What Is Literary Fiction, and When Did It Become Popular?
The first KNOWN piece of literature is The Epic of Gilgamesh. It is an epic poem arises from stories in Sumerian. It was probably composed around BCE. Dec 19, · As with the wheel, cities and law codes, the earliest examples of written literature appear to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia. The Sumerian civilization first .
The history of American literature stretches across more than years. It can be divided into five major periods, each of which has unique characteristics, notable authors, and representative works. The first European settlers of North America wrote about their experiences starting in the s. This was the earliest American literature: practical, straightforward, often derivative of literature in Great Britain, and focused on the future. In its earliest days, during the s, American literature consisted mostly of practical nonfiction written by British settlers who populated the colonies that would become the United States.
John Smith wrote histories of Virginia based on his experiences as an English explorer and a president of the Jamestown Colony. These histories, published in andare among the earliest works of American literature. Nathaniel Ward and John Winthrop wrote books on religion, a topic of central concern in colonial America. American poetry and fiction were largely modeled on what was being published overseas in Great Britain, and much of what American readers consumed also came from Great How to copy software from one mac to another. Philip Freneau was another notable poet of the era.
By the first decades of the 19th century, a truly American literature began to emerge. Though still derived from British literary tradition, the short stories and novels published from through the s began to depict American society and explore the American landscape in an unprecedented manner. James Fenimore Cooper wrote novels of adventure about the frontiersman Natty Bumppo. These novels, called the Leatherstocking Tales —41depict his experiences in the American wilderness in both realistic and highly romanticized ways.
It also values the wildness of nature over human-made order. Romanticism as a worldview took hold in western Europe in the late 18th century, and American writers embraced it in the early 19th century.
Edgar Allan Poe most vividly depicted, and inhabited, the role of the Romantic individual—a genius, often tormented and always struggling against convention—during the s and up to his mysterious death in Its eeriness is intensified by its meter and rhyme scheme. In New England, several different groups of writers and thinkers emerged aftereach exploring the experiences of individuals in different segments of American society.
James Russell Lowell was among how to make adirondack chairs from skis who used humor and dialect in verse and prose to depict everyday life in the Northeast. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes were the most prominent of the upper-class Brahminswho filtered their depiction of America through European models and sensibilities.
The Transcendentalists developed an elaborate philosophy that saw in all of creation a unified whole. Margaret Fuller was editor of The Dialan important Transcendentalist magazine. Three men— Nathaniel HawthorneHerman Melvilleand Walt Whitman —began publishing novels, short stories, and poetry during the Romantic period that became some of the most-enduring works of American literature.
In the s he crossed paths with the Transcendentalists before he started writing his two most significant novels— The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables Walt Whitman wrote poetry that described his home, New York City. He refused the traditional constraints of rhyme and meter in favor of free verse in Leaves of Grassand his frankness in subject matter and tone repelled some critics.
But the book, which went through many subsequent editionsbecame a landmark in American poetry, and it epitomized the ethos of the Romantic period. During the s, as the United States headed toward civil war, more and more stories by and about enslaved and free African Americans were written.
William Wells Brown published what is considered the first black American novel, Clotelin He also wrote the first African American play to be published, The Escape Wilson became the first black women to publish fiction in the United States.
Emily Dickinson lived a life quite unlike other writers of the Romantic period: she lived largely in seclusion; only a handful of her poems were diddy what you been drankin on before her death in ; and she was a woman working at a time when men dominated the literary scene.
They are sharp-edged and emotionally intense. Five of her notable poems are. The human cost of the Civil War in the United States was immense: more than 2. This was the essence of realism. Naturalism was an intensified form of how to make yourself laugh so funny. Samuel Clemens was a typesetter, a journalist, a riverboat captain, and an itinerant laborer before he became, in at age 27, Mark Twain.
He first used that name while reporting on politics in the Nevada Territory. Twain deployed this combination of humor and realism throughout his writing. Some of his notable works include. Naturalism, like realism, was a literary movement that drew inspiration from French authors of the 19th century who sought to document, through fiction, the reality that they saw around them, particularly among the middle and working classes living in cities.
Theodore Dreiser was foremost among American writers who embraced naturalism. His Sister Carrie is the most important American naturalist novel. Henry James shared the view of the realists and naturalists that literature ought to present reality, but his writing style and use of literary form sought to also create an aesthetic experience, not simply document truth. He was preoccupied with the clash in values between the United States and Europe. His writing shows features of both 19th-century realism and naturalism and 20th-century modernism.
Some of his notable novels are. Advances in science and technology in Western countries rapidly intensified at the start of the 20th century and brought about a sense of unprecedented progress.
These contradictory impulses can be found swirling within modernisma movement in the arts defined first and foremost as a radical break from the how to uninstall windows dvd maker. But this break was often an act of destruction, and it caused a loss of faith in traditional structures and beliefs. Despite, or perhaps because of, these contradictory impulses, the modernist period proved to be one of the richest and most productive in American literature.
A sense of disillusionment and loss pervades much American modernist fiction. That sense may be centered on specific individuals, or it may be directed toward American society or toward civilization generally. It may generate a nihilistic, destructive impulse, or it may express hope at the prospect of change. Richard Wright exposed and attacked American racism in Native Son William Faulkner used stream-of-consciousness monologues and other formal techniques to break from past literary practice in The Sound and the Fury Eliot was an American by birth and, as ofa British subject by choice.
His fragmentary, multivoiced The Waste Land is the quintessential modernist poem, but his was not the dominant voice among American modernist poets. Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg evocatively described the regions—New England and the Midwest, respectively—in which they lived.
Harriet Monroe founded Poetry magazine in Chicago in and made it the most important organ for poetry not just in the United States but for the English-speaking world.
During the s Edna St. Vincent MillayMarianne Mooreand E. Cummings expressed a spirit of revolution and experimentation in their poetry. Drama how to use wood router tool to prominence for the first time in the United States in the early 20th century.
Playwrights drew inspiration from European theater but created plays that were uniquely and enduringly American. Thornton Wilder presented a realistic and enormously influential vision of small-town America in Our Townfirst produced in This conflict with the Soviet Union shaped global politics for more than four decades, and the proxy wars and threat of nuclear annihilation that came to define it were just some of the influences shaping American literature during the second half of the 20th century.
Prior to the last decades of the 20th century, American literature was largely the story of dead white men who had created Art and of living white men doing the same.
By the turn of the 21st century, American literature had become a much more complex and inclusive story grounded on a wide-ranging body of past writings produced in the United States by people of different backgrounds and open to more Americans in the present day. Literature written by African Americans during the contemporary period was shaped in many ways by Richard Wright, whose autobiography Black Boy was published in He left the United States for France after World War II, repulsed by the injustice and discrimination he faced as a black man in America; other black writers working from the s through the s also wrestled with the desires to escape an unjust society and to change it.
James Baldwin wrote essays, novels, and plays on race and sexuality throughout his life, but his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountainwas his most accomplished and influential. The Black Arts movement was grounded in the tenets of black nationalism and sought to generate a uniquely black consciousness.
She received a Nobel Prize in In the s Alice Walker began writing novels, poetry, and short stories that reflected her involvement in the civil rights movement. Realist, metafictional, postmodern, absurdist, autobiographical, short, long, fragmentary, feminist, stream of consciousness—these and dozens more labels can be applied to the vast output of American novelists.
Little holds them together beyond their chronological proximity and engagement with contemporary American society. Among representative novels are. Vladimir Nabokov : Lolita Jack Kerouac : On the Road Thomas Pynchon : The Crying of Lot 49 Kurt Vonnegut : Slaughterhouse-Five Ursula K. Toni Morrison : Song of SolomonBeloved Alice Walker : The Color Purple Jamaica Kincaid : Annie John David Foster Wallace : Infinite Jest Don DeLillo : Underworld Ha Jin : Waiting Jonathan Franzen : The Corrections The Beat movement was short-lived—starting and ending in the s—but had a lasting influence on American poetry during the contemporary period.
Among the important what is the warmest womens winter coat of this period are.
Anne Sexton. Sylvia Plath. John Berryman. Donald Hall. Elizabeth Bishop.
The Colonial and Early National Period (17th century to 1830)
In its earliest days, during the s, American literature consisted mostly of practical nonfiction written by British settlers who populated the colonies that would become the United States. John Smith wrote histories of Virginia based on his experiences as an English explorer and a president of the Jamestown Colony. These histories, published in and , are among the earliest works of American . Feb 28, · The first printed story, the epic of Gilgamesh, was created and began to spread from Mesopotamia to other parts of Europe and Asia. The story was carved on stone pillars for all to see, which spread the story around very quickly. In the s B.C., Aesop’s fables were written down, and continue to teach lessons today in many areas of life. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered to be the first great work of literature, and dates from around BC. The epic poem was based on Sumerian tales, and was later recorded on stone tablets,the oldest known belonging to the Babylonians in BC.. Thus this tale became a .
These days, the boundaries between genres is blurred, yet, one type of fiction stands out—literary fiction. Although difficult to define absolutely, it is nevertheless important to be able to identify it and track its course through the history of writing. CC Ruminatrix no changes made. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered to be the first great work of literature, and dates from around BC.
The epic poem was based on Sumerian tales, and was later recorded on stone tablets,the oldest known belonging to the Babylonians in BC. Thus this tale became a written story ready to inspire others. Many later writings, including those recorded by Homer, were based on the Epic of Gilgamesh. You can see how writing down the Epic of Gilgamesh influenced later stories.
In these early days, literature was often seen as disruptive and divisive, and many texts were destroyed. Many ancient texts were destroyed when the Library of Alexandria was accidentally destroyed in the 1st century BC. This allowed books to move from the possession of the select, and rich, few, to a mass market. This could be construed as one of the first pieces of literary fiction to be made available to a mass market.
The novel struggled to gain a reputation. Its competitors were travel books, memoirs, biographies and the like. Over the next several decades, writing and publishing became a boom business.
Novels, and writing generally, began to be categorised into genres. It helped bookstores, and ultimately, it helped book buyers, too. This is something which continues to this day. But those tools are not our tools, and that business is not our business.
Into the 20th century, writers such as F. But with the opening up of the publishing world to self and independent publishers, the strict genre classifications have morphed and blended. When it seems that there is a genre for every taste out there, does literary fiction still have a place in our modern society?
Well, of course it does! The market for short, literary fiction used to be limited to literary and art magazines, and an occasional anthology. Fixed printing costs meant that short-run literary works were expensive to produce, and had difficulty reaching a larger market.
We now have ebooks, which cost nothing to print, and can cost nothing to produce, which opens the market wide. Very informative. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.
Learn how your comment data is processed. Reading along with us and have comments of your own? You are welcome to leave them on this website, our join our closed Facebook group for story discussion, The Literary Roadhouse Readers. Literary Roadhouse is a literary podcast where avid readers and aspiring writers read and discuss short and long fiction.
Read deeply. Here are some definitions which might work: They are works that offer deliberate commentary on larger social issues, political issues, or focus on the individual to explore some part of the human condition. Literature is writing of high quality, sustained by intelligent structure and informed by original thought. It requires integration of all the elements into an intellectually and emotionally satisfying whole.
Trickiest of all: it has to say something. See what I mean about it being difficult to define? Jay andrew says:. June 5, at am. Ivan K Wu says:. April 14, at pm. Maya Goode says:. April 15, at pm. Maria Concepcion says:. February 6, at am. February 5, at pm. Anais Concepcion says:. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Support us on Patreon Become a Patron! Join the Discussion Reading along with us and have comments of your own? Search Search for:. About Literary Roadhouse Literary Roadhouse is a literary podcast where avid readers and aspiring writers read and discuss short and long fiction.