War poets of modern age

Appunti in inglese sull'età moderna inglese e i poeti di guerra (3 pagine formato doc)

Appunto di beba0092


The modern age:

  • lifestyle of Victorian age continued / rapid change of attitudes = in 1900 people questioned anything (religion, philosophy, art, science, progress...)
  • complex age = complex art → beginning of experimentation of new forms of expression in fiction: novelists now focused on man himself  + influence in the search for new content and new forms by the variety of events and facts that took place = 2 wars: -pacifism= spread after most of the poets who fought in World War I exposed the cruelty and meaningless of the fighting -pessimism= took the place of Victorian optimism + of various kinds
  • science and philosophy: changed the cultural atmosphere of the time = explosion of new ideas that would completely change man's idea of himself and of the universe = -Einstein: theory of relativity which dealt a blow to the belief in objective reality and science -Nietzsche: good, true and beautiful are decadent values (inspired Shaw, Yeats, Lawrence and Pound) -Freud: treatment for hysteria and neurosis + explored the unconscious -development of radio and film techniques: new ways of representing reality in fiction
  • flourished between 1922 and 1925 = publication of “Ulysses” by James Joyce, “The Waste Land” by T.S.
    + Ezra Pound and Virginia Woolf → flourished until 1920s: artists began to take sides in the philosophical and political fight raging in Europe and America → 1930: majority of intellectual turned to the political left in the face of the Nazi expansion, economic depression and poor conditions

Approfondimento su Virginia Woolf: biografia, pensiero e opere


  • Joseph Conrad + Henry James + Forster + Lawrence: already used psychological analysis to show the complexity of human mind = transitional writers because preserved some of the characteristics of Victorian novel
    tried to apply in literature the ideas of two philosophers: -Henry Bergson= time is not objective but subjective = inner time, which has a duration that eludes conventional clock time → time exists because it's perceived by the subject, who has a personal perception of it -William James= consciousness does not appear chopped up into bits but as a continuum
  • interest in the life of the conscience: representation of it in fiction was the most important thing to say about the individual
  • psychological novel: dealt with the rational communicable = the level of consciousness that can be communicated orally or in writing
  • stream-of-consciousness novel: concerned with what is not rationally controlled or logically ordered → novelists must explore what initiates or constitutes the mental process and analyze how this process works → methods used to represent consciousness: cinematic devices like montage, flashbacks, fade-out, slow-up, parentheses, dashes...
    + most prominent method: interior monologue = instrument used to translate this phenomenon into words + disregarded logical transitions, formal syntax, conventional punctuation... in order to reflect the apparently disconnected and chaotic sequence of thoughts
  • utopian and dystopian fiction: can be traced back to Plato's Republic → derivation of the term “utopia”: from Sir Thomas More's work “Utopia” = can mean nowhere land or a better place than the present one → paved the way to utopian novels: “The New Atlantis” by Francis Bacon, “Gulliver's Travels” by Swift, “Erewhon” by Samuel Butler, “News from Nowhere” by William Morris, “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, “Animal Farm” and “1984” by Orwell → -past age: utopia seen as a land of peace and brotherhood in contrast to the corruption and tyranny of the time -our age: reserved situation = under the impact of the two world wars the old faith in human perfectibility and the inevitability of progress was undermined = utopia turned into dystopia, in which the optimism was replaced by a gloomy vision of the future and a warning for the present


Italy: -Marinetti= rejected late romanticism and academic tradition + advocated a new kind of poetry, dynamic and aggressive, glorifying war, courage and rebellion, based on free associations of words and elimination of grammar and syntactic links
-fascism → return to conformism -Montale, Quasimodo, Salvatore= development of hermeticism → privileged evocation and verbal suggestion rather than direct communication
•France: symbolism still important during the early decades with Paul Valery= experiments with the psychological and musical aspects of the language + studies of the relationship between language and creative process → symbolism gave way to modernism with Apollinare → Breton= manifesto of Surrealism + importance of dreams as a source of artistic and literary inspiration → application of Freudian theories = record of dreams, hallucinations and visions
•Germany: development of expressionism with Brecht → Rilke: most important + created a personal voice marked by impressionistic descriptions and verbal musicality and meditations about life and death