Literature of 20th century

Topics: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, William Butler Yeats, David Livingstone Pages: 7 (1141 words) Published: May 24, 2014

20th Century and beyond- Döring , 1. Sitzung am 08.04.14
Siehe Handout

Texts chosen by chance, subjection

Erich Auerbach- Mimesis

Monarchical categories: literature under monarch
e.g. 1830-1901 “The Victorian Age”

Julian Barnes: A History of the World in 10 ½ chapters, 1989 No solution

Article: World´s last WW1 veteran dies
Difference: talking about event in past (represented through documents  impersonal) Talking about personal experience represented through eye-witnesses

“floating gap”
/-> because always shifts

Communicative memory cultural memory
-eye-witness Jan Assmann: Das kulturelle Gedächtnis, 1992 -reliability not criteria

100/ 1000 years doesn´t matter -> must rely on documents anyway

Barnes: categories chosen arbitrarily
What does literature mean concerning world dates?
Meaningful inclusion in list?

Eric Hobsbawn (1994):
The Age of Extremes (1914-1991)
How can literature survive in term where life is marked by war? “poets are unauthorized legislature of the world”

2.Sitzung am 15.04.2014

Handouts im LSF
Apocalypse Now- Francis Ford Coppola 1979
Signature film about 20th century
Vietnam war, 60ies- 70ies
Transformation of Conrads heart of darkness into 1960s to south-east-Asia

Sense of an ending
Century: calendary convenience
All history -> essential story-telling
´facts of history´= man-made artefacts
Fin de siècle – 1890s
Sense of ending, finality
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
Never published more fiction, only poetry (“The Darkling Thrush”-bird) Position of poetic voice: I:
First stanza: beginning
2nd stanza: end
4th stanza: ending
Thrush: once more give unlimited joy, that poets can´t give anymore Asthetic beauty, hope, joy
Ultimate catastrophe
Sinking of Titanic: 1912

Heart of Darkness:
Beginning not spectacular
Wait for the tide: nothing to do but wait
´In Darkest Africa`- Henry Morton Stanley
`the dark continent`
The Life & Explorations of Dr. Livingstone- David Livingstone Stanley was sent after Livingstone to find him
“Dr. Livingstone, I presume”- mythical story
Story of white man, travelling into interia

Marlo= narrative person -> oral story-telling
2nd paragraph: danger
Description of landscape: intensively symbolized
Key-word again (like in Hardy-poem): “gloom”
Linguistic device: turns into apocalyptical sense
3rd paragraph:
Phillip the 2nd of Spain: “The Sun never sets in my empire” Empire= global powers
“the sun set” = summary of entire period of empire
Sun setting over London= end of an empire
For future only darkness, gloom
What does the story-teller face if he manages to get into the middle of Kongo? Conrad: 1857-1924
Plot based on many historical facts
Conrad= sailor, steamboat in Kongo up river, wrote diary
All identifiable places erased _-> symbolic places
Ultimate problem: they were not inhuman
Discovers in heart of darkness: barbaric figures NOT different from himself Racial text: earliest form on earth: same
Chronotopos : traveller goes to different place to travel back in time, where he find himself Cannibalism: general theme
White person encounters primitive version of himself
Chinua Achebe: “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad´s Heart of Darkness” (1974) Norton, p. 2709
Titanic: sums up destruction of hope: technology
The Convergence of the Twain: ´coming together of the two´, as they were meant together Superhuman, higher will

Sitzung am 29.04.14
War Poetry

“Can poetry describe the horror of war?” “Should poetry get involved & how?”

Die Traumdeutung- Freud
psychological breakthrough
 political
20th century: many writers emerged from colonial empire
Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, 1857 in Berdiczew  Joseph Conrad W.B. Yeats: anglo-irish

War Poets: about the Great War
Remembrance Day 1920, The Whitehall Cenotaph...
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