Chapter 6 The Post-War Period: 50s & 60s
I. Historical Background – multi-faceted
1. Cold War
2. McCarthyism (persecution of communists)
3. Korean War
4. Civil Rights Movement
5. Counter-culture Movement – political, economical and military achievement
II. Literature in the 1950s
1. Regional literature emerged from the south, etc. Many women writers appeared.
2. Dramatists wrote about everyday people, e.g. Arthur Miller.
3. Minority literature developed quickly.
III. Literature in the 1960s
This period is the rising period of post-modern literature. Many forms of post-modern fiction appeared, such as metafiction, surfiction, parafiction, self-reflexive fiction, self-begetting fiction, anti-novel, etc. The literature in this period is considered as “multi-cultural” literature. The same mood in this period is despair, but continuing to search absurdity of modern life; lonely, but searching for the meaning of existence; identity.
Section 1 Poetry
1. Some poets found inspiration in the past. (来源：英语学习门户网站EnglishCN.com)
2. Poetry became more attuned to political and social issues of the period.
3. Poets became more visible in American public life.
4. There was no prescribed form for poetry.
5. Poets became more political. Themes such as homosexuality, racism, etc. are included in the poems. In 1960s, poetry became more and more political.
II. Schools of Poetry (time, representatives, major features)
1. Confessional Poets: Robert Lowell
The greatness of Lowell lies in the fact that, in talking candidly about himself, he is examining the culture of his nation. The identification of personal experience with that of an age has always ensured greatness and even immortality as it did.
2. Black Mountain Poets: Charles Olson
There is an emphasis on the importance of the moments of awareness. It portrays a world of “awakened, contemplative awareness”, one in which civilization appears alien, cold, and almost unreal.
3. Beat Generation: Alien Ginsberg
In the fifties, there was a widespread discontentment among the post-war generation, whose voice was one of protest against all the mainstream culture America had come to represent.