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Chapter 11 The Writers of the “ Lost Generation ”. From An Outline of American Literature by Peter B. High. The “ Lost Generation ” (post WWI). F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) This Side of Paradise (1920) 1. Fitzgerald ’ s first novel (p.143)

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chapter 11 the writers of the lost generation

Chapter 11 The Writers of the “Lost Generation”

From An Outline of American Literature by Peter B. High

the lost generation post wwi
The “Lost Generation” (post WWI)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
  • This Side of Paradise (1920)

1. Fitzgerald’s first novel (p.143)

2. this generation “grew up to find all gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken.”

3. two concerns: fear of poverty and worship of success

f scott fitzgerald 1896 1940
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
  • Flappers and Philosophers (1920) and Tales of the Jazz Age (1922)

1. collections of his best short stories (p.144)

2. “flapper”– modern young ladies of that period who smoked, drank whisky, and lived dangerously free lives

3. “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz”

f scott fitzgerald 1896 19405
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
  • The Great Gatsby (1925)

1. the greatest 20th century novel

2. belief in the absolute power and natural goodness of money

3. Gatsby, a tragic figure, symbolizes the American belief that money can buy love and happiness

4. Believes he can change the material world into the ideal world of his fantasy

5. heroic in his continuous belief of hope and dream

f scott fitzgerald 1896 19406
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
  • “Babylon Revisited” (1931) – describing the Lost Generation after its moral and economic collapse (p.146)
  • Tender is the Night (1934) – Fitzgerald’s experience with his wife’s mental illness
ernest hemingway 1898 1961
Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961)
  • The Sun Also Rises (1926)

1. a portrait of young adults in the post-war era living in Paris (p.146)

2. expatriates, people without a homeland

3. their despair is similar to the despair Eliot’s portrayed in his “Waste Land”

4. Jake Barnes, damaged by the war, physically and spiritually impotent

From: http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/amlit/hemingway/hem3.html

ernest hemingway 1898 196110
Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961)

New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1930.Original black cloth with red paper labels lettered in black on spine and upper cover. White pictorial dust-jacket printed in red, green, and purple by "S “

ernest hemingway 1898 196111
Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961)
  • The Sun Also RisesNew York, The Modern Library, 1930.Original blue cloth, spine & upper cover stamped in gold. In red and white pictorial dust-jacket, lettered in black
ernest hemingway 1898 196112
Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961)

5. other characters deal with their symbolic impotence (p.147)

6. How to live in the emptiness of the world? How to fight against the Nada of the world? (nada = nothingness in Spanish, the loss of hope or the inability to become active in the real world)

7. simple style and careful structure, “to get the most out of the least”

8. the language is rarely emotional but it controls emotions, to suggest a kind of stoicism (means patience and courage when suffering), the main theme in his stories

slide13
The Sun Also Rises.New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. First edition, original cloth in dust-jacket.
  • Hemingway's novel was published on October 22, 1926. Reviewers noted the "masterly cunning" of his technique and welcomed his apparent conversion from the aestheticism of (James) Joyce and (Getrude) Stein. Among the book's critics was his Paris friend John Dos Passos, who complained in the Communist magazine New Masses that, "instead of being the epic of the sun also rising on a lost generation," Hemingway's novel was "a cock-and-bull story about a whole lot of tourists getting drunk." The book's success with New York critics and readers gave Hemingway new opportunities for placing his short stories in American magazines.
the running of the bulls in pomplona
The Running of the Bulls in Pomplona

"...sound of the rocket exploding that announced the release of the bulls from the corrals at the edge of town. They would race through the streets and out to the bullring. All the balconies were crowded with people. Suddenly a crowd came down the street...They were all running...and then the bulls galloping, tossing the heads up and down."From The Sun Also Rises.

ernest hemingway 1898 196115
Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961)
  • “In Our Time” (1924), “Bit Two-Heated River” (1925), “Men without Women (1927) – p.147

1. mixed psychological realism with symbolism

2. the outer world (nature) is a metaphor for the spiritual world of the character

3. the hero’s actions is carefully described; each action has a symbolic meaning

slide16
In Our Time; Stories.New York: Boni & Liveright, 1925. Original cloth, in dust-jacket.
  • This first New York commercial edition of Hemingway's writings shared its title with the original Paris edition, but intercut Hemingway's original spare paragraphs with more conventional full-length stories from the "Nick" sequence. Hemingway was very disappointed by its initial sales and blamed Liveright for a short print-run, poor publicity, and inadequate distribution.
slide17

"Big-Two Hearted River" Ernest Walsh and Ethel Moorhead, eds., This Quarter 1:1. Paris, May 1925. Original wrappers.With Hemingway's story "Big Two-Hearted River" (pp. 110-28 ) and his "Homage to Ezra" (pp. 221-225).

  • In Our Time; Stories.Paris: Crosby Continental Editions, 1932. Original white wrappers
ernest hemingway 1898 196118
Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961)
  • A Farewell to Arms (1929) – anti-war love story (p.148)

1. use “nature” symbolically

2. mountain symbolizes life and hope; the plan is the image of war and death

  • Receiving Nobel Prize in 1954
a farewell to arms 1929
A Farewell to Arms (1929)
  • "A Farewell to Arms,"Scribner's Magazine, 85, May-October, 1929. Serialization, wrappers bound in.
  • At Key West, in fall 1928, Hemingway finished drafting his Great War novel, A Farewell to Arms. In the year of the 1929 crash, readers were ready to view the War more realistically, and Scribner's bid $16,000 for serialization rights. Not everyone was ready. In Boston, the second (June) magazine installment was banned as obscene.
slide20
A Farewell to Arms.New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929. First edition, first printing. Original cloth, in dust- jacket.
  • Primed by public reaction to the magazine text, the book (published September 27 that same year) became Hemingway's first bestseller, with over 60,000 copies sold by the end of the year. John Dos Passos attributed the sales ("like hot cakes") to its combination "of having a love story and being about the war," but he also recognized it as "a magnificent novel."
slide21
A Farewell to ArmsNew York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1929.Movie tie-in edition with scenes from the Paramount Production with Helen Hayes and Gary Cooper."Hundreds of thousands of readers have agreed that here is one of the world's finest modern love stories...under its cynical surface runs a fine courage and a real nobility"
the old man and the sea
The Old Man and The Sea
  • A fine love existed between the old manand the boy. The old man had not had a good catch in 84 days and the boy was no longer allowed to fish with him. The boy worried about the old man and met his skiff every evening to help him carry his gear back to the old man's shack.
  • Water color painting by Kay Smith
the old man and the sea23
The Old Man and The Sea
  • "They had gone one day and one night with their elbows on a chalk line...forearms straight and hands gripped tight. Each was trying to force the other's handonto the table."...he was not an old man then but Santiago El Champeon...he unleashed his efforts and forced the hand of the negro down and down until it rested on the wood."From Old Man and The Sea
the old man and the sea25
The Old Man and the Sea

The mako shark came first. Built for speed and destruction, it came on relentlessly. Others followed in squardrons and platoons. It was a war of heroism and futility for the old man. Before he came into the harbor he had lost the little he had -- his harpoon, the gaff, his knife, yards of rope...

the old man and the sea26
The Old Man and The Sea
  • Old Man and Skeleton of The Marlin"He knew he was beaten now finally and without remedy...and what beat you, he thought." "Nothing he said aloud. I went out too far."From Old Man and The Sea
john dos passos 1896 1970
John Dos Passos (1896-1970)
  • One Man’s Initiation -- 1917 (1920)

1. the first American novella bout WWI

2. emotional and full of hatred for war

  • Three Soldiers (1921) – p.150

1. less personal and has a broader historical view

2. war like a huge machine that destroys individuals

3. saw the modern world as ugly and dirty

4. believed in the power of art that could save the world

5. show the purposelessness of history

john dos passos 1896 197028
John Dos Passos (1896-1970)
  • Manhattan Transfer (1925)

1. a modernist novel

2. describes the daily lives of a large number of New Yorkers

3. pieces of popular songs mixed with newspaper headlines and phrases from advertisements

4. uses the “montage techniques” of film directors like Griffith and Eisenstein to show the relationship between individuals and large historical events

john dos passos 1896 197029
John Dos Passos (1896-1970)
  • “U.S.A.” Trilogy, The 42nd Parallel, 1919, The Big Money (p.151-52)

1. use movie techniques

2. show individuals are part of the history of the age in which they live in

3. tell the history of the entire nation in the early 20th century

4. not to create a single meaning; rather show the loss of meaning which is the modern condition

william faulkner 1897 1962
William Faulkner (1897-1962)
  • wrote about South
  • Soldier’s Pay (1926) – wounded soldier returns home to the “wasteland” of post-war society

http://www.lib.umich.edu/spec-coll/faulknersite/faulknersite/majornovels/soldier.html

william faulkner soldier s pay new york signet books the new american library 1951
William Faulkner. Soldier's Pay. New York: Signet Books, The New American Library, 1951.
  • Chapter IX in Soldier's Pay begins with the sentences quoted on the back cover of this edition:
  • Sex and death: the front door and the back door of the world. . . In youth they lift us out of the flesh, in old age they reduce us again to the flesh; one to fatten us, the other to flay us, for the worm. When are sexual compulsions more readily answered than in war or famine or flood or fire? These topics are indeed themes in Faulkner's novels. But in Soldier's Pay they are muted as Lieutenant Mahon fades into death and Joe Gilligan's love for Margaret Powers is gently rebuffed. The novel is one of loss, regret, and varying shades of gray. It is not "passionate," although it is "powerful.“
  • This particular copy of the Signet first edition was originally part of Faulkner's personal library at Rowan Oak. He gave it to his stepson, Malcolm Franklin, who subsequently gave it to James W. Silver, who in turn gave it to Faulkner scholar and collector, Louis Daniel Brodsky, from whom our collector, Irwin T. Holtzman, acquired it.
william faulkner soldier s pay new york signet classic 1968
William Faulkner. Soldier's Pay. New York: Signet Classic, 1968

William Faulkner.Soldier's Pay. New York: Boni & Liveright, 1926.

william faulkner 1897 196233
William Faulkner (1897-1962)
  • The Sound and the Fury (1929)

1. modernist masterpiece (p.154)

2. tragic story of the Compson family from four different points of view: Benjy, Quentin, Jason, and Dilsey

3. limited point of view

4. continuous present style of writing, everything is part of now

5. readers need to sort out the facts of the story

william faulkner 1897 196234
William Faulkner (1897-1962)
  • Sartoris (1929) – p.153

1. creates his mythical Yoknapatawpha County

2. the world after WWI

3. the Sartoris family contrasts the Snopes family, which represents the new spirit of the South, the spirit of commerce and self-interest.

4. The Snopes becomes central characters also in The Hamlet (1940), The Town (1957), and The Mansion (1959)

William Faulkner. Sartoris. New York: Signet Classic, 1953

william faulkner 1897 196235
William Faulkner (1897-1962)
  • Light in August (1932) and Absalom, Absalom! (1936)

1. portraits of human evil (p.154)

2. deals with psychological illness caused by racism and family tragedy

  • The Bear (1942) – description of human goodness
  • receives Nobel Prize in 1950 & Speech

William Faulkner.Light in August. New York: Penguin, 1967

william faulkner light in august london chatto and windus 1933
William Faulkner. Light in August. London: Chatto and Windus, 1933.

The first British edition of this novel was published with a dust jacket that emphasizes loneliness and alienation from community. The black figure of a solitary man is evocative of the same mood as that suggested by the single cabin highlighted by various rays of light which Smith selected for the jacket of the first American edition. Two later paperback editions accomplish the same: a man standing facing an empty road and the single noose starkly drawn against a background of bright light.

Most critics would agree with these publishers. The novel works with themes Faulkner used before: extreme isolation of the individual in the modern world, the divided and alienated self, the individual (like Bayard Sartoris, Quentin Compson, and Joe Christmas) who cannot relate to his society and thus cannot establish a human identity. With this novel, however, Faulkner demonstrates that isolation can do more than merely cause suffering; it can lead to dehumanization and evil which, in turn, are exacerbated by racial division and dissolution of social order.

slide37
The extensive period (1833 to 1910) and the complex narrations that Faulkner used to tell the Sutpen story caused him to create three readers' guides that are included at the end of the text. The first is a "Chronology" that begins with Thomas Sutpen's birth in 1807 and highlights the major events in the story, ending with the fire in 1910 that destroys Sutpen's mansion. The second is a "Genealogy" that lists the principal characters and summarizes each person's birth, family line, marriage and children, business or occupation, and death. The third is a map of Yoknapatawpha County which identifies the twenty-seven places that had figured so far in his fiction. It cost Random House an extra hundred dollars to print the map in two colors and tip it into the 6,000 copies of the first impression.

From: http://www.lib.umich.edu/spec-coll/faulknersite/faulknersite/majornovels/absalom.html

William Faulkner. Absalom, Absalom! New York: Random House, 1936. Limited, signed edition, number 51 of 300 copies.

e e cummings 1894 1962
E. E. Cummings (1894-1962)
  • The Enormous Room (1922), his first novel about the war (p.155-156)
  • influenced by the Cubist painters and Gertrude Stein
  • breaks the traditional poem into unusual bits and pieces that show individuality
  • rarely use capital letters that forced readers to look at the individual word carefully
  • liberates the poetry of the 20th century
chansons innocentes i
Chansons Innocentes: I
  • in Just-
  • spring when the world is mud-
  • luscious the little
  • lame balloonman
  • whistles far and wee
  • and eddieandbill come
  • running from marbles and
  • piracies and it's
  • spring
  • when the world is puddle-wonderful
chansons innocentes i40
Chansons Innocentes: I

the queer

old balloonman whistles

far and wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it's

spring

and

the goat-footed

balloonMan whistles

far and wee