Contextualization (J.F.) Copy

JOHN FOWLES (1926-2005)

HISTORY:

  • WW II lasts 6 years (1939-1945)
  • After WW II- Reconstruction and large-scale immigration from the former colonies (India)
  • The world is dominated by the U.S and the Soviet Union

ECONOMY AND SOCIETY:

  • Post-war reconstruction began in the 1940s
  • High-powered consumer society
  • The rise in the level of education

IDEOLOGY AND CULTURE:

  • Contemporary literature is difficult to classify; its diversity reflects the fragmentary kaleidoscope of modern existence;
  • Modernism and Post-modernism coexist in contemporary British literature and are the two main literary orientations.
                 ModernismPost-modernism
Poetry
Rejection of diction, as it is considered unsuitable for an era of technological breakthroughs and global violence;
Break with Romantic ideas (the notion of sublime);
Poetry becomes sceptical of language and its notion of coherence;
Disrupted syntax;Free verse;Focus on images and symbols;
Prose:
Non-chronological;
Experiments with time representation and perception: literary devices ̶ temporal juxtapositions, sudden jumps;
Focus on the inner world of the character: literary devices ̶ stream of consciousness, memory, perception;The plot is replaced by specific modernist patterns: time, place, character, leitmotifs, symbols, mythic patterns, and cinematic devices (space and time montage);
Theme: atemporal, eternal conflicts of the soul, philosophy;
Range: limited, presented subjectively. Life is chaotic, disordered, fragmentary;
Narration: subjective, limited point of view or combination of points of view;
Structure: open form.
Pragmatic;
Eludes definition;
Eclectic flexibility;
Playfulness;
Irony;
Parody;
Experimental;
Challenge of authority;
Simple language and complex structure;
The boundaries of art are ignored;
The intertextual technique (brings together a variety of literary styles from the past and present);
Freedom to express views that are different from the norm;
Literary genres become mixed.  

THE AUTHOR AND HIS WORK

  • Born in Essex, England;
  • Worked as an English teacher;
  • Attended Oxford University;
  • Influenced by the work of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus;
  • Novels:
    • “The Magus”
    • “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”
    • “The Ebony Tower”
    • “A Maggot”