United Kingdom Literature in 20th Century

United Kingdom Literature in 20th Century

Europe

The passage from the nineteenth to the twentieth century was seething with ferments and initiatives, with tensions and contrasts, proceeding on the thread of remarkable continuity. One of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, WB Yeats (1865-1939), flourished on the impulse of renewal of the Celtic revival, and an exemplary playwright such as JM Synge (1871-1909) established himself; isolated and unknown in his time, due to his intense originality GM Hopkins (1844-89) was already a twentieth-century poet. There is a continuity between Hardy and DH Lawrence (1885-1930), between naturalists and EA Bennett (1867-1931), J. Galsworthy (1867-1933), HG Wells himself (1866-1946); between the poets of the end of the century and the “Georgian” ones, between AE Housman (1859-1936), RS Bridges (1844-1930) and poets who immolated themselves in the First World War such as R. Brooke (1887-1915) and W. Owen (1893 -1918). The detachment took place with the great representatives of the historical avant-garde, with J. Joyce (1882-1941) in fiction and Th. S. Eliot (1888-1965) in poetry: two writers who at the same time exalt the “mythical method”, the interior monologue and the stylistic shattering as new modules of artistic creation, profoundly influencing the nature and course of contemporary literature. Their very presence conditioned, whether it was a question of developing its premises or of contesting its validity, almost all the other writers, novelists such as V. Woolf (1882-1941) and EM Forster (1879-1970), who also represented the antagonist group of Bloomsbury and placed the imperceptible vibrations of the stream of consciousness at the center of their work, the other the ethical-symbolic game of contrasting customs; like AL Huxley (1894-1963), attentive to the play of symphonic orchestrations, and G. Orwell (1903-50), as C. Isherwood (1904-86), E. Waugh (1903-66) or the declared and noisy enemy of modern experimentalism, PW Lewis (1884-1957). According to Areacodesexplorer, Eliot’s influence in poetry is noticeable above all in the poets of the Thirties, who openly faced the theme of social and political commitment (the Spanish Civil War was the catalyst event of the decade) adopting the gray, detached, almost metallic by Eliot just when he evolved towards a formal recognition of tradition.

Among these poets, CD Lewis (1904-72), S. Spender (1909-95), L. Mac Neice (1907-63), WH Auden (1907-73), it was the latter who continued and developed Eliot’s lesson in the sense of a stylistic and formal virtuosity that redeemed poetry from the fullness of a vigilant intelligence criticism. Experimentalism continued and strengthened after World War II: in the conversational novels of I. Compton-Burnett (1892-1969) and H. Green (1905-73), in the massive search for lost time by AD Powell (1905- 2000) and in the Einsteinian refractions of the time of LG Durrell (1912-90), in the symbolic orchestrations of WG Golding (1911-93) up to the metaphysical-linguistic abstractions of the Nobel Prize S. Beckett (1906-89), in which the relationship with Joyce is direct. In this perspective, novelists such as G. Greene (1904-91) and AFJ Wilson (1913-91) remain in the background of a high craftsmanship, while those writers, such as J. Braine (1922-86), seem to be on the path of rapid involution., K. Amis (1922-95), J. Wain (b. 1925) and A. Sillitoe (b. 1928), who in the 1950s and 1960s appeared to be “angry young men”. More profound had been, in the 1940s, the revolt against the cold intellectualism then prevailing of the so-called “apocalyptic poets”, who looked to R. Graves (1895-1985) and made DM Thomas (1914-53) a leader and a teacher. Thomas’s emotional and verbal intensity was destined to burn out in a short space of years: on its poetic ashes the “Movement” (1957) was born with its ideal of a formally measured and correct poetry, British and insular, which was based on the Pope model and had its major representatives in Ph. Larkin (1922-85) and D. Davie (1922-95). Poets like Th. Gunn (b.1929) and T. Hughes (1930-1998) gradually detached from them who, rejecting the Eliotian principle of impersonality, reinserted a strong charge of personal and emotional participation in a type of poetry defined as “confessional”.

United Kingdom Literature in 20th Century