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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From An Outline of American Literature by Peter B. High
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
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”
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
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
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 “
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
"...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.
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
"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).
1. use “nature” symbolically
2. mountain symbolizes life and hope; the plan is the image of war and death
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...
1. the first American novella bout WWI
2. emotional and full of hatred for war
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
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
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.Soldier's Pay. New York: Boni & Liveright, 1926.
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
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
1. portraits of human evil (p.154)
2. deals with psychological illness caused by racism and family tragedy
William Faulkner.Light in August. New York: Penguin, 1967
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.
William Faulkner. Absalom, Absalom! New York: Random House, 1936. Limited, signed edition, number 51 of 300 copies.
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
far and wee