Literature must not awake any associations: associative emotions are invalid. Everything that is the result of emotions cannot be the gist of literary work, cannot be material for prose & poetry. They must consist in the precise rendering of internal & external reality. The words must express the reality directly, she tried to devoid them of any meaning. But she forgot that the painter & the writer use different media for their arts. But if colours have no meaning the words obviously possess it. She wanted to create pure literature by using pure words, no one else tried to do that before. She emptied the words of the thought & created almost her private language & that was the extreme. It showed how far one could go in violating the language.
Another novelty – the new concept of time. She tried a new method of narration – “continuous present”. Instead of the narration she creates a composition where a story is presented as if happening at the present moment, not as a consequent unfolding of the theme as we perceive reading. She did acknowledge that such a category as time in literature would transform into continuous perception of the present moment. So she tried to put this theory into practice in her book “The Making of Americans”.
In “The Making of America” describing the history of the Gestland family she tries at the same time to give a picture of American history. She tried to describe individual & general simultaneously. And that resulted in the style, which was very awkward. She also tried to use the technique that she borrowed from cinematography, like in a film each next shot presents a slight variation from the previous one. Each next sentence differed from the previous one only insignificantly (regularly-repeated phrases, key words). It may look ridiculous, stupid, but many modern writers took this repetition from her.
Another side the so-called portraits in literature were created on the basis of rhythic principle. Every person has his own rhyth & in portraying a person’s life she tried to combine & match these rhyths – literary expressionism. The result of this was simplification of syntax, foregrounding of the verbs, minimal punctuation & omission of nouns & adjectives. “Tender Buttons” is a collection of poems, examples of this technique. The reaction was not unanimous. They accused the style for deintellectualization. For example, Malcolm Kowly said that “reading her style annoys us…”. Stein’s experiments are not so important by itself because they warned other artists against taking the same route. Her works are fruitless & senseless – they distract the communication. But her experiments are noticeable in Hemingway’s syntax, Faulkner’s “continuous present” (=past does exist in the present), Sherwood Anderson’s principles of cinematography. Her significance – she was the first English writer who expressed those tendencies which were the distinctive features of the avant-garde movement.
John Doss Passos (1896-1970)
He was born in Chicago. He lived a long life but his most productive period was in the 20-30’s of the XXth century. He reflected the progressive ideas of the time, produced the epic of American life within the framework of a literary experiments. He graduated from Harvard. In 1916-17 studied architecture in Spain & this background can be felt in his works in their architecture. Participated in the war & after that he began to write. His first book – “One Man’s Initiation”(1920). It was the first book in American literature, which treats the war topic. It is a lost generation book because it was motivated by post-was disillusionment that young people experienced. The pathos is clearly antiwar. It is autobiographical. The pacifist motives are very strong here. The style doesn’t differ much from that of his mature works. Dos Passos chose the fragmentary way of organization of material, which is to his mind, more expressive. The book is in the form of interior monologue – to express more precisely the crash of a young American world in the war.
He continued the same technique in “Three Soldiers”. He attacks the corruption of the world, socialist motives become more explicit in his work. Here he experiments with writing technique – plot. The lives of three young people – Americans – are in the focus of his attention. At first their lives are connected, they met each other on the same boat but this is the only point where their fates are close. As they arrive in Europe their ways diverge. Each one follows his own path. The plot decenters, follows the life of each of three heroes. All of them are ruined at the war, feel lost, disillusioned. It is a typical lost generation novel written in the modernist technique. John Andrews is a painter, he dreams to express his protest against the war by artistic means. Both J. Andrews in the book & J. D. Passos fear capitalist tyranny & revolutionary enthusiasm. Antibourgeois pathos is rather strong.
Ðåôåðàò îïóáëèêîâàí: 31/01/2010