Introduction American Literature
Brief Introduction of the American Literature History The Colonial Period (1607-End of the 18th C) The Romantic Period (19th C-1865) The Age of Realism (1865-1918) The Modern Period (1918-1945) The Postwar Period (1945- )
The Colonial Period (1607-End of the 18th C) American Puritanism Jonathan Edwards Benjamin Franklin
The Romantic Period (19th C-1865) Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper “New England Transcendentalism” or “American Renaissance” Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature : “the manifesto of American Transcendentalism”; “The American Scholar”, rightly regarded as American’s “Declaration of Intellectual Independence”)
The Romantic Period (19th C-1865) Henry David Thoreau Walt Whitman Emily Dickinson Edgar Allan Poe Nathaniel Hawthorne Herman Melville
The Age of Realism (1865-1918) William Dean Howells Mark Twain (masterpiece The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn fathered modern American literature) Henry James (with his “international theme” and his psychological realism, now considered as one of the most literary figures coming out of the 19th century)
The Age of Realism (1865-1918) Literary Naturalism Stephen Crane (Maggie: A girl of the Streets, the first American naturalistic work) Frank Norris (McTeagaue, the manifesto of American naturalism) Dreiser (Sister Carrie, the work in which naturalism attained maturity) O. Henry ( short stories) Jack London (works: a fine specimen of scathing social criticism).
The Modern Period (1918-1945) The 1920s Poetry: Imagism (with the emphasis on the economy of Expression and on the use of a dominant image) Ezra Pound (the prime mover of Imagism), William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, E. E. Cummings, Carl Sandburg, T. S. Eliot were related with Imagism Robert Frost (his poetry is full of life, truth and wisdom)
The Modern Period (1918-1945) The 1920s Novel: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner (the Lost Generation) Drama: Eugene O’ Neill (the great American Playwright, regarded as one of the American authors writing in the Modernist tradition of the 1920s)
The Modern Period (1918-1945) The 1920s African American literature (Harlem Renaissance): Langston Hughes The 1930s Left or socialist-oriented writers: John Dos Passos and John Steinbeck
The Postwar Period (1945-) Drama: Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller( won international recognition) Novel: Saul Bellow, J. D. Salinger; the war novel, the southern novel, the Jewish novel, the Beat novel, and the black novel; Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker ( African American writers)
The Postwar Period (1945-) Poetry: The New Criticism (T. S. Eliot and Bishop), The Confessional School (Robert Lowell), The Beat Generation (Allen Ginsberg), The Black Mountain Poets (Charles Olson) and New York Poets (Frank O’ Hara).