′S Essay, Research Paper
The Influence of War in Poetry and Modernism Between the years of 1912 and 1914 the entire temper of the American arts changed. America’s cultural coming-of-age occurred and writing in the U.S. became modernized. It seems as though everywhere, in that Year of 1913, barriers went down and People reached each other who had Never been in touch before; there were All sorts of new ways to communicate As well as new communications. The new Spirit was abroad and swept us all together. These new changes engaged an America of rising intellectual Opportunities and intensifying artistic preoccupation convinced That nineteenth-century values were increasingly obsolete. The most impact was on American arts. The changes went deep, Suggesting ending the narrowness that had seemed to limit The free development of American culture for so long. “That mood was not to last. American entry into the war in April 1917 divided the radicals and weakened the progressive Spirit. By 1914 Henry James, near his life’s end, had recognized the cultural implications of the war: The plunge of civilization into the abyss of Blood and darkness by the wanton fear of those Two infamous aristocrats is a thing that so gives Away the whole long age during which we have supposed The world to be, with whatever abatement, gradually Bettering, that to have to take in all now for what The treacherous years were all the while really Making for and meaning is too tragic for any words. For many American writers, the war marked a cutoff point from the past, an ultimate symbol for the dawn of modernity. “The major careers that dominated American writing into the 1950s started then, and so did the modern tradition. The prewar generation was largely founded in the poetry of Pound and Eliot, Frost and Doolittle, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, Conrad Aiken, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters”. (Ruland, R., & Bradbury, M. (1991). From Puritanism To Postmodernism. New York: Penguin Group). With the crash of October 1929 the whole remarkable episode Seemed to end and the “Twenties” were over. But in 1930, Sinclair Lewis became the first American writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. In the early 1930’s, the world of the Depression, poverty, starvation, descriptive writing received renewed attention. “The Waste Land is not a generalized “unreal” city. Williams turned to the shapes and secrets of his own local landscape. He verbally constitutes neighboring Paterson, at one place and Person, from its varied American history, from its contemporary Industrial debasement, its polyglot population, its trees, rocks And water.” (Ruland, R., & Bradbury, M. From Puritanism To Postmodernism. New York: Penguin Group.) “Paterson is considered Postmodern poem, which can pass on lessons to later poets. Like Leaves of Grass, its aim is looking at the sholeness, a total creative immersion, a floating in the Procreative. Williams knew that with its parts and multiplication’s it would otherwise have been a poem of disconnected ruins and isolated symbols or crude allegorical Myths.” (Ruland, R., Bradbury, M. From Puritanism to Postmodernism. New York: The Penguin Group.) “For Wallace Stevens-that ironic, self-skeptical modern Romantic-the limits of the imagination in the secular contemporary world were the enduring subject of his artistic attention. The result was poetry of originating meditation which made him the one natively American poet among his generation who-as a thinker about, and a thinker in poetry. Stevens reached the state and stuff of the imagination all too easily, with a ready hedonistic gaiety and a want of real human experience. Stevens was the poet of poetry as intelligence and that rare thing in America, an essentially philosophical poet, which is to say that his poems endlessly engage us with abstract conceptions of “imagination”, the “real” and “poetry” itself as fictionalizing, naming and world constructing enterprise.” (Ruland, R., & Bradbury, M. From Puritanism to Postmodernism. New York: The Penguin Group. One did not need to have gone to the War to feel the sense of change and generation separation, but many American writers did go, as if to seeking necessary life experience. Jon Dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway, and Edmund Wilson were in the ambulance corps; Hemingway was wounded on the Italian front And turned that wound into a primal metaphor for the pain of life in a troubled age. For these writers, the war was the subject of their first writings. John Dos Passo’s two works were One Man’s Initiation and Three Soldiers. Cummings works was the Enormous Room, about his confinement in a French prison camp. But the postwar novel, this Side of Paradise, is what dominated the 1920s. Fitzgerald described the novel as, “I was certain that all the young people were going to be killed in the war and I wanted to put on paper a record of the strange life they had lived in their time.” Ruland, R. & Bradbury, M. From Puritanism To Postmodernism. New York: The Penguin Group.) Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is dominated by the castrating war wound, afflicting not just his hero but the surrounding “herd” of modern young people as they search for new values and life-style in a suddenly vacant world. Postwar fiction contributed to the sense of purposelessness, decadence, cultural emptiness and political failure that dominates the new American fiction. Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms which dealt with his injuries while he served in the war, his fundamental loss and his conviction that modern war and violence emptied the heroic abstractions, the high notions of pure heroic abstractions, the high notions of pure heroism and sacrifice. “Hemingway as a popular poet and flamboyant war correspondent found himself catapulted into ever-greater fame. He was a courageous and often foolhardy reporter of the Anglo-American invasion of Europe in the Second World War. War was his natural subject and he strove to express his view of it. Colonel Richard Cantwell of Across the River and Into the Trees had an instinctive comradeship for “those who had fought of been mutilated.” (Rulan, R.,& Bradbury, M. From Puritanism to Postmodernism. New York: The Penguin Group.) In the postwar climate, Hemingway’s prewar sense of political commitment faded; what he was left with was his own legend and a sense of life’s fundamental struggle. This attitude was expressed in the plain, powerful myth of the Old Man and the Sea which won him the Nobel Prize for Literature. Faulkners’ first novel, Soldiers Pay was a text about the postwar society, its central figure was a blinded World War Veteran. Falkners methods were extended after a group of novels in the 1930s. He commented: I think there’s a period in a writer’s Life when he, well, simply for lack of Any word, is fertile and he just produces. Later on, his blood slows, his bones get a More brittle…but I think there’s one time in His life when he writes at the top of his Talent plus his speed, too. REFERENCES Rulan, R. & Bradbury, M. From Puritanism to Postmodernism.New York: The Penguin Group.