Post-modern literature


Иностранные языки, филология и лингвистика

The term Postmodern literature is used to describe certain tendencies in post-World War II literature. It is both a continuation of the experimentation championed by writers of the modernist period (relying heavily, for example, on fragmentation, paradox, questionable narrators, etc.)...



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Lecture 15

Post-modern literature

The term Postmodern literature is used to describe certain tendencies in post-World War II literature. It is both a continuation of the experimentation championed by writers of the modernist period (relying heavily, for example, on fragmentation, paradox, questionable narrators, etc.) and a reaction against Enlightenment ideas implicit in Modernist literature. Postmodern literature, like postmodernism as a whole, is difficult to define and there is little agreement on the exact characteristics, scope, and importance of postmodern literature.

20th-century genre literature

Agatha Christie (1890–1976) was a crime writer of novels, short stories and plays, who is best remembered for her 80 detective novels as well as her successful plays for the West End theatre. Christie's works, particularly those featuring the detectives Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, have given her the title the 'Queen of Crime' and she was one of the most important and innovative writers in this genre. Christie's novels include, Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and And Then There Were None. Another popular writer during the Golden Age of detective fiction was Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957). Other recent noteworthy writers in this genre are Ruth Rendell, P. D. James and Scot Ian Rankin.

Erskine Childers The Riddle of the Sands 1903, is an early example of the spy novel. A noted writer in the spy novel genre was John le Carré, while in thriller writing, Ian Fleming created the character James Bond 007 in January 1952, while on holiday at his Jamaican estate, Goldeneye. Fleming chronicled Bond's adventures in twelve novels, including Casino Royale (1953), Live and Let Die (1954), Dr. No (1958), Goldfinger (1959), Thunderball (1961), and nine short story works.

Hungarian-born Baroness Emma Orczy's (1865–1947) original play, The Scarlet Pimpernel, opened in October 1903 at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal and was not a success. However, with a rewritten last act, it opened at the New Theatre in London in January 1905. The premier of the London production was enthusiastically received by the audience, running 122 performances and enjoying numerous revivals. The Scarlet Pimpernel became a favourite of London audiences, playing more than 2,000 performances and becoming one of the most popular shows staged in England to that date. The novel The Scarlet Pimpernel was published soon after the play opened and was an immediate success. Orczy gained a following of readers in Britain and throughout the world. The popularity of the novel encouraged her to write a number of sequels for her "reckless daredevil" over the next 35 years. The play was performed to great acclaim in France, Italy, Germany and Spain, while the novel was translated into 16 languages. Subsequently, the story has been adapted for television, film, a musical and other media.

The Kailyard school of Scottish writers, notably J. M. Barrie (1869–1937), creator of Peter Pan (1904), presented an idealised version of society and brought of fantasy and folklore back into fashion.

In 1908, Kenneth Grahame (1859–1932) wrote the children's classic The Wind in the Willows. An informal literary discussion group associated with the English faculty at the University of Oxford, were the "Inklings". Its leading members were the major fantasy novelists; C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis is especially known for The Chronicles of Narnia, while Tolkien is best known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Another significant writer is Alan Garner author of Elidor (1965), while Terry Pratchett is a more recent fantasy writer. Roald Dahl rose to prominence with his children's fantasy novels, such as James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, often inspired by experiences from his childhood, which are notable for their often unexpected endings, and unsentimental, dark humour. J. K. Rowling author of the highly successful Harry Potter series and Philip Pullman famous for his His Dark Materials trilogy are other significant authors of fantasy novels for younger readers.

Noted writers in the field of comic books are Neil Gaiman, and Alan Moore; Gaiman also produces graphic novels.

In the later decades of the 20th century, the genre of science fiction begun to be taken more seriously because of the work of writers such as Arthur C. Clarke's (2001: A Space Odyssey), Isaac Asimov, Ursula le Guin, Michael Moorcock and Kim Stanley Robinson. Another prominent writer in this genre, Douglas Adams, is particularly associated with the comic science fiction work, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe, which began life as a radio series in 1978. Mainstream novelists such Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood also wrote works in this genre, while Scottish novelist Ian M. Banks has also achieved a reputation as both a writer of traditional and science fiction novels.


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