The National Society of Arts and Letters

American literature and art XIX – early XX century.

XIX century – a time of great change in the spiritual life of the United States. The industrial revolution and economic success destroyed strict Puritan regulations which condemned art created not by reason, but feeling. All inspired optimistic confidence in the great destiny of America. People naively believe their unlimited possibilities.

American romanticism. Unlike Europe, he was all looking to the future is optimistic. At the same time it had a been longing for forever departed, sadness from the contemplation of the eternal cycle of life. Belief in a better future and prosperity of America brought together most of the romantics with the dark side of life.

Outstanding representatives of Romanticism in literature were not so similar to each other poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and writer Fenimore Cooper.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) – a classic of American literature. His work – a milestone in American poetry in the XIX. In contrast to the well-known poets and writers Longfellow fully enjoyed fame during his lifetime. When he died, the mourning was declared not only in the U.S. but also in England.

His best work was the poem ” Song of Hiawatha.” She became one of the most famous works of world literature.

Cover songs ” of Hiawatha ”

“Song” is written based on Indian stories and legends. Longfellow praised in her Indian national hero fabulously harmonious century Hiawatha, who preached peace between the tribes, taught people agriculture and writing. Poem permeated surprisingly touching description of nature and folk legends, the spirit of light sadness. Appeals to the harmony between people, between man and nature.

Indian theme is reflected in the five novels of Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), united by a common character – a hunter and tracker Natty Bampo : “Pioneers “, ” Last of the Mohicans,” ” Prairie,” ” Pathfinder,” ” Deerslayer.” Action novels occurs in the XVIII century. during the war between England and France in America. F. Cooper bitterly describes the inhuman destruction of Indian tribes and the destruction of a unique culture. The meeting of two civilizations turned into a tragedy. Honest and brave Natty Bampo and his faithful friend Indian chief Chingachgook were also crushed world of greed and profit.

In the wake of the movement for the abolition of slavery, there were several talented works. The most significant of these was the novel ” Uncle Tom’s Cabin ” ( 1852) Harriet Beecher Stowe ( 1811 – 1896).

Harriet Beecher Stowe

The share fell big book reader success. She carried the truth about the horrors of slavery in the U.S. South. Contemporaries said that in the struggle for the abolition of slavery, she played a greater role than hundreds of promotional brochures or rallies. By ” Uncle Tom’s Cabin ” were delivered performances in many theaters in the United States. In Boston, the play was 100 days in a row, and in New York in one of the theaters – 160 days. Engaging content, truthful description of the living conditions of slaves and slave-owning planters mores made ??” Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” one of the most popular books of world literature. She still read with unflagging interest.

During the democratic upsurge 50s., When spores were shaken States Northerners and Southerners, and the country is ripe Civil War, was the poet Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892). Private journalist, he published in 1855 the book ” Leaves of Grass “, which made him a great poet of America and brought him worldwide fame. This is the only book of the poet was not similar to everything that has been written to it. Amazing creative flight, ” Whitman puzzle ” unsuccessfully trying to solve people.

W. Whitman

Whitman called himself a prophet of democracy. He sang of America, to oblivion – its working people. Chanted the movement of the stars and every atom, every grain of the universe. Peering into the people, he distinguished individual, leaning over the grass, saw blade of grass – grass leaf. Passionately in love with life, he rejoiced in the slightest any of its sprouts, blended with elements of the world. Image of the ” grass ” and “I ” of the poet are inseparable :

” I bequeath myself muddy ground, let me grow my
favorite grass,
If you want to again see me, look at me
under the soles. ”

Whitman created his own, truly Whitman’s style. His invention – free verse. The poet described the rhythm of free verse, which reads ” Leaves of Grass “: ” This verse, like waves of the sea : they are then rolled, then retreat – radiant and quiet on a clear day, a terrible storm.” In contrast to the romantic poets poetic speech Whitman surprisingly humane and spontaneous :

“The first counter, if you are passing, you want to talk
With me, why do not you talk to me,
Why do not I start a conversation with you? ”

Whitman praised not only the beauty of human nature and the beauty of their country. He sang of railways, factories and cars.

“… Oh, we construct a building
Luxuriantly all Egyptian tombs
Beautiful temples of Greece and Rome,
We will build your church on the Holy industry… ”

Well, the great poet of America was not particularly insightful. Intoxicated dream and delighted the world, he saw no danger to man and mankind, arising from strong footfall -time with industry.

First warning. Among American writers of the first half of XIX century. were many who criticized the negative aspects of American life. “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity ” came into conflict with life. In it, in the words of one of the romantics, dominated ” the almighty dollar.”

While Whitman sang of America, Herman Mel – villas said about her many bitter words in his famous novel “Moby Dick, or The White Whale.” Bourgeois civilization, he believed, brings people evil and death. Melville denounced racism, colonization and slavery. In just a few years before it started, he predicted the U.S. Civil War.

Sharply criticized bourgeois civilization another famous American writer Henry David Thoreau. He preached the simplification of man, his harmonious relationship with nature. Here’s his famous description of the railway: “Each sleeper – a man, an Irishman, or the Yankees. According to him, for these people, and laid the rails… smooth rolling wagons. Sleepers can ever again wake up and get “- prophetically warned Toro.

American Realism. Major American realist writers in the second half of XIX – early XX century. were Mark Twain, F. Bret Harte, Jack London and Theodore Dreiser.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) subjected to merciless criticism and ridicule their main enemies – ” monarchy money” and religion. Therefore, some of his books for a long time could not be printed in the USA. The best works of Mark Twain – “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ” and ” Adventures of Huckleberry Finn “, devoted to the lives of ordinary people in America.

A special place in American literature takes Bret Harte ( 1836-1902 ). He is famous for his tales and stories from the life of miners in California. They are exciting and skillfully shows enslaving power of gold. Garth works were adopted in Europe as a new word in American literature.

At the end of the XIX century. a prominent place in American literature took a short story. Virtuoso story, easy and fun novels showed himself O’Henry. Stories won him fame largest writer early XX century. Jack London ( 1876-1916 ). They described a new and unfamiliar world for Americans – fearless and courageous people, miners of the North, the world of romance and adventure. The best works of Jack London – stories ” Love of Life “, “Mexican”, novels ” White Fang ” and ” Martin Eden “. In “The White Plague ” – a vision of bourgeois civilization disaster.

The reverse side of the U.S. economic prosperity in a big way in the novels displayed outstanding writer Theodore Dreiser America I (1871 -1945 ). In the trilogy, ” Finance “, ” Titan ” and ” Stoic” tells of the financier ” superman ” who came to the bitter conclusion of the sterility of accumulation and greed. One of the best works of the writer – the novel ” An American Tragedy.”

Painting. American painting was heavily influenced by Western Europe. It was characterized by romanticism and realism, and the end of the XIX century. – Impressionism. Artists of the Romantic movement was most interested in the two great themes – the nature and personality. So was widespread portraiture. In terms of economic prosperity artists usually painted rich people and their families. Any particular originality American painting still no different.

Heart of the Andes. Frederic Church ( 1826-1900 ). In the 1850s. visited South America, and then became famous in the United States vivid and impressive images of exotic landscapes

Mother and Child, 1890. M. Cassatt American became the first woman that has achieved recognition among the Impressionists. The paintings on the theme of motherhood easy, expressive and full of human warmth

Only after the Civil War, American artists no longer feel uncouth apprentices. Their works are becoming more ” American.”

The most well-known American painters of the XIX century. were representatives of the Romantic movement : Cole Darende and Bingham. Enjoyed great popularity Sargent portrait. However, the typical end of the century American artist Winslow Homer is considered.

Light breeze, 1878. W. Homer ( 1836-1910 ). This picture has been met as the greatest achievement of the artist. Children’s theme was popular in the second half of XIX century., As in the days of Huckleberry Finn

Daughters of Edward BOUAT 1882. J. Sargent ( 1856-1925 ). Born in a family of wealthy Americans in Italy. Spent all his life in Europe, occasionally making assaults in the United States. Created a virtuous secular portraits

Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the XIX century. in the U.S. began collecting works of European painting. Rich Americans went to Europe and bought there artistic value. In 1870 a group of public figures and artists founded in New York Metropolitan Museum of Art – the largest art collection of the United States.

Today it has about three million works of art. Metropolitan Museum of Art is on a par with the major art museums of the world, the Hermitage and the Tretyakov Gallery in Russia, the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London.

Architecture. American architecture was as eclectic as the European. It intertwine elements known to you styles – Gothic, Rococo and Classicism. In the second half of XIX century. Americans have made a great contribution to world architecture. They are credited with the creation of large steel structures for industrial and commercial buildings.

It all began with a tragic event. In 1871 the city of Chicago is almost completely burnt out from a large fire. It was necessary to rebuild the entire city, which caused a surge of different ideas. A group of architects headed by Louis Sullivan developed a skeleton commercial skyscraper, in which was based on a steel frame filled with stone and cement. In the 1880s. first in Chicago and then in other cities were first skyscrapers, became a symbol of America ‘s industrial might.