Elements of Literature Sixth Course_1_

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					Modern and Contemporary World Literature
          Introduction to the Literary Period

Feature Menu
               Interactive Time Line
                 Milestone: Modernism and
                    Postmodernism
                 Milestone: Existentialism
                 Milestone: The End of Colonialism
                 Milestone: The Cold War
                 Milestone: The Information Age
                 Milestone: Globalization
               What Have You Learned?
Modern and Contemporary World Literature

Choose a link on the time line to go to a milestone.
1890s-Present
Modernism and Postmodernism
               1930s-Present       1960s-Present
               Existentialism      Information Age


1890        1920            1950       1980          2010

                        1945-1980
                        Cold War
                                 1980s-Present
                                 Globalization
       1940s-1990s
       End of Colonialism
                                          Detailed Time Line
      Modernism and Postmodernism

1890s-1940s

Modernism
 • Major literary and
   artistic movement
 • Influenced by
   Freud, psychology
 • Reaction to 19th-
                        The City (1919) by Fernand Léger
   century realism
 • Realism inadequate to capture modern reality
   and human experience
      Modernism and Postmodernism

1890s-1940s

Modernists experimented with forms, structures,
and techniques
         • Stream of consciousness

         • Subjective perceptions

         • Chronological discontinuity

         • Fragmented narrative
      Modernism and Postmodernism

After World War I (1914-1918)

 Violence and destruction
 disillusioned writers,
 painters, other artists
 • Old forms inadequate
   to capture chaos,
   horror of war
 • Rejection of traditional
                              Two Soldiers at Arras by
   values, forms              John Singer Sargent
 • More subjective,
   emotional response
      Modernism and Postmodernism
1940s-Present
Postmodernism rejects an ordered view of the
world
 • Extension, continuation of modernism
         • Multiple voices and perspectives

         • Nonlinear, fragmented narratives

         • References and reworks past art forms

         • Multiple styles, parody, irony
       Modernism and Postmodernism

1940s-Present
Postmodernist writers dissolve boundaries
between
            • author, reader, and characters
            • high and low art forms or culture
               • genres (e.g., fiction and
                 nonfiction)
               • reality and fantasy

 Portrait d’Edward James (1937)
by René Magritte
                  Existentialism

From the 1930s
Existentialist philosophies or attitudes stress that
  • physical existence precedes “essence” or
    meaning
  • human existence is concrete, particular,
    and individual
  • each must create his or her own essence
    or meaning
  • there are no preexisting meanings,
    values, or guidelines
                Existentialism

From the 1930s
 Each person responsible for his or
 her own choices
 • Choices not unlimited—time
   and facts we have are limited
 • Commitment to choices can
   make meaning for individual

                  • Existence about more than just
                    the individual
                  • Includes relationship to other
                    beings and to the world
                 Existentialism

After World War II (1939-1945)
 Artists struggled to understand and
 accept
 • senselessness,
   meaninglessness
   of existence
 • events of war,
   especially Holocaust,
   atomic bombs
 Jean-Paul Sartre (French intellectual, writer)
 brought existentialist thinking into the arts.
            The End of Colonialism

1945-1997
Decline of European colonialism;
empires dismantled
• Most colonies in Africa, Asia,
  Middle East gain independence

• Independence often followed
  by conflict: factional,
                                   Armored Train in
  political, ethnic, religious     Action by Fino
                                   Severini
          The End of Colonialism

1947    India partitioned (Pakistan created)
1948    UN partitions Palestine to make
        the Jewish state of Israel
1950s- Most African colonies gain independence
 1960s
1975    Portugal gives up last African colony

1994    End of apartheid; Nelson Mandela elected
        president of South Africa

1997    Britain returns Hong Kong to China
                The End of Colonialism

1945-present
                        What should postcolonial artists
                        and writers do?
                        • Celebrate native cultures?
                        • Idealize the precolonial past?
                        • Imitate foreign models?

Mpisi and the Lion by
Allina Ndebele
                Cultural identity
     • Especially a problem for the educated or
       intellectual in less-industrialized nations
                     The Cold War
1945-1980s
                     Postwar rise of superpowers:
                     U.S. and U.S.S.R.
                     • Rivalry without direct war,
                       but close calls
Stalin, Roosevelt,
and Churchill



• Others aligned economically,
  ideologically; mutual defense
  treaties
                                          Chairman Mao
             The Information Age

Information age generally refers to the period
when information became accessible to many

                     • Television, other
                       telecommunications,
                       recording equipment

                     • Computers and Internet

• Information no longer controlled by “official”
  or formal sources
• However, still a “digital divide”
             The Information Age

1960s-present
Internet greatest force in “information revolution”
• Connects many small networks worldwide
• World Wide Web (1991) leading information-
  exchange service of Internet
• First browser appeared in 1993

• Grew from 1969 U.S. Defense Department
  project ARPANET
• Linked computers to provide secure
  communications in case of attack
             The Information Age

1977
 Personal computer industry began with Apple II
1981
 IBM entered market; PC
 became industry standard
  • MS-DOS
1984
 Apple Macintosh (mouse,
 graphical user interface)
1985
 Microsoft Corp. introduces MS Windows for PC
                Globalization

1980s-present
Globalization
 • Process of increasing worldwide
   interdependence and interconnectedness of
                      • businesses   • labor
                      • finance      • services

                     • Made possible, faster by
                        • more, cheaper travel
                        • telecommunications,
                          other technologies
                  Globalization

1980s-present
 Supporters of globalization
• Provides jobs, capital, better lives for workers
• Offers lower prices for developed nations


                      Opponents of globalization

                      • Standardizes and
                        “Westernizes” local cultures
                      • Promotes Western
                        consumerism
                  Globalization
                  Literary Pluralism
1980s-present
Contemporary world literature is pluralistic.
 • Many distinctive groups,
   much diversity
 • Multiple literary styles
 • Some shared trends:
   • Importance of individual
   • Artist’s subjective viewpoint
   • Cultural clashes
                  Globalization
              Literature Without Borders
1980s-present
Literature also becoming more globalized

• More works translated more
  quickly

• Technology, Internet connect
  writers, readers

• Writers borrow techniques,
  styles from others
            What Have You Learned?

Modernism         is sometimes marked by blurred
                  boundaries between reality and
Postcolonialism   fantasy

                  is a process of worldwide
Pluralism         interdependence and
                  interconnectedness
Globalization
                  was a reaction to 19th-century realism
Existentialism
                  holds each person responsible for his
                  or her own choices but recognizes
Postmodernism
                  limits on choices
The End

				
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