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Literature of the 20th century

In the 20th century, literature's power to catch the popular imagination had largely been overtaken by cinema. [May 2006]

By the late 19th century, and into the 20th, many Anglophone intellectuals had come to hate the "masses" who by then were dominating cultural life. The critic John Carey has documented this hostility among a generation of British (and Irish) writers, including Wells, W.B. Yeats, and D.H. Lawrence, all of whom fantasized the destruction of this dangerous class. Yeats hoped the masses would all perish in a great war against the better classes; Lawrence wished for their extermination in a great chamber "as big as the Crystal Palace." Indeed, many such authors didn't want a mass readership at all, because it would have threatened their lofty status; the heart of literary modernism involves a balance of writerly "difficulty" intended to dissuade a mass readership, with a penchant for creating popular notoriety. --Charles Paul Freund

Parent categories: 1900s - history - literature - novel

Genres Beat Generation literature - magic realism - metafiction - experimental literature - modernist literature - paperback - pulp fiction - postmodern literature

Background informationalism - sexual revolution - WW I - WW II

Authors: Jorge Luis Borges

Titles: Heart of Darkness (1902) - The Monkey's Paw (1902) - The Confessions of Wanda von Sacher-Masoch (1907) - Hell (1908) - Phantom of the opera (1910) - We (1920) - Ulysses (1922) - In Search of Lost Time (1913 -1927) - The Metamorphosis (1915) - The Great Gatsby (1925) - Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921) - L'Histoire de L'Oeil (1928) - Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928) - Solar Anus (1931) - Tropic of Cancer (1934) - Thomas the Obscure (1941) - Madame Edwarda (1941) - No Exit (1944) - Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) - Catcher in the Rye (1951) - The Conformist (1951) - Watt (1953) - Junkie (1953) - Contempt (1954) - Story of O (1954) - Lolita (1955) - The Image (1956) - The Outsider (1956) - Erotism : Death and Sensuality (1957) - Candy (1958) - Emmanuelle (1959) - Naked Lunch (1959) - Boredom (1960) - Tears of Eros (1961) - Ma Mère (1966) - Danse Macabre (1981) - The Piano Teacher (1983) - The Voyeur (1985) - The Misfits: A Study of Sexual Outsiders (1988) - Time's Arrow (1991) - American Psycho (1991) - Dirty Weekend (1991) - Fight Club (1996)


Literature of the twentieth century is, for the purpose of this article, literature written from 1900 to 1999. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literature_of_the_20th_century [Jul 2006]

Contemporary literature

Contemporary literature is literature, in any form or medium, produced in the present day (post-1960 is an approximate cutoff point). In the context of classical literature, it can be defined as literature produced pre-1960. From this definition, contemporary literature is a form of modern writing, specifically in an academic context and is not restrictive like definitions of other genres. Contemporary, covering a specific time-frame (defined in this genre), does not relate to, nor is it restricted to this definition, as it is dependent on an individual's perspective on the genre and is therefore not universally agreed on, nor approved by. Contemporary literature remains a vital criterion in the syllabuses and/or curriculums of modern teaching practices including the study of literature, English and language studies. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_literature [Jul 2006]

See also: contemporary

"The cult of unintelligibility"

During the 1930s Max Eastman continued writing critiques of contemporary literature, publishing several controversial works in which he criticized James Joyce and other modernist writers, who, he claimed, had fostered "the cult of unintelligibility." This work began in 1931 with the publication of The Literary Mind and continued through Enjoyment of Laughter (1936), in which he also criticizes some elements of Freudian theory. Eastman was also an active traveling lecturer on various literary and social topics throughout the 1930s and 1940s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Eastman [Jul 2006]

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