate eye for the small wonders of the commonplace, Updike has a gift for using banal phrases of domestic joy and discord to give dimension to familial situations, which he seems to absorb from the storms and brief moments of quiet modern life.
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John Updike
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Wrote Rabbit, Run
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John Updike
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“Actuality is a running impoverishment of possibility” runs a sentence from the short story “The Bulgarian Poetess.”
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John Updike
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Time’s tyranny, as theme, is the focal point for most of thier work.
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John Updike
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Mos of thier fiction has been carefully wrought from his experience and observation.
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John Updike
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1950’s- Most publicized disastisfaction made by “beat” writers.
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-Read accompanied by jazz; often influenced by beer and drugs -In favor of spontaniety and against constricting forces —Comic touches of thier work prove most endeering – In search of exotic physical appearance and spiritual enlightenment.
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1. Postmodern sensibility in American literature associated heavily with decade; national dilemmas rendered writers unable to deal with world in realistic modes of portrayal
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1960’s
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1960s- Denial of order, fragmented universes
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1.)Unrealistic and surrealistic works result 2.)”Black” comedy or “novel of the absurd” a.)Heroes in socially outrageous situations (often antihero); authors use elements of shock and cruelty to make audience see awful, ugly, and “sick”
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Postmodernists insist that words and texts have no stable meanings…
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driven by sense of uncertain relationships in the world
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Narrative strategies devised to undermine reader’s traditional expectations of …
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order, coherence, and mimetic reflexivity
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Pluralism has become more prevalent since WWII–many points of view that show the existence of distinctive groups
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1.Females 2.African Americans 3.Hispanics 4.Native Americans 5.Creoles and Cajuns 6.Masses of immigrants
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Multiculturalism once marginalized, now part of mainstream
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Rule of exclusion has ceased to operate, regularly allowing non-white males into the canon of American literature