美国文学名词解释

导读:1、puritanthought:i:tomakepuretheirreligiousbeliefsandpracticesii:wishtorestoresimplicitytochurchservicesandtheauthorityoftheBibleiii:Puritansshouldincludeallkindsofpeople,humblestl

美国文学名词解释

1、puritan thought:

i : to make pure their religious beliefs and practices

ii: wish to restore simplicity to church services and the authority of the Bible

iii: Puritans should include all kinds of people, humblest loftiest(最高贵的) ,poor and rich.

iiii: Puritans opposition to pleasure and their lives were disciplined and hard

iiiii: Puritan religious teaching tended to emphasize the image of a wrathful (愤怒的)God and forget His mercy.

2、Transcendentalism (超验主义 )

American Romanticism culminated around the 1840s in what has come to be known as “New England Transcendentalism” or “American Renaissance”. It served as an ethical guide to life for a young nation and brought about the idea that human can be pefected by nature. It stressed religious tolerance, called to throw off shackles of customs and traditions and go forward to the development of a new and distinctly American culture. The leading transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose Nature has been called “The Manifesto of American Transcendentalism” and whose “The American Scholar” has been rightly regarded as America’s “Declaration of Intellectual Independence”, advocated a direct intuition of a spiritual and immanent God in nature. Like him, most transcendentalists advocated idealism that was great needed in a rapidly expanded economy where opportunity often became opportunism, and the desire to “get on” obscured the moral necessity for rising to spiritual height. The views they kept helped to create the first American Renaissance- one of the most prolific period in American literature. 3、The Lost Generation

After the First World War, some young writers voluntarily left America and settled in Paris, and others who stayed behind felt themselves to be exiles in spirit. All of them were “outsiders” who observed America society and culture objectively , from distance and tried to create new types of writing . Many of them took part in the war in Europe , experiencing shock, wounds and the death of close friends . They shunned避开 the false idea of success put forth by the social system and looked on art as both a refuge庇护 from bourgeois society and mirror in which America could be shown its true face. Cut off from the life of their own country by choice , cut off from a sense of historical continuity by the First World War, they were named “the Lost Generation”. Hemingway, Cummings and Pound have been the representatives of such writers.

(An American woman writer named Gertrude Stein (1874- 1949) , Who had lived in Paris since 1903, welcomed these young writers to her apartment which was already famous as a literary salon. Stein was the advisor, friend, and confidante of some of the great friend, and confidante of some of the great French and American artists and writers of the time . In the early 1920 Ezra Pound joined her group and together they encouraged and helped such young writers as Hemingway and Cummings , both had suffered in the war . She called them “The Lost Generation” a name which stuck to them, because they had cut themselves off from their past in America in order to create new types of writing which had never been

tried before.)

4、The Southern Literature

The American South is a very distinctive region. The inhabitants are distinguished from other Americans by their Southern accent口音, culture and outlook, and their special history. The Civil War defeated and destroyed the South . The landowners became poor and backward and embittered 受苦的. In time , a new class was formed by low-class, landless people. They learned modern methods of business and farming , and began to replaced the traditional ruling class in position of power . These harsh苛刻的 conflicting social elements form the background of “Southern Fiction”, which is often twisted , violent and pessimistic.

Southern fiction had its roots in Edgar Allen Poe(1809-1849), whose strange , frightening tales had a dark , nightmarish quality even before the Civil War . The foremost Southern writer of 20th century was William Faulkner (1897-1962). He wrote feelingly of the decaying white upper class and crude , energetic white upstarts 暴发户. Faulkner was followed by some outstanding writers as Thomas Wolfe, Robert Penn Warren and Katherine Anne Porter, Carson Mc-Cullers . The later two were female writer whose work contained more delicate nuances细微差别 of feeling and were quite original. 5、The Jewish Literature

It is difficult to state exactly what is meant by Jewish Literature in America because all Jewish writers do not concern themselves only with Jewish subject. Norman Mailer , Allen Ginsberg and the like are not necessarily identifiable as “Jewish writers” though they were from Jewish family ,but Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, Isaac Bashevis Singer are often identified as the representatives of Jewish Literature in US, for they habitually write from a Jewish point of view and usually choose Jew as the heroes of their books. The most important element in their point of view is the emphasis which Jew place upon the power of intellect 智力. The power to understand their own experience , to judge their lives rationally, to think well , is considered a high virtue. 6、The Feminist Literature

Educated women in US took an active part in the Anti-Slavery Movement. The two World Wars produced a demand for labor which again changed the role of women. But educated women still found their positions are lower than that of men’s in many walks of life, which gave rise to the Women’s Liberation. Serious women writers of the 1960’s and 1970”s have been influenced by the philosophy of the Women’s Lib, whether they took part in it or not . As a group , they are no longer willing to accept the traditional roles of women; they are self-conscious, determined pathfinders开创者 in a society. Present-day women’s writing goes from political essays to high sensitive , pessimistic, even suicidal poetry . Gloria Steinem, Joyce Carol Oates , and Sylvia Plath are the three of best-known. 7、The Beat Generation

In the middle of the 1950’s, a group of writers in San Francisco put on a concerted商定的 and well-publicized rebellion against “official” American life and culture. Jack Kerouac, a novelist, named the group Beat . The Beat Movement was a revolt against the frightened, conservative political mood, against the greedy, money-seeking “respectable” life of the dominant middle class and particularly against the literary formalism of American writing after the Second World War. The Beats read their outrageously critical poetry to the public in the coffee house and bars . They adopted an “unrespectable” way of life, growing their hair and bears very long, deliberately remaining poor and dressing like paupers, living in an unconventional and undisciplined way, and even smoking “pot” . They evolved a free , non-materialistic religion with no formal church, based loosely on the teachings of Buddha佛 , comprising包含 love , joy and anarchy无政府状态 . In rejecting the carefully written works of their contemporary writers, the Beats instead wanted to write with complete spontaneity自发性 and honesty诚实, even if the effect was slap-dash匆促的. They wanted to express emotion “raw”处于自然状态,未加工的, exactly as it was felt, rather than “cooked” through memory and translation into art, which can be said as “counter-culture”. Unfortunately , the ideal became very degenerate退化的 in practice. The leaders of “Beats” were poet Allen Ginsberg and novelist Jack Kerouac. 8、The Black Humor

The term “Black Humor” was created in 1920’s ,but it was not noticed until 1960’s. It was particularly a literary phenomenon in America. Facing the absurd 荒诞and madness疯狂 in the world , some sensitive intellectuals feel to have no alternative but to express their discontentment不满, anger and despair with the technique of self-mockery自嘲 and humor. Black Humor often expresses a tragedy in the form of comedy to explore the oppression of the society . The heroes in the works of “black humor” are anti-heroic 反英雄 full of suspicion and negation ,madness as well as holiness. Josegh Heller and Kurt Vonnegut are famous for their novels of “Black Humor”.

9、The Black Literature ( Afro-American Literature )

The Black Literature has developed with political movements as The Civil Rights Movement, Black Liberation Movement. In the 19th century appeared some outstanding writers as well as politicians. Harlem Renaissance in the 20’s of 20th century from the black community in Harlem was a cultural movement which took the reflection of the black culture as its responsibility and from which the figures of the New Negro came into being in American literature . Those New Negroes , independent , active ,and full of the pride of their race, have tried to create new idea of value and image of life for the Afro-American. In the 40’s of 20th century , the literary works by Negroes was no longer ignored and now Afro-American literature with some famous black writers as Langston Hughes , Richard Wright ,Ralph Ellison ,Toni Morrison who has just got the Noble Price , has become an important part of American Literature. 10、Imagism

a movement of poets who used ordinary but image-laden language, not poetic diction. The Imagists followed three principles:

(1) “Direct treatment” The subject of poem must be expressed in such a way as to

resemble象,类似 it and reproduce it as closely as possible. Simple language must be used to create an “image” , which the reader can immediately see his own imagination.

(2) “Economy of expression” No word must be used which does not contribute

directly to the image.

(3) “Rhythm节奏,韵律” No unnecessary words may be included in order to make

meter or a rhyme韵. A poem should be composed with the phrasing of music, not a metronome节拍器 .

11、The iceberg冰山principle:

It is a principle that Hemingway usually abided by in his work. The phenomenon that an iceberg moving in the sea for only one third of it is on the surface of water with two third under it is consistent with the way of Hemingway’s writing in his work. Hemingway kept this principle and to embraced significant meaning 内涵with few words. Thus is formed his literary style :simplicity and economy of expression as a way to reach the goal; short , uncomplicated active sentences with very few adjectives to immerse使…陷入 his readers in a “continuous present”.

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