AD's English Literature : May 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 75

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers

Anglo-Saxon Period (450 — 1066)


1: Which Roman General conquered England in A.D. 43? When did the Romans go back from England?

Ans: Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55 b.c. and returned the following year to defeat the native forces. The inhabitants, referred to collectively as Britons, maintained political freedom and paid tribute to Rome for almost a century before the Roman emperor Claudius I initiated the systematic conquest of Britain in ad 43. At the end of the 3rd century, the Roman army began to withdraw from Britain to defend other parts of the Roman Empire. The Romans went back from England in A. D. 410. Celtic culture again became predominant and Roman civilization in Britain rapidly disintegrated. Roman influence virtually disappeared during the Germanic invasions in the 5th and 6th centuries. Thereafter the culture of the Angles and Saxons spread throughout the island.

2: Where did the Saxons come to England from?

Ans: The Saxons came to England from Germany. Saxons are Germanic people who first appear in history after the beginning of the Christian era. The earliest mention of the Saxons is by the Alexandrian mathematician and geographer Ptolemy in the 2nd century ad. In the 5th and 6th centuries, some groups of Saxons invaded Britain, where they were joined by other Germanic peoples, the Angles and the Jutes. At the beginning of the 7th century, the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain was practically completed.

3: From which country did St. Augustine come to England? What are his literary contributions?

Ans: St. Augustine came to England from Rome in 597 A D. As a writer, Augustine was prolific, persuasive, and a brilliant stylist. His best-known work is his autobiographical Confessions, Christian apologia The City of God (413-26), Retractions (428), On Free Will (388-95), On Christian Doctrine (397), On Baptism: Against the Donatists (400), On the Trinity (400-16), and On Nature and Grace (415); and Homilies upon several books of the Bible.

Analyzing Sylvia Plath’s Poems: Combination of Vision, Nightmare, Confession and Subjectivity

Sylvia Plath wrote to her mother in a letter: “I am up about five, in my study with coffee, writing like mad—have managed a poem a day before breakfast… Terrific stuff, as if domesticity had choked me.”
Sylvia Plath, noted for her intensely personal and brutally honest poems, was a phenomenon, a meteor that appeared suddenly on the literary horizon, dazzled and disappeared before the world could properly have a glimpse of her. Plath’s work has grown in influence and popularity since her suicide at age 30. She is widely regarded as one the first feminist poets and an icon of the women’s movement. Read More Poetry Germairie Greer claimed that Sylvia Plath was the most ‘arrogantly feminine” poetess whoever wrote. David Holbrook adds, “A phenomenological analyses suggests that while knowing well outwardly that she was a woman, Sylvia Plath could scarcely find within herself anything that was feminine at all. Read More Criticism She is, perhaps, the most masculine poetess who aver wrote, yet, since, masculinity requires the inclusion of the anima, she is not that either: Read More Poetry she is sadly pseudo-male, like many of her cultists.” She was a heroine of women’s literary movement. For all her creative effort, she could not care herself. She idolized suicide and infanticide in ‘Edge’. It was written only two weeks before she committed suicide. She also idolized the Zany idolization of suicidal tendencies in The Bell Jar, a strongly autobiographical novel. The book is a first-person account of a young woman’s mental breakdown and suicide attempt, closely mirroring Plath’s own experiences.  She believed that death could be a pathway to rebirth, so that her suicide was a schizoid suicide.
Sylvia Plath belonged to the world wherein contemporary art was and is, moving towards nihilism and abandonment to hate. For all her harrowing and courageous record of suffering, Sylvia Plath died in the end because she could not sustain confidence in her true potentialities which could her. Read More Poetry In the end she is left with only one possible identity “she- who-commits-suicide”. This is the mental state, in general, o the western Society: “humanness is ebbing on account of the institutional depersonalization.” Sylvia Plath is the symptom and consequence of the prevalent epidemic in Schizoid humanity.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 74

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers


 (a)Australian Aboriginal writer  Jack Davis (1917-2002) is known for his poetry, plays, and dedication to Aboriginal causes. A to Z (Objective Questions)

(b)  A picaresque novel, full-length fictional work, often satirical in nature, in which the principal character is cynical and amoral, is about a rogue hero who leads a wandering life. The form originated in Spain, and the term picaresque derives from the Spanish word picaro (rogue). The earliest Spanish example is Lazarillo de Tormes (Lazaro of Tormes, 1554); of unknown authorship. The most noted of German picaresque novels is The Adventurous Simplicissimus. In France the type is best represented by The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane. The earliest English picaresque novel is believed to have been The Unfortunate Traveller, or, The Life of Jack Wilton (1594) by Thomas Nashe. The picaresque novel was particularly popular in England in the 18th century  quickened this tradition with the contributions as The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (1722)   by Daniel Defoe; and The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748) and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751), both by Tobias Smollett.  Fielding’s Tom Jones, Joseph Andrews are the finest creations of this group.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Critical Estimate of Walter De La Mare as The Artist for Romantic Supernaturalism

“Never the least stir made the listeners
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.”-

Walter de la Mare

The Listeners

Walter De La Mare is the best— known of modern poets who have excelled in writing verses for children as well as adult. He has the direct vision, of childhood as well as the child’s love for simple things but has the notion of deep introspection. Read More Poetry  Though his imagination and intellects are almost always fully adult, he can admirably convey through his poems both the charming ignorance and the divine incomprehensibility of childhood. His success in this sphere depends chiefly on the fact that, like Blake, he is a master in the art of understatement—'he can take the world in his band and call it a grain of sand.'

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 73

 Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers
1. Who, of the following, belongs to 14th century?
(i) William Wordsworth
 (ii) William Wycherley
 (iii) William Langland
 (iv) William Watson

2. Match the following Time Line with their Historical Importance in British History:

List – A  Time Line            
List – B: Historical Importance in British History
(I) 1453        
1.  After the upheaval of the English Revolution a new British Parliament requested                   Charles II    to return and proclaimed him king on May 8, 1660.

(II) 1558       
2. In the ensuing period Wordsworth and Coleridge collaborated on a book of poems entitled Lyrical Ballads, first published in this date. This work is generally taken to mark the beginning of the Romantic Movement in English poetry. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)
(III) 1660     
3. Elizabeth I, the first woman in British history, occupy the English throne in this year.
(IV) 1798     
4. Renaissance as a movement in arts and letters is said to have started in Europe.
Which is the correct combination according to the code:
     (A) 2 1 3 4
     (B) 3 4 2 1
     (C) 4 3 1 2
     (D) 1 2 4 3

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Life and Contribution of Edward Thomas (1878—1917)- The Georgian Poet

“ When, indeed, Edward Thomas was killed in Flanders, a mirror of England was shattered of so pure and true a crystal that a clearer and tenderer reflection of it can be found no where than in these poems.” Walter de Ia Mare

 The Poet’ Life and His Prose Works: Edward Thomas was born in London in 1878. His father, a practically minded civil servant, took great care for the education of Edward. Read More History of English Literature (Essay) He had his school education at St. Paul s School and then entered the Lincoln College, Oxford.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Joseph Addison and Richard Steele’s The Spectator and The Tatler: Birth of Modern Story and Art of Characterization

Stories are of abiding interest in our modern day life and while talking about the birth of modern short story or novel, we cannot miss the immortal character sketches of The Tatler and The Spectator essays. Notably, these types of tales had continued to appear in the centuries that preceded throughout the world literature. Read More Essay Ishap’s Tales, Yataka’s Tales, Arabian Nights, Decameron or even Canterury Tales is more or less same in the genre. One source of such stories was the 18th-century English magazine The Tatler and The Spectator, where editors Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele published many semi-fictional sketches of contemporary character types. Now, we will shift our discussion on these periodicals for their merits of literature. 

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