. English Literature

intense moments.

The second is short The way up & the way down are one & the same.

This is another duality, two ways of apprehending the truth. The first one

is an active embrace of ecstatic experience (the way up), the second one is

a passive withdrawal from experience into self (the way down).

The poem got a reputation of a great obscurity due to a philosophical

richness but at the same time it is intensely musical. He tries to make it

closer to music by the motives that return like the tones in music. It is

not by chance that the poem is called Four Quartets 4 instrumental

voices in the quartet. In his essay The Music of Poetry he explained this

usage of recurrent things.

From 1926 he experimented with poetic drama The Cocktail Party. But

his dramas remain unpopular because drama needs plot.

Eliot received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949 as recognition of

his innovations in modern poetry. He also wrote critical works The Sacred

Wood, The Use of Poetry & the Use of Criticism, On Poetry & Poets

most influential literary documents.

David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)

Lawrence was very much influenced by Freuds conception of human

personality. He is considered to be a modernist but he didnt experiment

with form. On the outside he worked within the confines of English novel

tradition but he broke from the understanding of human relations that were

accepted in critical realism. He was the first who touched upon the problem

of marrying, the relations between sexes, he didnt hush down the

contradictions between them. His main concern was to liberate a person from

all the constrains which were put by the society upon him. There was so

much taboos, hush-hush attitudes to this topic, that

He is compared to Eliot. Both started from similar points that

civilization threatens human beings, it is hostile to man. Civilization is

sick, it destroys people morally & bodily. What Lawrence can suggest

instead? His religion was belief in blood & flesh as being wiser than the

intellect. This belief became one of his main themes. He interpreted human

behaviour & character from this standpoint. All his writings were

underlined with a deep discontent with a modern world. And this fact unites

him with other modernists. Civilization is on the wrong track. Science,

industrialization produced a race of robots. Civilization is evil. The only

way out the way back to re-awaken our emotional, irrational layers of

consciousness. He was little concerned with social problems. Lawrences

treatment of character is based on the assumption that 7/8 are submerged &

never seen. He explored the unconscious mind that was not always seen but

was always present. He is fumbling for the words to describe strictly

indescribable. He enjoyed popularity in his lifetime. His first works are:

The White Peacock 1911

Sons & Lovers 1913

They were well received. Critics thought that there appeared one more

working-class writer. His late works were received with shock & opposition

because of his frankness to the questions of sexuality, relations of men &

women. These themes suffered from late Victorian prudishness. He was the

first to describe sexual relations using common words not

Sons & Lovers is considered to be autobiographical. Lawrence was

brought up in miners family in Nottinghamshire. His mother was cultivated

ex-school teacher. She married beneath herself & so she tried to develop

ambitions in her children. The book centers around Paul Morel & his

mothers relations. His mother made him fatally unable to love another

woman. There was something in his life that blocked his intentions. The

relations that he explores within the Morel family remind us of the

relations in his own family. He must get it clear & get away with it. By

giving this story a form of a novel Lawrence tried to liberate himself of

his ties with the past. Sometimes it is considered an illustration of

Freuds theory of Oedipus complex.

We consider Lawrence a modernist not because of his innovations in form

& style but by his attitude to human beings (human behaviour is

biologically determined). Blood & flesh being wiser than intellect.

Lawrence is a very prolific writer but his books were uneven in quality

15 novels & volumes of short stories. The best of them are:

The Rainbow(was also condemned as obscene one)

Women in Love 1920

Kangaroo 1923

The Plumed Serpent 1926

Lady Chatterleys Lover (1929) was subjected to obscenity trial. It

was banned for oscine vocabulary till 1960. His urgency in seeking out the

deepest core of his characters being lead him to employ a language

overfraught with portentous vocabulary repeatedly, ineffectually

gesturing at dark, mystic, passionate, but ultimately vague & ungraspable

emotions. Critics considered this work to be his greatest one.

Sexual aspect wasnt the only one though very important. It was a part

of his concept of personal development.

American Modernism.

It appeared in the first decade of the XX when the group of poets

appeared in the USA who tried to bring modernists ideas. The most active

of these poets were Ezra Pound & Thomas Eliot. American modernism doesnt

mean geographical terms. Many American writers created their works in

Europe (mainly in Paris). Ezra Pound said: Paris is a lab of ideas.


Ezra Pound

Gertrude Stein

John Dos Passos

Ernest Hemingway

Partially William Faulkner

Francis Scott Fitzgerald

Ezra Pound (1885 1972)

A famous poet, publicist & translator. He studied in the University of

Pennsylvania (studied Roman languages). But he had a very brief career as a

teacher & in 1908 he left for Europe. He walked all the way from Gibraltar

to Venice where the first collection of his poems appeared A Hume

Spento. During 2 years from 1908 he gained his popularity. His collections


Canzoni songs

Ripostes leisure

Lustra light

The poems impressed the readers by the original form, new expressiveness &

metrical faction. He is the founder of imagists school (opposed

traditional Victorian verse). The poets aim was to be precise & clear in

word usage. They did not accept thematic limitations, were responsible for

exploding the traditional form, tried to find form to substitute it. There

was a trend in imagism wordism the model for the XXth century poetry.

Its features:

V Mechanistism

V Technisism

V Specific rhyme

Much attention was paid to the metaphorical images. These ideas influenced

young poets like Robert Frost, Thomas Eliot, and W. Butler.

Pound edited magazine Little Review where new names & works were

introduced. It is believed that he revolutionized English versification. He

tried to capture the intonation of monological speech. His poems have a

peculiar form of masques. His poetry is dressed in the bright clothes of

Latin, Greek, Japanese, Anglo-Saxon, etc poets.

Translations are the best part of his legacy. They were also thoroughly

polished masques. He developed interest Japanese poetry. He liked the

Japanese way of presenting the most abstract idea through a concrete image.

So he introduced idiomatic poetry when any nation could be rendered through

the combination of concrete images. This principle was employed in The

Cantos epic poem, which he started in 1925 & continued almost up to the

end of his life. He called it . The

synthesis of his ideas of works, autobiography, aesthetic & poetic

principles & reflection of the urgent & poetic issues. The Cantos are

uneven in quality. Some fragments are difficult to understand. To

facilitate the process of reading The Index of Cantos was published. In

1925 Pound moved to Italy & became interested in politics & economics. He

devoted much time & effort to discuss economics & politics.


What Is Money For?

He supported the fascist regime. After the war he was arrested & charged in

prison, but was considered to have mental disease & spent 22 years in

mental hospital. In late 50s he was let free & went to Italy where he

died. But he continued to write even in hospital. The Cantos of Pizza is

a very painful reevaluation of the things passed. The famous critic Malison

said: He chose a wrong position above the society & thats the problem.

He was the poet who transformed the form of English verse thus his

achievement was great.

Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)

Gertrude Stein is remembered because of her influence on the writers to

come, not for her works. She doesnt enter anthologies of English or

American literature. She was born in USA, her childhood was spent in

Europe. She studied psychology in Harvard. Her teacher was William James.

She conducted several experiments on automatic writing but she was

interested only from psychological point of view. However, she did not

become a psychologist yet this influenced her writing. In 1903s she left

for Paris & remained there almost all her life. In 1909 she published the

novel The Three Lives. It consists of three parts describing the lives of

three women. The work was unnoticed in that time. But that time she got

acquainted with famous artists: Picasso, Matisse. New tendencies in

painting (cubism, abstractionism) impressed her very much.

Abstraction tendencies dominated in her artistic works. She claimed that

only Spanish & American writers were able to realize abstract notions in

literature. This abstraction must be expressed by the deformity of the

form. She was the only representative of literary abstractionism. Her

desire was to get rid of the content of words (of the meaning) so that she

could be able to concentrate on the plastic properties of the language &

its syntax. She was going to capture inner & outer reality in the most

precise & objective form.

Literature must not awake any associations: associative emotions are

invalid. Everything that is the result of emotions cannot be the gist of

literary work, cannot be material for prose & poetry. They must consist in

the precise rendering of internal & external reality. The words must

express the reality directly, she tried to devoid them of any meaning. But

she forgot that the painter & the writer use different media for their

arts. But if colours have no meaning the words obviously possess it. She

wanted to create pure literature by using pure words, no one else tried to

do that before. She emptied the words of the thought & created almost her

private language & that was the extreme. It showed how far one could go in

violating the language.

Another novelty the new concept of time. She tried a new method of

narration continuous present. Instead of the narration she creates a

composition where a story is presented as if happening at the present

moment, not as a consequent unfolding of the theme as we perceive reading.

She did acknowledge that such a category as time in literature would

transform into continuous perception of the present moment. So she tried to

put this theory into practice in her book The Making of Americans.

In The Making of America describing the history of the Gestland family

she tries at the same time to give a picture of American history. She tried

to describe individual & general simultaneously. And that resulted in the

style, which was very awkward. She also tried to use the technique that she

borrowed from cinematography, like in a film each next shot presents a

slight variation from the previous one. Each next sentence differed from

the previous one only insignificantly (regularly-repeated phrases, key

words). It may look ridiculous, stupid, but many modern writers took this

repetition from her.

Another side the so-called portraits in literature were created on the

basis of rhythmic principle. Every person has his own rhythm & in

portraying a persons life she tried to combine & match these rhythms

literary expressionism. The result of this was simplification of syntax,

foregrounding of the verbs, minimal punctuation & omission of nouns &

adjectives. Tender Buttons is a collection of poems, examples of this

technique. The reaction was not unanimous. They accused the style for

deintellectualization. For example, Malcolm Kowly said that reading her

style annoys us. Steins experiments are not so important by itself

because they warned other artists against taking the same route. Her works

are fruitless & senseless they distract the communication. But her

experiments are noticeable in Hemingways syntax, Faulkners continuous

present (=past does exist in the present), Sherwood Andersons principles

of cinematography. Her significance she was the first English writer who

expressed those tendencies which were the distinctive features of the avant-

garde movement.

John Doss Passos (1896-1970)

He was born in Chicago. He lived a long life but his most productive

period was in the 20-30s of the XXth century. He reflected the progressive

ideas of the time, produced the epic of American life within the framework

of a literary experiments. He graduated from Harvard. In 1916-17 studied

architecture in Spain & this background can be felt in his works in their

architecture. Participated in the war & after that he began to write. His

first book One Mans Initiation(1920). It was the first book in

American literature, which treats the war topic. It is a lost generation

book because it was motivated by post-was disillusionment that young people

experienced. The pathos is clearly antiwar. It is autobiographical. The

pacifist motives are very strong here. The style doesnt differ much from

that of his mature works. Dos Passos chose the fragmentary way of

organization of material, which is to his mind, more expressive. The book

is in the form of interior monologue to express more precisely the crash

of a young American world in the war.

He continued the same technique in Three Soldiers. He attacks the

corruption of the world, socialist motives become more explicit in his

work. Here he experiments with writing technique plot. The lives of three

young people Americans are in the focus of his attention. At first

their lives are connected, they met each other on the same boat but this is

the only point where their fates are close. As they arrive in Europe their

ways diverge. Each one follows his own path. The plot decenters, follows

the life of each of three heroes. All of them are ruined at the war, feel

lost, disillusioned. It is a typical lost generation novel written in the

modernist technique. John Andrews is a painter, he dreams to express his

protest against the war by artistic means. Both J. Andrews in the book & J.

D. Passos fear capitalist tyranny & revolutionary enthusiasm. Antibourgeois

pathos is rather strong.

These tendencies increase in his next works. Manhattan Transfer

(novel) is a kaleidoscope of numerous episodes, names, dates where the

reader can hardly find the characters. It consists of independent stories,

which are all mixed. The only similar feature is the place & the time. Dos

Passos considered that such composition will enable him to show the reality

objectively, a stream of New York life. Characters represent different

social layers. The author introduces clips from newspapers, some glimpses

of literature, which are not connected with the novel. It produces

disorder. But it was his intention city is a chaos; life is a chaos.

Reaction to the novel was contradictory. Some thought that it was a

collectivist novel. Dos Passos was not in the individual lives, troubles or

joys. A collectivist writer was interested in social relations but the

paradox was that social relations were abstract from his work. He didnt

dispose social. His attitude to the events is not clear. The lack of

objective conclusions was intentional but the writer cant do that. He

tried to produce such works where the generalization should be.

He was popular in 20-30s in Soviet Union, unfortunately his popularity

was short-lived for political reasons. As soon as he began to criticize &

warn against totalitarianism he fell out of grace. He lived through the

economic crises of 1929 & this found its expression in the novel USA.

Dos Passos wrote USA a big epic where he paid more attention to

generalization. He wrote it for 20 years. It consists of 3 novels: The 42

Parallel, 1919, The Big Money. Dos Passos tried to be more precise

with the composition, developed a scheme of it. It is a big panoramic work.

The real hero is American society, the country. It is shown against the

social background of the nation. It is an epic of American life. The

structure is very logical & coherent. Each chapter falls into several

parts, which are made up of for components & the combination of these

components is very different. These four components are:

: 1, 2, 3, 4