A Thematic Exploration of Twentieth-Century Western Literature
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The twentieth century witnessed dramatic changes in terms of the structure of society, economics, politics, science and technology, driving a change in western literature from traditional to modern: old value systems were shattered; writing approaches and aesthetics changed; writers began to explore the psychological world and expand the discussion of man and modern civilization. This title takes classic literature by European and American authors of the twentieth-century as research objects in order to comprehensively explore their thoughts, values, aesthetics and narratives. Six major themes are used as units for analysis—existential meaning, self-identity, war and human nature, growing confusion, love and marriage, and anti-Utopia. The authors argue that the six themes extend the themes of traditional literature and epitomize the unique characteristics of twentieth-century western literature. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of literature, especially Western literature and twentieth-century literature.
Table of Contents
Introduction. 1. Inquiry into Existential Situation and Meaning. 2. Interrogation of the Self. 3. Price of Humanity in Wars. 4. Loss and Predicament of Growing Up. 5. Variations in the World of Love. 6. Historical and Philosophical Reflections of “Anti-Utopia” Literature. Epilogue.
Jiang Chengyong is senior professor of liberal arts in Zhejiang Gongshang University (ZJSU), dean of ZJSU Institute of Western Literature and Culture, guest researcher of Beijing Foreign Studies University, Academy of Foreign Literature Studies.