OF ISLANDS AND OF ILANDERS: THE MATURE ENLIGHTMENT
(1736 – 1776)
8.1. Дальнейшее развитие литературы Просвещения. Сэмюэл Ричардсон – создатель семейно-бытового психологического романа.
Further development of English literature is connected with the elaboration of the novel as a literary form. Several authors of note contributed to this. One of them was Samuel Richardson (1689-1761). He was apprenticed to a printer in his youth and later set up his own printing shop in London. Richardson became known as a gifted letter writer, and he began to write a volume of model letters for the use of the country reader. While engaged in writing the form letters he also wrote and published the celebrated novel Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded (1740), telling, in the form of letters, the story of a young maid-servant's defense of her honor.
Clarissa; or the History of a Young Lady (1747-1748), which explores and re-explores the same events from the points of view of several of the characters, is considered his best work. It was praised for its lofty moral tone, sentimentality, and understanding of emotions and the feminine mind.
His last important work was The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753-1754), in which he presented his ideal of a true Christian gentleman. All of Richardson's novels are in epistolary form — a structure that he refined and developed. For this reason, Richardson is considered a founder of the English modern novel.
8.2. Генри Филдинг – основоположник социального романа. Теория романа Филдинга. «История Тома Джонса» как вершина творчества писателя.
Another writer who actually established the English novel tradition wasHenry Fielding(1707-1754).As a young man,he was a theatrical manager and playwright in London. Of his 25 plays, the most popular was the farce Tom Thumb. Later in his life, as justice of the peace, he worked hard to reduce crime in London. Meanwhile his career as a novelist began. His first published novel was intended as a parody of the sentimental moralizing of the popular novel by Samuel Richardson.
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749) is regarded by critics as one of the great English novels, is in the picaresque tradition, involving the adventures and misadventures of a roguish hero. It tells in rich, realistic detail the many adventures that befall Tom, an engaging young libertine, in his efforts to gain his rightful inheritance.
Fielding is highly regarded for his innovations in the development of the modern novel. Although he was not the first novelist, he was the first writer to break away from the epistolary method. Fielding devised a new structure and theory that laid the foundation for the works of Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, and the Victorian domestic novelists.
8.3. Деятельность Сэмюэла Джонсона. Первый словарь английского литературного языка и его значение для развития литературы.
The major figure in 18th-century literature as an arbiter of taste, renowned for the force and balance of his prose style was Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), English writer and lexicographer,
Johnson, usually referred to as Dr. Johnson by his contemporaries and later generations, was the son of a bookseller. He attended the local school, but his real education was informal, conducted primarily among his father's books as he read and studied the classics, which influenced his style greatly. A brilliant but eccentric young man, he was plagued by a variety of ailments from which he suffered the rest of his life. After his father died, Johnson tried teachingand later organized a school. His educational ventures were not successful, however, although one of his students, David Garrick, later famous as an actor, became a lifelong friend.
The 1750s marked the beginning of a period of great literary activity. He founded his own periodical in which he published a considerable number of eloquent, insightful essays on literature, criticism, and moral theory. While busy with other kinds of writing and always burdened with poverty, Johnson was also at work on a major project — compiling a dictionary commissioned by a group of booksellers. After more than eight years in preparation, the Dictionary of the English Languageappeared in 1755. This remarkable work contains about 40,000 entries elucidated by vivid, idiosyncratic, still-quoted definitions and by an extraordinary range of illustrative examples.
Now a celebrity, he and the eminent English portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds founded the Literary Club. Johnson's last major work, The Lives of the English Poets, was begun when he was nearly 70 years old. The work is a distinctive blend of biography and literary criticism. In contemporary studies Johnson emerges as a troubled but undaunted man, compassionate to the poor and oppressed, relentless in his quest for truth, a humanist par excellence. His writing, in defense of reason against the wiles of unchecked fancy and emotion, championed the values of artistic and moral order.
8.4.Разнообразие жанров позднего Просвещения. Сентиментализм в литературе. “Готический роман” как один из первых образцов массовой литературы.
8.4.1. Other important writer of the mature Enlightenment is Laurence Sterne. Laurence Sterne(1713-1768), English novelist and humorist, wrote The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, one of the great 18th-century masterpieces of English fiction. It caused a literary sensation. Tristram Shandy was a highly original and innovative work; it exploded the budding conventions of the novel and confounded the expectations of its readers. Sterne had unique ideas about perception, meaning, and time that made Tristram Shandy a precursor to the modern novel and stream of consciousness.
At 52, Sterne made a lengthy tour of France and Italy. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy records his appreciation of the social customs he encountered in France. Somehow, the title gave the name to the whole school of writing, sentimentalism.
8.4.2. Sentimentalism is manifest in the poetic works ofThomas Gray(1716-1771), English poet, was a forerunner of the romantic movement. At 33, he finished the poem for which he is best known, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, and sent it to his friend, the author Horace Walpole, at whose insistence it was published. Since that time the work has remained a favorite.
8.4.3. Horace Walpole (1717-1797) was English novelist and letter writer. He is better known, however, for his novel The Castle of Otranto (1764); pervaded by elements of the supernatural, it is one of the first works of the genre known as the Gothic romance. After an education at Eton College and the University of Cambridge, he traveled in France and Italy with his friend the English poet Thomas Gray. Walpole entered Parliament and remained a member until his retirement. His political career was limited to minor posts, which he received primarily through the influence of his father, the Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole. His estate became a showplace because of its pseudo-Gothic architecture, its fine library, and its collections of art and curios. He established a printing press there, and the fine books he produced influenced the development of English printing and bookmaking. Walpole dabbled in all the literary arts and made a real contribution to art history.