20th century writers in english literature


James, born in the US, lived in Europe from 1875, and became a British citizen in 1915. The modernist movement continued through the 1920s and 1930s and beyond. In poetry Hart Crane published The Bridge in 1930 and E. E. Cummings and Wallace Stevens were publishing from the 1920s until the 1950s. Two Irishmen and an Australian were also winners in the period after 1940: novelist and playwright, Samuel Beckett (1969); poet Seamus Heaney (1995); Patrick White (1973), a major novelist in this period, whose first work was published in 1939. Yeats was one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. Encyclopædia Britannica. Noted writers in the field of comic books are Neil Gaiman, and Alan Moore; Gaiman also produces graphic novels. Encyclopædia Britannica. Research Interests: Marxism ... Department of English Language and Literature Division of the Humanities. This article is focused on English-language literature rather than the literature of England, so that it includes writers from Scotland, Wales, and the whole of Ireland, as well as literature in English from former British colonies. [9] Thomas enlisted in 1915 and is one of the First World War poets along with Wilfred Owen (1893–1918), Rupert Brooke (1887–1915), Isaac Rosenberg (1890–1917), Edmund Blunden (1896–1974) and Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967). [18] Strongly influenced by his Christian faith, G. K. Chesterton was a prolific and hugely influential writer with a diverse output. [34][35], Other notable radio dramatists included Brendan Behan, and novelist Angela Carter. Female Writers of the 20th Century. George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Blair, a twentieth-century writer, equally at home with journalism, essays, novels, literary criticism and social commentary. Synge's most famous play, The Playboy of the Western World, "caused outrage and riots when it was first performed" in Dublin in 1907. Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was a famous essayist, novelist, columnist in the American literature. https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/20th-century-literature Beckett's radio play Embers was first broadcast on the BBC Third Programme on 24 June 1959, and won the RAI prize at the Prix Italia awards later that year.[39]. Scotland has in the late 20th century produced several important novelists, including James Kelman, who like Samuel Beckett can create humour out of the most grim situations. Another major work of science fiction, from the early 20th century, is A Voyage to Arcturus by Scottish writer David Lindsay, first published in 1920. Agatha Christie (1890–1976) was a crime writer of novels, short stories and plays, who is best remembered for her 80 detective novels as well as her successful plays for the West End theatre. Another prominent writer in this genre, Douglas Adams, is particularly associated with the comic science fiction work, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which began life as a radio series in 1978. One of the most influential novels of the immediate post-war period was William Cooper's naturalistic Scenes from Provincial Life, a conscious rejection of the modernist tradition. Postmodernism (Literature)--United States. However, the Victorian Gerard Manley Hopkins's (1844–89) highly original poetry was not published until 1918, long after his death, while the career of another major modernist poet, Irishman W. B. Yeats (1865–1939), began late in the Victorian era. Similarly William Faulkner continued to publish until the 1950s and was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1949. It combines fantasy, philosophy, and science fiction in an exploration of the nature of good and evil and their relationship with existence. [21] It was also in 1939 that another Irish modernist poet, W. B. Yeats, died. Literary modernism, or modernist literature, originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mainly in Europe and North America, and is characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional ways of writing, in both poetry and prose fiction.Modernists experimented with literary form and expression, as exemplified by Ezra Pound's maxim to "Make it new." E.M. Forster is one of the most celebrated British novelists of the 20th century. This was made into a film in 1981 with a screenplay by Harold Pinter. In the early 20th-century literary modernism developed in the English-speaking world due to a general sense of disillusionment with the Victorian era attitudes of certainty, conservatism, and belief in the idea of objective truth. Below, we introduce ten classic twentieth-century novels which anyone aiming to be well-read in twentieth-century fiction should aim to read. In the mid-twentieth-century major writers started to appear in the various countries of the British Commonwealth, including several Nobel laureates. Authors, American--20th century. Twentieth Century English Literature (Schocken, 1982). Among postmodern writers are the Americans Henry Miller, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote and Thomas Pynchon. McEwan was awarded the Jerusalem Prize in 2011. In its most early stages, feminists were women who used the art of speaking, fine literature, and yes, even dance, to promote the idea of equality and a more open-to-sexuality world. [46] Caribbean writer Jean Rhys's writing career began as early as 1928, though her most famous work, Wide Sargasso Sea, was not published until 1966. Selected by Dr Oliver Tearle The twentieth century gave us literary modernism, postmodernism, magical realism, dystopian fiction, and new perspectives on race, empire, gender, and politics. https://www.thoughtco.com/important-contemporary-authors-852801 Irish writers were especially important in the twentieth-century, including James Joyce and later Samuel Beckett, both central figures in the Modernist movement. English literature: The Early Twentieth Century Irish drama flowered in the early 20th cent., largely under the aegis of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin (see Irish literary renaissance). [44] The critic Michael Hennessy has described Tomlinson as "the most international and least provincial English poet of his generation". Eliot amongst many others. Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer then appeared in 1934, though it was banned for many years in both Britain and America. In addition to W. B. Yeats other important early modernist poets were the American poets T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) and Ezra Pound (1885–1972). It also includes, to some extent, the US, though the main article here is American literature. Though not a modernist, Hardy was an important transitional figure between the Victorian era and the 20th century. 13 October 1971. From Nigeria a number of writers have achieved an international reputation for works in English, including novelist Chinua Achebe, who published Things Fall Apart in 1958, as well as playwright Wole Soyinka and novelist Buchi Emecheta. He is among the Best Poets of the 20th century, and, surely, among the most prominent 20th century writers. Northern Ireland has also produced a number of other significant poets, including Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon. Another term, Contemporary, is sometimes applied to literature … Novelists who are not considered modernists include: Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) who was also a successful poet; H. G. Wells (1866–1946); John Galsworthy (1867–1933), (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1932) whose works include a sequence of novels, collectively called The Forsyte Saga (1906–21); Arnold Bennett (1867–1931) author of The Old Wives' Tale (1908); G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936); and E.M. Forster's (1879–1970), though Forster's work is "frequently regarded as containing both modernist and Victorian elements". Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. [8] Other important American poets writing early in the 20th century were William Carlos Williams (1883–1963), Robert Frost (1874–1963), who published his first collection in England in 1913, and H.D. During the 20th Century, much advancement and change occurred throughout English Literature. Christie's novels include Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and And Then There Were None. British modernists include Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, Dorothy Richardson, Virginia Woolf, and D. H. Lawrence. Postmodern literature, like postmodernism as a whole, is difficult to define and there is little agreement on the exact characteristics, scope, and importance of postmodern literature. Many of their poems were written in protest against the established social order and, particularly, the threat of nuclear war. Beebe, Maurice (Fall 1972). Poet Derek Walcott, from St Lucia in the Caribbean, was another Nobel Prize winner in 1992. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. In 1908, Kenneth Grahame (1859–1932) wrote the children's classic The Wind in the Willows. Sacha Baron Cohen. Infoplease knows the value of having sources you can trust. V. S. Naipaul (born 1932), born in Trinidad, was another immigrant, who wrote among other things A House for Mr Biswas (1961) and A Bend in the River (1979). Kipling's reputation declined during his lifetime, but more recently postcolonial studies has "rekindled an intense interest in his work, viewing it as both symptomatic and critical of imperialist attitudes". Erskine Childers' The Riddle of the Sands (1903), is an early example of spy fiction. Eliot amongst many others. Until the early 19th century, this article deals with literature from Britain written in English; then America starts to produce major writers and works in literature. In the entirely different genre of Gothic fantasy Mervyn Peake (1911–68) published his highly successful Gormenghast trilogy between 1946 and 1959. George Orwell’s dystopian classic cost its author dear but is arguably the best-known novel in English of the 20th century. He has also written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh.[26]. [23] In fact a number of modernists were still living and publishing in the 1950s and 1960, including T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Dorothy Richardson, and Ezra Pound. Also in the 1920s and later Noël Coward (1899–1973) achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. The writers all examined the world around them and tried to express it through their writings. Angela Carter (1940–92) was a novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism, and picaresque works. [43] Charles Tomlinson (born 1927) is another important English poet of an older generation, though "since his first publication in 1951, has built a career that has seen more notice in the international scene than in his native England; this may explain, and be explained by, his international vision of poetry". Perhaps the best known of these is James Joyce's "Dubliners," a series of short stories that all take place in various locales in Dublin. Another important immigrant writer Kazuo Ishiguro (born 1954) was born in Japan, but his parents immigrated to Britain when he was six. Their work was a self-conscious attempt at creating an English equivalent to the Beats. During the early decades of the 20th century the Georgian poets like Rupert Brooke (1887–1915), Walter de la Mare (1873–1956), and John Masefield (1878–1967, Poet Laureate from 1930) maintained a conservative approach to poetry by combining romanticism, sentimentality and hedonism, sandwiched as they were between the Victorian era, with its strict classicism, and Modernism, with its strident rejection of pure aestheticism. Janice Galloway "Rereading Lanark by Alasdair Gray". 1. Ranking the most important authors in contemporary and late-20th-century literature is impossible. Indeed, from 1950 on a significant number of major writers came from countries that had over the centuries been settled by the British, other than America which had been producing significant writers from at least the Victorian period. All of the works we studied from this period were heavily influenced by current events in the world. Mainstream novelists such Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood also wrote works in this genre, while Scottish novelist Ian M. Banks has also achieved a reputation as both a writer of traditional and science fiction novels. The drawing room plays of the post war period, typical of dramatists like Terence Rattigan and Noël Coward were challenged in the 1950s by these Angry Young Men, in plays like John Osborne's Look Back in Anger (1956). Among British writers in the 1940s and 1950s were novelist Graham Greene whose works span the 1930s to the 1980s and poet Dylan Thomas, while Evelyn Waugh, and W. H. Auden continued publishing significant work. Learn more about the mythic conflict between the Argives and the Trojans. Americans, like poets T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound and novelist William Faulkner, were other important modernists. How Late it Was, How Late, 1994, won the Booker Prize that year; A. L. Kennedy's 2007 novel Day was named Book of the Year in the Costa Book Awards. Subsequently, the story has been adapted for television, film, a musical and other media. Here are the facts and trivia that people are buzzing about. South Africa's Alan Paton's famous Cry, the Beloved Country dates from 1948. During the 20th Century, much advancement and change occurred throughout English Literature. Doris Lessing from Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, published her first novel The Grass is Singing in 1950, after immigrating to England. Colm Tóibín (Irish, 1955) is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic, and, most recently, poet. Lewis is especially known for The Chronicles of Narnia, while Tolkien is best known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Some of the most well-known writers from the 20th century who exerted extraordinary impact through their books include George Orwell, James Joyce, JRR Tolkien, F Scott Fitzgerald, CS Lewis, Virginia Woolf, Anne Frank, T.S. at the Lyric Hammersmith in April 1958, before transferring to the Garrick Theatre. Banville has won numerous awards: The Book of Evidence was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guinness Peat Aviation award in 1989; his eighteenth novel, The Sea, won the Booker Prize in 2005; he was awarded the Franz Kafka Prize in 2011. Female Writers of the 20th Century. [8] Woolf was an influential feminist, and a major stylistic innovator associated with the stream-of-consciousness technique in novels like Mrs Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927). Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival. [37], Among the most famous works created for radio, are Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood (1954), Samuel Beckett's All That Fall (1957), Harold Pinter's A Slight Ache (1959) and Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons (1954). In the early 20th-century literary modernism developed in the English-speaking world due to a general sense of disillusionment with the Victorian era attitudes of certainty, conservatism, and belief in the idea of objective truth. The major literary movements in the twentieth century are Modernism (circa 1900-1940) and Postmodernism (circa 1960-1990). [10] George Bernard Shaw turned the Edwardian theatre into an arena for debate about important political and social issues, like marriage, class, "the morality of armaments and war" and the rights of women. <. However, with a rewritten last act, it opened at the New Theatre in London in January 1905. Two significant contemporary Irish novelists are John Banville (born 1945) and Colm Tóibín (born 1955). Probably, Harlem Renaissance and Jazz Poetry! Other novelists writing in the 1950s and later were: Anthony Powell whose twelve-volume cycle of novels A Dance to the Music of Time, is a comic examination of movements and manners, power and passivity in English political, cultural and military life in the mid-20th century; comic novelist Kingsley Amis is best known for his academic satire Lucky Jim (1954); Nobel Prize laureate William Golding's allegorical novel Lord of the Flies 1954, explores how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British schoolboys marooned on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, but with disastrous results. Synge (1871–1909) were influential in British drama. Philosopher Iris Murdoch was a prolific writer of novels throughout the second half of the 20th century, that deal especially with sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious, including Under the Net (1954), The Black Prince (1973) and The Green Knight (1993). [citation needed], An important development, beginning in the 1930s and 1940s was a tradition of working class novels actually written by working-class background writers. Literature of the 20th century refers to world literature produced during the 20th century. "Ulysses and the Age of Modernism". Hawthorn, J. British Working Class Novel … What associations come to our mind when we hear the name of Langston Hughes? The year 1900 to 2000 was a very exciting time for female novelist. Kenya's most internationally renowned author is Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o who has written novels, plays and short stories in English. It also includes, to some extent, the US, though the main article here is American literature. Find out more about the greatest authors of the 20th century, including Woolf, Orwell, Hughes, Carter and Kureishi. "Rudyard Kipling." Infoplease is part of the FEN Learning family of educational and reference sites for parents, teachers and students. New poets starting their careers in the 1950s and 1960s include Philip Larkin (1922–85) (The Whitsun Weddings, 1964), Ted Hughes (1930–98) (The Hawk in the Rain, 1957) and Irishman (Northern Ireland) Seamus Heaney (1939–2013) (Death of a Naturalist, 1966). A Short History of English Literature, 4th ed. His best-known plays include Anna Christie (Pulitzer Prize 1922), Desire Under the Elms (1924), Strange Interlude (Pulitzer Prize 1928), Mourning Becomes Electra (1931). Ezra Pound was not only a major poet, first publishing part of The Cantos in 1917, but an important mentor for other poets, most significantly in his editorial advice for Eliot's poem The Wasteland. The contemporary Australian novelist Peter Carey (born 1943) is one of only four writers to have won the Booker Prize twice—the others being J. G. Farrell, J. M. Coetzee and Hilary Mantel.[49]. University of Chicago Walker Hall, 4th Floor 1115 E. 58th St. Chicago, IL 60637. The Kailyard school of Scottish writers, notably J. M. Barrie (1869–1937), creator of Peter Pan (1904), presented an idealised version of society and brought of fantasy and folklore back into fashion. But while modernism was to become an important literary movement in the early decades of the new century, there were also many fine writers who, like Thomas Hardy, were not modernists. [40] Stephen Spender (1909 – 1995)), whose career began in the 1930s, was another important poet. [31], An important new element in the world of British drama, from the beginnings of radio in the 1920s, was the commissioning of plays, or the adaption of existing plays, by BBC radio. This novel often tops the list of ‘books people lie about having … Other South African writers in English are novelist J.M. His works include The Cement Garden (1978) and Enduring Love (1997), which was made into a film. In 1947 Malcolm Lowry published Under the Volcano, while George Orwell's dystopia of totalitarianism, 1984, was published in 1949. However, not all those writing in these years were modernists; among the writers outside the movement were American novelists Theodore Dreiser, Dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby 1925), and John Steinbeck. Margaret Drabble (born 1939) is a novelist, biographer and critic, who published from the 1960s into the 21st century. American literature--20th century--History and criticism. [6] Yeats is generally considered[by whom?] The year 1900 to 2000 was a very exciting time for female novelist. Ulysses has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire movement". [33] Tom Stoppard's "first professional production was in the fifteen-minute Just Before Midnight programme on BBC Radio, which showcased new dramatists". Anthony Burgess is especially remembered for his dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), set in the not-too-distant future, which was made into a film by Stanley Kubrick in 1971. Although these terms are most applicable to (1886–1961). Coetzee (Nobel Prize 2003) and playwright Athol Fugard. His stature in modern literature has been contested, but probably the most common critical view from the 1930s onward ranked him as one of the three major twentieth-century British poets, and heir to Eliot and Yeats. American fiction--20th century. Its leading members were the major fantasy novelists; C.S. The Mersey Beat poets were Adrian Henri, Brian Patten and Roger McGough. Infoplease is a reference and learning site, combining the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas and several almanacs loaded with facts. Pat Barker (born 1943) has won many awards for her fiction. [38] Samuel Beckett wrote a number of short radio plays in the 1950s and 1960s, and later for television. FEN Learning is part of Sandbox Networks, a digital learning company that operates education services and products for the 21st century. In the 1960s and 1970s Martian poetry aimed to break the grip of 'the familiar', by describing ordinary things in unfamiliar ways, as though, for example, through the eyes of a Martian. In the later decades of the 20th Century, the genre of science fiction began to be taken more seriously because of the work of writers such as Arthur C. Clarke's (2001: A Space Odyssey), Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Michael Moorcock and Kim Stanley Robinson. Scottish writer Muriel Spark pushed the boundaries of realism in her novels. There had of course been a few important works in English prior to 1950 from the then British Empire. The writers all examined the world around them and tried to express it through their writings. An informal literary discussion group associated with the English faculty at the University of Oxford, were the "Inklings". [12] Then in 1922 Irishman James Joyce's important modernist novel Ulysses appeared. The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman, Austrian State Prize for European Literature, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/188217/English-literature, Book Review: A Voyage to Arcturus (1920) by David Lindsay, A Voyage to Arcturus, C. S. Lewis, and The Dark Tower, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/318987/Rudyard-Kipling, "Julian Barnes's pseudonymous detective novels stay under cover", "Perfect Day for AL Kennedy as she takes Costa book prize", "Literatur-Staatspreis an Britin verliehen", "Simon Armitage: 'Witty and profound' writer to be next Poet Laureate", "Carol Ann Duffy is 'wrong' about poetry, says Geoffrey Hill", British literature – Books tagged British literature, A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism and Philology, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Twentieth-century_English_literature&oldid=991218861, History of literature in the United Kingdom, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from November 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2012, Pages using citations with format and no URL, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 22:45. Faculty Bill Brown. Women Writers of Twentieth Century Novels and Prose. The most popular British writer of the early years of the 20th century was arguably Rudyard Kipling, a highly versatile writer of novels, short stories and poems, and to date the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1907). Then in 1939 James Joyce's published Finnegans Wake, in which he creates a special language to express the consciousness of a dreaming character. Irish playwrights George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) and J.M. His book The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) won the Whitbread Award for the best first novel, and was also made into a BBC television series. [33] John Mortimer made his radio debut as a dramatist in 1955, with his adaptation of his own novel Like Men Betrayed for the BBC Light Programme. Other recent noteworthy writers in this genre are Ruth Rendell, P. D. James and Scot Ian Rankin. Arnold Wesker and Nell Dunn also brought social concerns to the stage. It used a style of social realism which depicts the domestic lives of the working class, to explore social issues and political issues. Her 1929 essay A Room of One's Own contains her famous dictum "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction". T. S. Eliot had begun this attempt to revive poetic drama with Sweeney Agonistes in 1932, and this was followed by The Rock (1934), Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and Family Reunion (1939). There were many such revivals during the 20th century, and the traditional poetry of A.E. Shaw's career began in the last decade of the 19th century, while Synge's plays belong to the first decade of the 20th century. 20Th-Century-British-Literature ) avg rating … https: //www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/20th-century-literature Willa Cather ( 1875–1940 ) published from the early.... Associations come to our mind when we hear the name of Langston Hughes ( 1902-1967 ) was into. 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