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Stevens' primary concern is not with history, or civilization, or even nature, but with the "mythology of self" and with the self's relationship to both the world and the inner workings of the mind as it attempts to order and shape that world . The central philosophical theme which runs throughout Stevens' poetry is that of the tension, opposition, or interplay between reality and the imagination.
Stevens was interested in reality "only when it [had] been refracted through the idiom of art," or, to be more precise, only when it had been refined and colored by the poet's imagination.
Supreme Fiction is an alternative world, a world of the imagination which "weaves its always changing, always delightful, fictive covering" over the world of reality.
The purpose of poetry, then, would be to give the reader a glimpse of such a world, to provide a sense of reality transformed by the poet's imaginative powers.
harlem Renaissance, a blossoming (c. 1918–37) of African American culture, particularly in the creative arts, and the most influential movement in African American literary history. Embracing literary, musical, theatrical, and visual arts, participants sought to reconceptualize “the Negro” apart from the white stereotypes that had influenced black peoples’ relationship to their heritage and to each other. They also sought to break free of Victorian moral values and bourgeois shame about aspects of their lives that might, as seen by whites, reinforce racist beliefs.
Some of the era’s most important literary and artistic figures migrated to or passed through “the Negro capital of the world,” helping to define a period in which African-American artists reclaimed their identity and racial pride in defiance of widespread prejudice and discrimination.
The origins of the Harlem Renaissance lie in the Great Migration of the early 20th century, when hundreds of thousands of black people migrated from the South into dense urban areas that offered relatively more economic opportunities and cultural capital. It was, in the words of editor, journalist, and critic Alain Locke, “a spiritual coming of age” for African American artists and thinkers, who seized upon their “first chances for group expression and self- determination.” Harlem Renaissance poets such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Georgia Douglas Johnson explored the beauty and pain of black life and sought to define themselves and their community outside of white stereotypes.
1925-1929: These years encompassed some of the landmark achievements of the literary Harlem Renaissance, such as Alain Locke’s anthology, The New Negro: An Interpretation, which included works by Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neale Hurston and sought to define the movement. Yet the economic boom that had allowed African American culture to flourish in the 1920s was about to end. In October 1929, a stock market crash sparked what is now known as the Great Depression. Millions were thrown out of work––and African Americans, who tended to be “last hired, first fired,” were hit especially hard. African American artists saw their audiences and support dwindle as budgets and disposable incomes shrank.
Hughes refused to differentiate between his personal experience and the common experience of black America. He wanted to tell the stories of his people in ways that reflected their actual culture, including both their suffering and their love of music, laughter, and language itself.
JEWISHNESS IN AMERICA 1950s
After World War II, Orthodox Jewish refugees who came to America, arrived with a commitment to Orthodoxy hitherto unseen in America. They came because Europe was destroyed, and they brought with them a sense of cultural superiority, that the Jewish culture was transcendent over American culture. The immigrants who had come earlier were more committed to a balancing act. This added a new vitality to Orthodoxy and slowly began to make an impact upon the larger American Jewish community. One of their major goals was to create a separatist Jewish educational system, which had been a minority movement among Orthodox Jews in the United States prior to the Second World War. They saw that as Jews became more accepted into American society, the need for intensive Jewish education, integrated with secular studies, was needed in order to prevent assimilation and to promote Jewish identity. Led by Rabbi Aaron Kotler who founded the Yeshiva Goldolah in Lakewood, New Jersey a nationwide system to promote Jewish education, Torah u’Mesorah was founded to influence Jewish communities all over the country to send their children to Jewish schools.
The assimilation of the 1950’s also saw the beginning of a skyrocketing trend in American Jewry: intermarriage. While the rate stood at 6% in 1950, at the end of the 20th century it would approach 50%. This created a new trend of assimilation: while Jews retained their names and cultural identity, their new level of acceptance in American society caused many to willingly abandon the religious traditions which so many Jews in previous generations and other societies had refused to sacrifice on pain of death or exile. This makes the current issues of determining Jewish identity and ensuring Jewish continuity particularly challenging.
Malamud’s genius is most apparent in his short stories. Though told in a spare, compressed prose that reflects the terse speech of their immigrant characters, the stories often burst into emotional metaphorical language.
Intimate Subject Matter
The most defining characteristic of confessional poetry is that it focuses on subject matter once considered taboo. Issues like drug abuse, sexual guilt, alcoholism, suicide and depression, which were typically considered shameful or embarrassing, were discussed openly.
According to Poets.org, confessional poetry is the poetry of the “I.” In other words, all confessional poems are written from a first-person point of view, allowing the reader to delve closely into the thoughts and feelings of the author.
Autobiographical by Design
By nature, confessional poems are autobiographical, meant to record the sometimes sordid and often dismal personal lives of their authors, a now-common practice found in countless autobiographies, memoirs and essays. However, unlike other “I” poems, in confessional poems, the speaker doesn’t just represent the poet; rather, the poet and the speaker are one in the same
and interchangeable, and the speaker draws upon his or her own life as the sole form of reference.
THE BEAT GENERATION
False wellfare state= American life in the 50s// Capitalism as destructive to the human spirit and antithetical to social equality.
The writers of this movement wrote about topics that nobody talked about, the use of drugs, free love and spiritual freedom.
The word "beat" referred loosely to their shared sense of spiritual exhaustion and diffuse feelings of rebellion against what they experienced as the general conformity, hypocrisy, and materialism of the larger society around them caught up in the unprecedented prosperity of postwar America.
Twentieth-century theatre describes a period of great change within the theatrical culture of the 20th century, mainly in Europe and North America. There was a widespread challenge to long- established rules surrounding theatrical representation; resulting in the development of many new forms of theatre, including modernism, Expressionism, Impressionism, political theatre and other forms of Experimental theatre, as well as the continuing development of already established theatrical forms like naturalism and realism.
Throughout the century, the artistic reputation of theatre improved after being derided throughout the 19th century. However, the growth of other media, especially film, has resulted in a diminished role within the culture at large. In light of this change, theatrical artists have been forced to seek new ways to engage with society. The various answers offered in response to this have prompted the transformations that make up its modern history.
Developments in areas like Gender theory and postmodern philosophy identified and created subjects for the theatre to explore. These sometimes explicitly meta-theatrical performances were meant to confront the audience's perceptions and assumptions in order to raise questions about their society. These challenging and influential plays characterized much of the final two decades of the 20th-century.
Although largely developing in Europe and North America through the beginning of the century, the next 50 years saw an embrace of non-Western theatrical forms. Influenced by the dismantling of empires and the continuing development of post-colonial theory, many new artists utilized elements of their own cultures and societies to create a diversified theatre.
Language poetry is an avant garde poetry movement that emerged in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s as a response to mainstream American poetry.
The language school of poetry started in the 1970s as a response to traditional American poetry and forms. Coming on the heels of such movements as the Black Mountain and New York schools, language poetry aimed to place complete emphasis on the language of the poem and to create a new way for the reader to interact with the work.
Key aspects of language poetry include the idea that language dictates meaning rather than the other way around. Language poetry also seeks to involve the reader in the text, placing importance on reader participation in the construction of meaning. By breaking up poetic language, the poet is requiring the reader to find a new way to approach the text.
Language poetry is also intertwined with prose writing; several of the language poets have written essays about their poetics.