English: Literary Movements

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Victorian era
(c. 1832-1901)The period of British history when Queen _______ruled; it includes the entire second half of the nineteenth century, a time when Britain was the most powerful nation in the world. The __________period was known for a rather stern morality. It was also marked by a general earnestness about life and by a confidence that Britain's domestic prosperity and vast holdings overseas were signs of the country's overall righteousness (white man's burden). As the period continued, however, such easy beliefs were increasingly challenged.
(c. 1835-1860): An American philosophical and spiritual movement, based in New England, that focused on the primacy of the individual conscience and rejected materialism in favor of closer communion with nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self-Reliance" and Henry David Thoreau's Walden are famous __________ works.
1920s-1930s): An avant-garde movement, based primarily in France, that sought to break down the boundaries between rational and irrational, conscious and unconscious, through a variety of literary and artistic experiments. The poets, such as André Breton and Paul Eluard, were not as successful as their artist counterparts, who included Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and René Magritte.
c. 1798-1832): A literary and artistic movement that reacted against the restraint and universalism of the Enlightenment. They celebrated spontaneity, imagination, subjectivity, and the purity of nature. Notable English writers include Jane Austen, William Blake, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth. Prominent figures in the American movement include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, William Cullen Bryant, and John Greenleaf Whittier.
(c. 1830-1900): A loose term that can refer to any work that aims at honest portrayal over sensationalism, exaggeration, or melodrama. Technically, it refers to a late-19th-century literary movement—primarily French, English, and American—that aimed at accurate detailed portrayal of ordinary, contemporary life. Many of the 19th century's greatest novelists, such as Honoré de Balzac, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Gustave Flaubert, and Leo Tolstoy, are classified as ____.
(c. 1945-present): A notoriously ambiguous term, especially as it refers to literature, it can be seen as a response to the elitism of high modernism as well as to the horrors of World War II. This literature is characterized by a disjointed, fragmented pastiche of high and low culture that reflects the absence of tradition and structure in a world driven by technology and consumerism. Julian Barnes, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, Salman Rushdie, and Kurt Vonnegut are among many who are considered postmodern authors.
c. 1660-1798): A literary movement, inspired by the rediscovery of classical works of ancient Greece and Rome that emphasized balance, restraint, and order. It roughly coincided with the Enlightenment, which espoused reason over passion. Notable neoclassical writers include Edmund Burke, John Dryden, Samuel Johnson, Alexander Pope, and Jonathan Swift.
c. 1865-1900): A literary movement that used detailed realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character. Leading writers in the movement include Émile Zola, Theodore Dreiser, and Stephen Crane.
1890s-1940s): A literary and artistic movement that provided a radical breaks with traditional modes of Western art, thought, religion, social conventions, and morality. Major themes of this period include the attack on notions of hierarchy; experimentation in new forms of narrative, such as stream of consciousness; doubt about the existence of knowable, objective reality; attention to alternative viewpoints and modes of thinking; and self-referentiality as a means of drawing attention to the relationships between artist and audience, and form and content.
Middle English
(c. 1066-1500): The transitional period between Anglo-Saxon and modern English. The cultural upheaval that followed the Norman Conquest of England, in 1066, saw a flowering of secular literature, including ballads, chivalric romances, allegorical poems, and a variety of religious plays. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is the most celebrated work of this period.
Metaphysical poets
(c. 1633-1680): A group of 17th-century poets who combined direct language with ingenious images, paradoxes, and conceits. John Donne and Andrew Marvell are the best known poets of this school.
Lost Generation
(c. 1918-1930s): A term used to describe the generation of writers, many of them soldiers that came to maturity during World War I. Notable members of this group include F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, and Ernest Hemingway, whose novel The Sun Also Rises embodies the Lost Generation's sense of disillusionment.
Gothic fiction
(c. 1764-1820): A genre of late-18th-century literature that featured brooding, mysterious settings and plots and set the stage for what we now call "horror stories." Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto, set inside a medieval castle, was the first major Gothic novel. Later, the term "Gothic" grew to include any work that attempted to create an atmosphere of terror or the unknown, such as Edgar Allan Poe's short stories.
Elizabethan era
(c. 1558-1603): A flourishing period in English literature, particularly drama, that coincided with the reign of Queen __________I and included writers such as Francis Bacon, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Sir Philip Sidney, and Edmund Spenser.
(c. 1660-1790): An intellectual movement in France and other parts of Europe that emphasized the importance of reason, progress, and liberty. Sometimes called the Age of Reason, is primarily associated with nonfiction writing, such as essays and philosophical treatises. Major Enlightenment writers include Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, René Descartes.
A diverse, loosely connected movement of writers from former colonies of European countries, whose work is frequently politically charged.
Notable authors: Jamaica Kincaid, V. S. Naipaul, Derek Walcott, Salman Rushdie, Giannina Braschi, Wole Soyinka
Beat poets
American movement of the 1950s and ’60s concerned with counterculture and youthful alienation.
Notable authors: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Ken Kesey
Cavalier Poets
17th century English royalist poets, writing primarily about courtly love, called Sons of Ben (after Ben Jonson).
Notable authors: Richard Lovelace, William Davenant
Amatory fiction
Romantic fiction written in the 17th century and 18th century, primarily written by women.
Notable authors: Eliza Haywood, Delarivier Manley
The Augustans
An 18th century literary movement based chiefly on classical ideals, satire and skepticism.
Notable authors: Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift
Categories: English Literature