Contemporary Literature Features
The foremost New Critics, Ransom, Tate, Warren, Cleanth Brooks, Wimsatt, and Empson, were poets and practitioners of the art they criticized. Their criticism centered on the work itself, considered as autonomous or selfsufficient. Focusing exclusively on the work, New Critics shunned historical criticism , biographical criticism , and psychological or affective criticism —I.
Determined to see works precisely and to see them whole, New Criticism dispensed with peripheral vision. Its finely myopic close readings are the antithesis of, say, Northrop Frye’s presbyopic, panoramic surveys of the whole body of literature with its underlying universal structures and mythic motifs. Frye, uninterested in the individual features that distinguish one work from another, searches out family resemblances. He approaches literature like Aristotle, prepared to classify “a system of organisms, picking out its genera and species, formulating the broad laws of literary experience. There is a totally intelligible structure of knowledge attainable about poetry which is not poetry itself, or the experience of it, but poetics.” Autonomy has shifted from the work of art to the act of criticism. Litz points out American criticism, like English, has traditionally been a pragmatic, “post facto process, in which the critic generalizes on.
You will learn to identify the elements of fiction, poetry, and drama , trace different attitudes as seen in literature during the contemporary period, evaluate style and thematic ideas, and discuss postmodern theoretical approaches to literature. Provides information about children’s books, video and audio recordings, film strips, and other child-focused media. Entries include summary publication information, annotations, reading measurement program levels, reviews, and full MARC cataloging information. For the children’s books, CLCD provides full-text reviews from independent review sources; review sources are listed in the Database Review.
Contains approximately 1,462 plays by 233 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. The database also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays. Some 600 of the plays are published here for the first time, including a number by major authors.
Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” was named best novel of the past 25 years in a 2006 New York Times Book Review survey. The searingly painful novel offers a very personal window into the horrors of the enslavement of people and its aftermath. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, and Toni Morrison, a luminary of African American literature, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. English novelist David Mitchell is known for his frequent use of intricate and complex experimental structure in his work. In his first novel, “Ghostwritten” , he uses nine narrators to tell the story, and 2004’s “Cloud Atlas” is a novel comprising six interconnected stories. Mitchell won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for “Ghostwritten,” was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for “number9dream” , and was on the Booker longlist for “The Bone Clocks” .
Ranking the most important authors in contemporary and late-20th-century literature is impossible. These 10 authors all made their mark over the last 50 years and are each widely considered to be significant and worth exploring. From Updike’s post-World War II suburbia to Smith’s postcolonial tale of London immigrants, the sweep of these writers’ works chronicles the vast changes that have occurred over the turn of the 21st century. The Contemporary Literature Research Collection spotlights the personal papers of several authors with ties to the Houston area, including Larry McMurtry and Donald Barthelme.