The scope of the modernist period.
The scope of the contemporary period.
What is the function of literature?
One of the driving questions of the modernist literary period.
A mode of art that does not state directly what it is, but instead remains slightly beyond the grasp of general readers.
Poet whose relationship with formal education was tenuous at best. Moved to England and befriended Ezra Pound, who inspired him to write poetry. Won four Pulitzer Prizes and was asked to recite a poem at JFK’s inauguration. The most famous poet the U.S. has ever produced.
This poet’s use of conventions is what sets him apart; he is the antithesis of literary modernism. Instead of imitating tradition, he twists and stretches conventions to create more complex poetry.
The first woman to win the Pulitzer for Drama, which she won in 1921 for her screenplay based off her own novel “Miss Lulu Bett.”
Writer whose life and fiction was full of adventure. Lived in California and held a number of colorful jobs, but wasn’t much for school. Scurried to the Klondike when the Alaskan Gold Rush hit in 1897. Many scholars note that he only wrote for financial reward, although he was also known as a socialist and supporter of social Darwinism.
Gertrude Simmons Bonnin
Sioux writer, editor, musician, teacher, and political activist. Pulled back and forth between the influences of dominant American culture and her own Native American heritage. Co-composed the first American Indian opera and founded the National Council of American Indians in 1926.
Worked hard at Harvard and the New York law school. His literary life exploded in New York with increased literary acquaintances and cultural life. Maintained a strict commitment to his job and didn’t begin seriously publishing poetry until his mid-thirties. Critics claimed his work the essential modernist collection of the day. Desired to poetically depict the nature of poetry and the poet in 20th century America.
Charles Gilman Norris
A native of Chicago who worked as a journalist before becoming a novelist and playwright. Dealt with modern education, women in business, hereditary and environmental influences, big business, ethics, and birth control.
William Carlos Williams
Known as the “Doctor-Poet.” Subscribed to the idea of imagism, and later rejected it for the term “objectivism.” Sought out new rhythms, idioms, and structures to better mirror American identity. Became the antithesis to T.S. Eliot’s and Ezra Pound’s fascination with European culture.
Poetic mode in which the strength of the poem remains in the power of the object itself.
Friend, mentor, encourager, and inspiration to many modernist writers. Spent most of his life and energy in Europe. Eventually moved on from the imagist group to a new, avant-garde movement he called vorticism. Became fascinated with Mussolini and Fascism which landed him in Italian prison and American court for treason.
Avant-garde movement coined by Ezra Pound which is highly abstract and modern, focusing on harsh lines and angles, devoting subject matter to urban areas and history. Predominantly visual art.
Novelist, short-story writer, and playwright who became the first writer from the U.S. to receive the Pulitzer for Literature. Works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism between the wars. Also respected for strong characterization of modern working women.
Wrote about problems faced by wives, the struggles of the Jewish, and later, Puerto Rican immigrants in New York’s Lower East Side. Semi-autobiographical works. Sentimentalism and highly idealized characters have prompted some critics to label her works romantic.
Born in St. Louis to a socially prominent family, educated at the best private schools, attended Harvard. Became a close friend of Ezra Pound’s after becoming a British citizen before he turned forty. One of his poems is referred to by scholars as THE modernist poem.
Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance who first worked as a nurse and librarian. Dealt with issues of racial and sexual identity.
Poet with the most distinctive style of any of his contemporaries. Averse to capitalization, punctuation, traditional poetic lines and forms, and spaces between words. Always pushed the envelope.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The writer of the Jazz Age, whose stories explored the tension between the “old” and the “new” America. His marriage was plagued by his wife’s mental and emotional instabilities and his own alcoholism.
Most well-known for his fictional Mississippi County, Yoknapatawpha. His novels explore the tension between the old antebellum South and the progressive nature of post-WWI social and economic leanings. Established the Compson family as the symbolic tragic, southern family. Won two Pultizer Prizes for Fiction and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949.
Sentences were short and crisp, paragraphs contained and tight, adjectives used sparingly. Simply reported what he saw; that was his brilliance. Much of his writing was influenced by his time spent as a reporter/journalist for Kansas City Star. Enlisted by the Red Cross as an ambulance driver in Italy during WWI. Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.
“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”
Recognized for two key literary concepts: regionalism and naturalism. Most of his stories are set in the California valleys and hills of his childhood in Monterey County. His use of naturalism exposed the inability of characters to rise above their social standing. Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961.
Prominent figure in theatre, this writer testified before the House of Un-American Activities Committee, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was married to Marilyn Monroe.
Won acclaim early in life, then led a very private life for more than half a century. His depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence was influential, and his novel remains widely read and controversial.
Recognized for his spontaneous method of writing, he became an underground celebrity and progenitor of the hippie movement. Heavily influenced by the prolific explosion of Jazz. Referred to his style as spontaneous prose. The father of the Beat movement.
Author, screenwriter, and playwright who rose above a troubled childhood to follow his dream of being a professional writer. Earned the most fame with his “nonfiction novel” which he spent four years writing and researching.
Southern writer who rarely left Georgia; her life looks as isolated as confined as that of Dickinson, though her stories are filled with great complexity and depth. Her characters were at times absurd, ridiculous, and horrible–but ultimately, real. Known for her devout Christian faith which permeated her stories.
The master of describing, exploring, and analyzing white, middle-class American life. His religious faith plays an important role in his character’s lives and novel’s structure, as does his relationships with his own family. After graduating Harvard and studying art in England he took a job as a staff writer for The New Yorker, and went on to devote his life to full-time writing.
Raised in Ohio, this writer married and mothered two children, but her divorce sent her into the workforce and literary life. Worked as an editor for Random House and wrote at night while raising her sons. Themes of love, betrayal, identity, and societal pressures permeate much of her work to date.
Known as a countercultural figure who considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s.
This writer’s style was a blend of satire, gallows humor, and science fiction. As a citizen, he was a lifelong supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union and a critical pacifist intellectual. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.
The scope of the realist/naturalist period.
Interested in the mundane episodes of middle-class life. Tends to lean towards social reform. Writers of this discipline took it upon themselves to critically comment on America’s politics, economics, industry, and social issues.
A product of scientific determinism. You are controlled by your environment. There is no hope for you. Dreams come and go. The author is amoral in their depictions of characters and plot; they do not judge, they merely observe.
A literary term that refers to a work connected to a particular geography, depicting its history, culture, ways of speech, leisure activities, food, folklore, etc. The setting takes on the role of a character.
Louisa May Alcott
Raised by transcendentalist parents in New England, she grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the days, including Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. Received critical success for her writing in the 1860s. An abolitionist and feminist.
A. M. Barnard
Pen name used by Louisa May Alcott early in her career to write fiery books about characters relentless in their pursuit of their desires.
Samuel L. Clemens
Mark Twain’s birth name.
Writer who lost a great deal of money by investing in poor ventures, notably the Paige Compositor, which failed because of its complexity and imprecision. Chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, though he had no legal responsibility to do so. William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.”
Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton
The first female Mexican-American author to write in English. Published two books: “Who Would Have Thought It?” (1872) and “The Squatter and the Don” (1885). Her life took her from coast to coast in the U.S., giving her a great vantage point to write about all sorts of social issues.
William Dean Howells
Nicknamed “The Dean of American Letters,” he was particularly known for his tenure as editor of the Atlantic Monthly as well as his own prolific writings. His literary reputation soared with a realist novel describing the decay of marriage.
William Dean Howells
Believed the future of American writing was not in poetry but in novels, a form which he saw as shifting from “romance” to a serious form.
Best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California. His popularity eventually waned, and by the end of 1872 he was so desperate he was republishing old work, delivering lectures about the gold rush, and even selling advertising jingles to soap companies.
Constance Fenimore Woolson
Grandniece of James Fenimore Cooper, best known for fictions about the Great Lakes region, the American South, and American expatriates in Europe.
Contributed significantly to literary criticism, particularly in his insistence that writers be allowed the greatest possible freedom in presenting their view of the world. Many of his novels explore the adjustments Americans, especially women, face in European countries as they interact with different social structures and mores.
George Washington Cable
Novelist notable for the realism of his portrayals of Creole life in his native New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been called “the most important southern artist working in the late 19th century, as well as the first modern southern writer.”
Joel Chandler Harris
Best known for his collection of Uncle Remus stories. Led two professional lives: as editor and journalist he supported a vision of the New South, stressing regional and racial reconciliation; as fiction writer and folklorist, he wrote many Brer Rabbit stories from the African-American oral tradition and helped revolutionize literature in the process.
James Lane Allen
His work often depicted the culture and dialects of his native Kentucky. His work is characteristic of the late 19th century local color era, when writers sought to capture vernacular in their fiction.
Sarah Orne Jewett
Best known for local color works set along or near the southern seacoast of Maine. Recognized as an important practitioner of American literary regionalism. Possessed a keen descriptive gift.
Mary Noailles Murfree
Considered to be Appalachia’s first significant female writer and her work a necessity for the study of Appalachian literature.
George Parsons Lathrop
Married Rose Hawthorne, daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Edited the complete standard edition of Hawthorne’s works and adapted “The Scarlet Letter” for an opera.
The people in this writer’s stories are usually inhabitants of Louisiana. She wrote short stories for both children and adults which were published in such magazines as Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, The Century Magazine, and The Youth’s Companion.
Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman
Began writing stories and verse for children while a teenager to help support her family and was quickly successful. Deals mostly with New England life. Worked as secretary to author and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. When the supernatural caught her interest, the result was a group of short stories combining domestic realism with supernaturalism.
Author and a jurist who participated in a review of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial a few weeks before their executions.
Author of Louisiana stories, history, and biography and a leader in historical and literary activities. Her family had an aristocratic background but had been impoverished by the American Civil War.
Moved to England as London correspondent of the New York Times, a position he retained for the rest of his life. Recognized for his ability as both writer and talker. His most famous novel was hailed a “minor classic of realism.”
Booker T. Washington
His autobiography was arguably the seminal work on the black experience at the turn of the century; it was highly acclaimed and hotly contested by other black thinkers, especially W. E. B. Du Bois.
Booker T. Washington
Black thinker whose major premise was that African Americans must ignore racial segregation and political rejection in favor of good, honest, hard work. Famous line: “Cast down the buckets where you are.”
Novelist, short story writer, and poet, known principally for the novel “John War, Preacher” (1888) which was an indictment of Calvinism. Literary realist.
Founded thirty-two Native American chapters of the YMCA and helped to found the Boy Scouts of America. The first Native American author to write American history from the Native point of view.
Charles W. Chesnutt
Mixed race author best known for his novels and short stories exploring complex issues of racial and social identity in the post-Civil War South. He straddled the divide between the local color school of American writing and literary realism.
Best known for his fiction involving hard-working Midwestern farmers. Wrote many autobiographical works and, later, after moving to Hollywood in 1929, he became obsessed with investigating and defending psychic phenomena.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A utopian feminist, she became a role model for future generations of feminists for her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Single-handedly wrote and edited her own magazine from 1909-1916, The Forerunner, in which much of her fiction appeared.
This writer grew up in a socially mobile New York family; her life centered on social affairs, balls, and fashion. She used conventions of realism and naturalism to depict the trapped and controlled life of a woman in upper-class America.
David Graham Phillips
Employed as a reporter for The Sun from 1890-1893, then columnist and editor with the New York World until 1902. His novels often commented on social issues of the day and frequently chronicled events based on his real-life journalistic experiences. Considered a Progressive, and for exposing corruption in the Senate, he was labelled a muckracker.
W.E.B. Du Bois
Usually taught as Booker T. Washington’s antithesis. Black thinker born to free parents in Massachusetts, who asserts that blacks should engage in higher education, politics, intellectual occupations, and all that life has to offer.
W.E.B. Du Bois
Coined the term “double-consciousness,” referring to the act of being aware of one’s self only through the eyes of others.
Edwin Arlington Robinson
His second volume, “Children of the Night,” was read by President Teddy Roosevelt’s son Kermit, who recommended it his father, who then secured the author a job at the New York Customs Office. Won the Pulitzer Prize three times in the 1920s.
Novelist during the Progressive Era who wrote mostly in the naturalist genre. Work often depicts suffering caused by corrupt and greedy turn-of-the-century corporate monopolies. Characterized as an anti-Semitic writer.
Writer and editor best known for poetry. Won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. Also remembered by children for his Rootabaga Stories.
His Civil War novel was one of the first depictions of battles and soldiers from a realist perspective. Tended to utilize naturalist conventions like the lack of control humans have over nature.
Midwestern writer whose novels are often set in Chicago. One of his sisters ran away with a married man who embezzled money from his job; he used this true story to frame his first novel, which was considered immoral and dangerous by publishers. Many of his subsequent novels focus on themes of social mobility, class differences, sexual empowerment, and issues affecting urban life.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
African-American poet, novelist, and playwright whose most popular work was written in the Negro dialect associated with the antebellum South. One of the first African American writers to establish a national reputation.
Achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains. Grew up in Nebraska, lived and worked in Pittsburgh for ten years, and at thirty-three, moved to New York. By the 1930s, critics began to dismiss her as a “romantic, nostalgic writer who could not cope with the present.” In the wake of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, her work was seen as lacking in social relevance.
The scope of the Romantic Period.
At the heart of romanticism, the center of the literary act, is always the _______. Expressing feeling, emotion, and attitude are therefore key.
Romanticism rejected _______ __________ as the sole way to understand the universe or human nature.
William Cullen Bryant
Linked to the Fireside Poets, his career began with a volume of poetry entitled “Poems” (1821), lyrical intimations on the natural world and cycle of life. Found great truth and spirituality in the natural world and landscape.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Broke with the Unitarian church and became skeptical of religious dogma that seemed to oppress individuality. His essay “Nature” became the transcendental manifesto for writers. Published his transcendental ideas in The Dial. Influenced by German philosophy. Believed in the individual divine soul.
A journal that ran from 1840-1844, powered centrally by transcendentalist writers Thoreau, Fuller, and Emerson.
The Fireside Poets
John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and William Cullen Bryant belonged to this group of famous poets known for their poetry’s accessibility to memorization and public recitation.
Skeptical of transcendentalism and morally ambiguous, this author’s work contains a sense of skepticism and social critique, especially in relation to Puritans and Calvinist theology. Despite this, he became friends with Thoreau, Fuller, and Emerson.
The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterpiece, published in 1850.
William Gilmore _____: Strong supporter of slavery, opposed to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. Edgar Allen Poe pronounced him the best novelist America had ever produced. Major force in antebellum Southern literature.
John Greenleaf Whittier
Immensely popular, provocative, and well-read poet in his day, but his popularity waned after his death. Critics have dismissed his poetry for its didacticism and moralizing. Wrote over one hundred poems in support of immediate emancipation of the slaves and warnings of an inevitable war between the states. Fireside Poet.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Achieved rock-star status as a poet, so that even his birthdays were celebrated by whole towns and schools. Wrote “Poems on Slavery” (1842) which garnered much press for its abolitionist leanings; “Evangeline” (1847), a narrative love poem set during the French and Indian War; and “The Song of Hiawatha” (1855), a narrative poem on American Indian life and culture. Fireside Poet.
Voices of the Night
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s first book of poetry, published in 1839.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Physician, poet, professor, lecturer, and author based in Boston. Wrote the “Breakfast-Table” series, beginning with “The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table” (1858). Important medical reformer. Popularized the terms “Boston Brahmin” and “anesthesia.”
Work of poetry by Oliver Wendell Holmes, published in 1830, which was influential in the eventual preservation of the USS Constitution.
Edgar Allen Poe
Best known for his gothic tales, he also wrote many poems and articles on literary criticism, and is known as the first detective-story writer. His life was turbulent and complex, the darkness of which permeates many of his stories. Coined the term “effect” as used to describe exciting the senses.
Associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson because of her work for the Dial and membership in the Transcendental Club, this writer made her most lasting contributions to American Literature in relation to women’s rights (“Woman in the Nineteenth Century” in 1845) and coverage of the Italian Revolution (1846-50).
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Author of the infamous “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1851), the most important text of the 19th century.
Henry David Thoreau
Writer who once decided to lie in the woods and begin writing a book centered completely in the natural world. Eventually the project evolved into “Walden,” his most heralded work, organized by concurrent themes and motifs of simplicity, freedom from society, and the ills of materialism.
Henry David Thoreau
Great friends with fellow transcendentalists Fuller and Emerson, his work inspired Gandhi and MLK Jr. with its nonviolent approach to “civil” government.
This former slave’s autobiography, published in 1845, is the single most important narrative of slave life.
Harriet ______: African-American writer who escaped from slavery to become an abolitionist speaker and reformer. Her single work, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” (1861), published under the pseudonym Linda Brent, was one of the first autobiographical narratives about the struggle for freedom by female slaves and an account of the sexual harassment they endured.
This writer’s work leans close to the darker side of romanticism. His books often explore the struggles each individual faces with himself, God, the natural world, and his fellow man. As his novels became more ambitious, his readership and finances suffered.
I prefer not to
In Melville’s highly-debated short story, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” Bartleby’s famous response when asked by the Lawyer to complete a simple task is: “__________.”
Unfinished sea novel left behind by Herman Melville upon his death and posthumously published in 1924.
The father of free verse. His poetry broke literary and social conventions while maintaining a strong connection with and for the American people and the country’s social landscape. Called the first New Yorker.
Leaves of Grass
The seminal work by Walt Whitman, published in 1855 and revised so many times that studying definitive edition is difficult. Many reviewers found later revisions lewd, overtly sexual, subversive, and poetically inferior to the great British poets.
Frances Ellen Watkins _____: African-American abolitionist, poet, and author. Born free in Baltimore, her first and most famous novel, “Iola Leroy” (1892), explores the life of a free mulatta as she interacts with racism, classism, and sexism.
Rose Terry _____: Published “The Mormon’s Wife” (1855), which dealt powerfully with the leprosy of Mormonism.
Charles Dudley ______: Essayist, novelist, and friend of Mark Twain, with whom he co-authored “The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today” (1873). His reflective sketches, “My Summer in a Garden” (1870), were popular for their abounding, refined humour, mellow personal charm, and delicately finished style.
Charles Dudley Warner
“Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” This remark is often misattributed to Mark Twain, but was actually made by his good friend, ___________________.
A strict Calvinist whose poetry was never meant for publication. Her untitled poems used short, fragmented lines, capitalized nouns, an abundance of dashes and spaces, and extended metaphors.
Joseph ______: Chicago businessman, literary editor of the Chicago Tribune, and author of two realistic novels of pioneer life in the Far West: “Zury: The Meanest Man in Spring County” (1887) and “The McVeys” (1888).
Rebecca Harding ____: Author and journalist deemed a pioneer of literary realism in American literature. Her most important literary work is the novella “Life in the Iron Mills” (1861). Sought to effect social change for blacks, women, Native Americans, immigrants, and the working class, by intentionally writing about the plights of these marginalized groups. Credited with over 500 published works, yet almost entirely forgotten by the time of her death.
The scope of the Colonial and Early National Period.
Bartolome de las ______: Spanish historian, social reformer, and Dominican friar, whose extensive accounts of the colonization of the West Indies revealed the atrocities committed by colonizers against the indigenous peoples.
Bernal Diaz del ______: Spanish conquistador, encomendero, and governor in Chiapas and Guatemala, an outspoken critic of the over-blown claims made by Bartolome de las Casas.
Early American colonist from Devon, famed for founding the colony of Merrymount and writing the humorous three-volume “New English Canaan” (1637).
Cheeky explorer who became popular for his own narrative of his capture by Powhatan and rescue by Pocahontas.
Puritan pastor, famous for his sermon, “A Modell of Christian Prosperity” (City on a Hill), delivered to passengers on the flagship Arbella.
Leader of the Pilgrims, a group who breached from Roman Catholicism to form independent churches. Wrote “Of Plymouth Plantation”, a definitive work detailing the Pilgrims’ adventures.
Her collection of poems, “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America” (1650), reveals her love for her husband, devotion to her family, and observations of colonial life.
Captured by the Wampanoag Indians during King Philip’s War, her account of captivity was published in 1682 and became the most popular American text in the 17th century.
Judge, businessman, and printer. Best known for his involvement in the Salem Witch Trials. Wrote the essay “The Selling of Joseph” (1700) which criticized slavery.
Known for his history of Christianity in New England, “Magnalia Christi Americana” (1702), and for his heavy involvement in the Salem Witch Trials.
The most widely anthologized preacher of colonial America. The classic “fire and brimstone” preacher, his most famous sermon was “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (1741).
Took twenty years to write his autobiography. Created the humorous character Silence Dogood, who escapades were published in his brother’s magazine when he was still a teenager. Strove to reach “Moral Perfection.”
The first Native American to publish his writings in English. One of the foremost missionaries, together with John Eliot, to cross-fertilize Native American communities with Christianized European culture.
J. Hector St. John de ______: Wrote “Letters from an American Farmer” which was highly successful in both England and France.
Olaudah _____: His autobiography was the defining account of the life of a slave before Douglass’s.
A young, black slave, her first book of poems, “Poems on Various Subjects, Religions, and Morals” (1773) was published before she was 20 and a letter of authentication had to be attached to the manuscript to prove she had written it.
Published “Charlotte Temple” (1791) which became the first American best-selling novel.
William Hill Brown
Wrote the first American novel, “The Power of Sympathy” (1789).
The first American international superstar. “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon” housed his most mythologized stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.”
Rip Van Winkle
The first American story.
Catharine Maria Sedgwick
American novelist of “domestic fiction,” she promoted Republican motherhood. Wrote “Married or Single” (1857) which put forth the idea that women should not marry if it meant compromising their self-respect.
James Fenimore Cooper
Best known for his Leatherstocking series, five novels in which he reveals the underbelly of American nationalism. Most famous in the series is “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826). Wrote one of the first historical romances of the American Revolution, “The Spy” (1821), to prove to his wife he could write as well as his English contemporaries.
The Bread and Cheese Club
A literary society founded in part by James Fenimore Cooper, which housed romantic painters of the Hudson River School and even William Cullen Bryant.
Ordained Methodist minister, writer, and activist of mixed Pequot descent, a leader in Massachusetts. His autobiography was among the first published by a Native American writer