For many years I have not given much attention to the literature coming from USA, I have been hopelessly in love with Britain and the diversity of its vast literature history. I've felt that that would suffice, and that I wouldn't need more to live a full life.
And having studied English and American Literature the last semester, I've been proven wrong, indeed.
Even if I have been forced to challenge my own likes and dislikes in terms of genre, I stand completely corrected.
And even though the teacher of this subject has had a learning experience of her own, and getting her to open up and share has been a big part of the course, I feel enlightened, and that is (you might say) satisfactory...
Throughout the history I must say that it's a joy to note that the literary part of America has fostered sensible and critical voices. There is more to their history than Cowboys and gun fights, and epistemic violence.
Having read Blood Meridian
(to mention a few) I understand that for instance violence isn't there to groce me out, I understand that a drama has levels of dramatics, and sometimes it can be rather entertaining. I will, how ever, stand my ground on the Social Realistic genre...this genre remains so...well...social realistic, and to be honest, I get enough of that in my own life. Reading a book or watching a film, I want to be blown away, swept away to strange and unheard of places, and then return (every now and then) to real life...
All though reading Blood Meridian was a challenge on my part, a challenge I never would have thought I could face, I now think myself a better person for having suffered along with the kid. And having read stories where the writer has dived into the deepest parts of his or her psyche, I feel it equips me further on my own writer path.
One of my future favorite poets (and coming from me this is huge...I have been allergic to poetry for quite some time, beginning to understand a bit more now, though) is going to be T. S. Eliot.
He was born in the States, and moved to England. Having one foot in each country, both USA and UK claim him as their poet. Because of this he became one of those writers both British Literature and American Literature had to cover (at my course on the University, that is).
I have now written a presentation on one of Eliot's poems, The Journey of the Magi, a presentation I'll include in my blog when my exam is in the past. It really is good reading, both the poem and what I have to say about it.
I have all ready covered the sonnet, and as Shakespeare wrote sonnets, this part of poetry I always loved. It's funny how you pick and chose sometimes. And even funnier how we're rigid in our ways until we figure out (on our own, and rather privately, without any kind of preassure) that we were wrong all along. I have been suffering from the miscomprehension that poetry, any poetry, is a writer unable to tell a long story, a writer being special, and feeling elevated and above every other human beings, and showing off one talent only, his or her ability to find a million different definitions on one word.
Now I see that poetry is so much more. So incredibly much more. Ezra Pound, for instance, wrote a sonnet using only fourteen words...brilliant!
I'll get back to this (poetry through the ages...), in more detail, on another entry... As this is a big, big point to the history of literature, both in Britain and in USA. And I also have to confess that I stand corrected on the poetry-issue as well.
This entry is, supposed to be, about the versatile American literature, and the fact that I cut myself off from such a large marked, only because I generalized. How stupid was that?
I am now proud to say that I have learned my lesson. I will not be set in my ways, not yet. And to paraphrase my brother; the best book I've read is one I haven't read yet.
This is quite uplifting, thinking about all the stories ahead of me... I can hardly wait to get started, I will probably chose stories covering my favorite genres (fantasy among others), but I also know that I won't not (using double negation to prove my point) read a book just because it says "drama" on the cover. As for the titles I included here, check them out, they are mind blowing.
Wish you all a brilliant weekend...and F.Y.I. next semester is Global Literature, I'm expecting a couple of eye-opening moments then as well...