Development of fiction

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THE DEVELOPMENT OF FICTION
The period of the Victoria Age was above all the age of FICTION, because of the immense popularity the genre gained in the period. Many outstanding writers turned to novel writing and the number of novel published increased enormously. Novels were also serialized in magazines and his required that each single episode contain an element of suspense to keep the reader’s interest and curiosity alive. The quantity of fiction produced increased the difference between good and bad fiction. Bad fiction was based on the repetition of melodramatic clichés.
The novelists of the first part of the age accepted its structure, values and convention as did the majority of their readers.
Novelist saw and denounced the evils of their time and the inadequate educational system but, like the reading public, they did not question the fundamental idea that the system was right or that progress was inevitable. Life was seen and judged from the same point of view by novelists and readers.
FEATURES OF EARLY V.A.: More and more authors took to novel writing. The first part of the Victorian age is characterized by the triumph of the REALISTIC NOVEL. The aim of realistic fiction is to represent life as really it is, that is, to create a fictional world which the reader accepts as real.
Characters in early Victorian age novels conformed to the rules that were generally accepted. Both characters and events were interpreted and judge by an omniscient narrator who expresses the dominant moral views of the time. The story generally ended happily.
CHARLES DICKENS :The novelist who best represent Victorian age both in his life and novels. In his novel he frequently expressed the social coscience of the time, denouncing abuses in education, in the law and in employment. The misfortunes of oliver give dickens the opportunity to portray the criminal world.
The reading public responded warmly to the way Dickens treated his themes because they recognised in the novels what they themselves thought, felt and experienced. They were also attracted by the plots in which he Often made concessions to the predominant taste for sensationalism and sentimentality. His comic and linguistic gifts and his ability to create memorable characters are greatly admired.
. WILLIAM M. THACKERAY: Another novelist of the period who is highly representative of the Victorian fiction. He concentrates on satirasing the upper-middle class. in Vanity Fair he recreates the upper class of early 19th century society with true-to-life, memorable and round characters. Lust for money and social status, selfishness and corruption are the principal objects of his criticism. He use a very obtrusive omniscient narrator who comments, digresses and directs reader’s reactions to the events narrated.
ELIZABETH GASKELL_ she conveys a lively picture of the society of his time through her novels. She has a great ability to portray everyday life with sympathy and humour. The events of the story give Mrs Gaskell the opportunity to illustrate the precarious condition of the workers and to examine the problems created by the clash between capital and labour.
ANTHONY TROLLOPE_ he wrote 40 novels. The best known are two series which were the first in english to retain the same theme and the same characters of a sequence of novels in order to give a wider of the deeper vision of a social class or of a period.
THE BRONTES: era quite different from other novelists. The themes of their novels reveal a romantic sensibility almost divorced from the society in which they lived. Heathcliff is a tipycal Byronic hero, with strong passion, an unknown past and destined to be unhappy. The love with Catherine is of a destructive nature. The noivel was considered mrbid and immoral as it seemed to imply that convensions should yield to the forces of passion.
Charlotte bronte was more restrained in her portrayial of passion, but her heroines didn’t behave according to Victorian conventions.
What is essentially Victorian is the fact that the 2 sisters should have chosen to convey themes anf feeling.
FEATURES OF THE LATER V. FICTION: In the second part of the century the sense of a shared view of reality between novelists and readers began to break down. Novelists of the second part of the period turned more to an analysis of the meaning and form of their work. They want to give the novel a deeper moral and aesthetic dimension. This become part of a general anti-Victorian trend which culminated towards the end of the century in the aesthetic movement. This rejected the victorian moral view of literature in favour of the principle of “art is beauty and beauty is art”.
ROBERT L. STEVENSON_ he reacted against the hypocrisy of bourgeois respectability in victorian society. He expressed his reaction more in his way of life, but his refusal of the optimistic faith of his age is reflected in his exploration of the double nature of man in novels suche as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
RUDYARD KIPLING_ while other victorian novelists setted their novel in England he created a whole fictional world out of the anglo-indian experience of Empire. Most of his novel are realistic but some ( jungle books) include fantasy elements. They are remarkable for their narrative technique, their vivid language and variety of characters.
HENRY JAMES_ he was probably the novelist who contributed most to the development of the novel. An american by birth he spent most of his time in Europe. One of his major theme is the impact of old european culture on America.
James’s major contribution was to shift the fictional emphasis from action to reflection and from subject matter to form. What interested him in narrative technique was how to represent human consciousness.
He went further by reproducing the role of the omniscient narrator and shifting the point of view of the perceptions and thoughts of the characters themselves.
This has also an effect on who read the novels. Most readers were interested in plots and characters not in inner thoughts and formal matters. And so only a small minority of highly motivated an educated readers took pleasure in his novels.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE POETRY
GENERAL FEATURES: in V. P. it is impossible to detect unifying ideas. V poets reacted in different ways to the industrial world:
• Some expressed hostility to it and retreated into the past or into a dream world.
• Some attempted to describe the new conditions and either accepted or criticised them
• Some retained the traditional interest in the natural world
• Some turned more to man than society
There are poems about religion and the progress of science. The language is musical or ornate and refined or closer to colloquial speech.
THE READING PUBLIC: the V reader turned to poetry for a variety of reason:
• To some it was simply a source of aesthetic pleasure
• To some it transfigured the present and made it more tolerable
• To some it was a substitute for the religious faith which they had lost
V.PAND THE ROMANTIC TRADITION: the poetry of the period is far from homogeneous. There are many different kinds of poems and poets.
The 3 mayor poets are: Tannyson, Browning, Hopkins.
One generalisation can be made: V.P. was essentially a continuation of the romantic tradition established at the end of the century. Tennyson starts from Keats, browning from shelley.
ROMANTIC ASPECTS: they are
1. the most important: they saw a poem as an expression of the poet’s deepest personal feeling about life and death.
2. the importance attached to nature, either for its beauty or as an expression of god’s presence
3. their love for the past.
Under the influence of the pre-Raphaelite movement the meddle ages were romanticised.
Rossetti and swinburne brought some romantic tendencies to the extreme, following the way for the aesthetic movement: their sensuous response to beauty and their attention to the musical quality of the verse helped poetry to shift towards the condition of music.
ORIGINAL ASPECTS: Tennyson was almost purely a romantic.
Browning is best known for his development of the dramatic monologue which could be interpreted as an attempt to break away from the inward-looking tendency of romanticisms in the sense that the speaker is a clearly created character firmly set apart from the poet. The effect achieved is similar to that achieved by characterisation in a realistic novel of the same period.
The other original aspects of Browning’s poetry is his attempt to get closer to the language and rhythm of speech. this was an aim started by wordsworth. Browning went a step further in trying to capture the complexity, variety of the spoken syntax and speech. the result is sometimes obscure, but when he’s at his most successful one really does hear a human voice talking.
VICTORIAN THEMES: the major themes the preoccupied V novelists find little pace in V poetry. The effects of industrialisation are vividly presented in Hopkins, but this is a really isolated example. The exception here is the question of religious belief which is dealt more fully in V poetry then in the novel. Both Tennyson and Browning tried to fight with the spreading phenomenon of the agnosticism. Religious belief is Hopkins’s major theme. His attitude is that of a passionately believing Jesuit priest who constantly needs to reaffirm his catholic faith.
Set in a 90s working-class area of Dublin, young Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) is a man with a vision - to bring soul music to Dublin. His friends Derek (Kenneth McCluskey) and Outspan (Glen Hansard) ask him to manage their band and Jimmy agrees, but only on his terms. He places an ad in the local paper that simply reads: "have you got soul? If so, the World's Hardest Working Band is looking for you". Jimmy brings together a conflicting group of young people to play rhythm and blues cover versions of black soul singers – and so The Commitments were born.
The Cast
Robert Arkins - Jimmy Rabbitte
Michael Aherne - Steve Clifford
Angeline Ball - Imelda Quirke
Maria Doyle Kennedy - Natalie Murphy
Dave Finnegan - Mickah Wallace
Bronagh Gallagher - Bernie McGloughlin
Felim Gormley - Dean Fay
Glen Hansard - Outspan Foster
Dick Massey - Billy Mooney
Johnny Murphy - Joey "The Lips" Fagan
Kenneth McCluskey - Derek Scully
Andrew Strong - Deco Cuffe
The initial learning process involves watching old James Brown performances and the all-white band collectively chanting: ‘I'm black and I'm proud!’ Of the bands new members two stand out as inspired discoveries, Deco (Andrew Strong), is a loutish chauvinist with a true soul voice, but unfortunately his fondness for hogging the limelight soon brings him into conflict with the other band members. The other interesting character is Joey "The Lips" Fagan (Johnny Murphy), an ageing trumpet player who travels everywhere on a moped, he claims to have played for many American soul legends but his fellow musicians are more than a little sceptical about his stories. However all does not go smoothly and soon their success on stage is overshadowed by their off-stage rivalry, not in the least helped by Joey who seduces all three female backing singers. The band's members struggle with one-another to become a tight, fine band - at least for one night.
Il film inizia con una panoramica della vita quotidiana nella periferia di Dublino. Le persone, e tra queste i protagonisti, si limitano a sopravvivere, la maggior parte con lavori di fortuna, pochi con un lavoro fisso ma senza prospettive.
Jimmy Rabbit sta stretto in questa realtà, lui sogna di diventare "il grande Jimmy Rabbit": è convinto di avere quel qualcosa in più necessario per differenziarsi dalla mediocrità che lo circonda, dal grigiore dei quartieri in cui i bambini giocano su rottami abbandonati ed altalene fatte di gomme d'auto bucate. Lui cerca una possibilità di uscire dall'anonimato ed è disposto a far di tutto perché questo si realizzi.
La musica è la sua via.
E infatti con una delle scene più significative del film (le audizioni di Jimmy, che vedono sfilare un melting-pot di persone sotto l'occhio esterrefatto del padre, nostalgico fan fuori tempo di Elvis Presley), il regista Parker crea un'immagine quasi agiografica della nuova anima musicale della gente irlandese: U2, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor, Bob Geldof… Parker sottolinea soprattutto il desiderio dei giovani di crearsi una nicchia culturale alternativa e poi una nuova tradizione attraverso la musica: la band di Jimmy riprende le motivazioni del soul nero alla James Brown e le mette al servizio del proletariato e del sottoproletariato urbano, con un linguaggio e delle tematiche rispondenti ai discorsi quotidiani della gente. Nasce il "Dublino soul, una musica che parla di fatiche, di sudore e di corpi", una musica diretta al cuore ed ai sogni dei giovani irlandesi, che si contrappone all'affettazione e all'omologazione dilagante. E in effetti la colonna sonora di questo film musicale registrata dal vivo è eccellente, tocca tutti i mostri sacri del soul e comprende alcuni brani dello stesso Parker.
Un'altra attenzione è rivolta al carattere dei personaggi e alle relazioni dinamiche che si innestano all'interno del gruppo. Il film mostra, in un crescendo che conquista, i miglioramenti musicali di questi ragazzi, ma le pulsioni centrifughe che l'avvicinarsi del successo genera in loro saranno proprio la causa della fine del sogno. Una caduta che avviene nel corso del loro concerto più riuscito, quello che scatena l'entusiasmo dei giovani dublinesi, in una sarabanda di folla, suoni e luci; una caduta che poteva essere evitata, o forse solo rimandata, se gli eventi si fossero incastrati in maniera diversa.
Il film è tratto dall'omonimo racconto di Roddy Doyle, noto scrittore della quotidianità delle periferie dublinesi.
Alan Parker è regista dalle inconfondibili atmosfere, perfettamente determinate nelle azioni e nelle forme e sempre esattamente eseguite; questo rende il film popolare, ma lo discosta dall'analisi di Doyle: la visione geografica, sociale ed economica dello scrittore ha spazio solo in brevi squarci del film di Parker, che si ferma soprattutto sulla potenza comunicativa della musica e sulla sua capacità di creare rispecchiamento e identità nuove.
Nell'auto intervista finale di Jimmy si capisce come l'esperienza del gruppo, fermatasi ai limiti del successo, si sia conclusa senza eccessivi drammi, come ad indicare che la vita continua comunque. La continua capacità rigenerativa della musica consente al film di Parker un "lieto" fine aperto alla speranza, mentre le conclusioni dei romanzi di Doyle sono sempre più complesse e problematiche.Bibliografia: rivista di critica cinematografica "Cineforum", n°308, fondazione AlascA

THE DEVELOPMENT OF FICTION
The period of the Victoria Age was above all the age of FICTION, because of the immense popularity the genre gained in the period. Many outstanding writers turned to novel writing and the number of novel published increased enormously. Novels were also serialized in magazines and his required that each single episode contain an element of suspense to keep the reader’s interest and curiosity alive. The quantity of fiction produced increased the difference between good and bad fiction. Bad fiction was based on the repetition of melodramatic clichés.
The novelists of the first part of the age accepted its structure, values and convention as did the majority of their readers.
Novelist saw and denounced the evils of their time and the inadequate educational system but, like the reading public, they did not question the fundamental idea that the system was right or that progress was inevitable. Life was seen and judged from the same point of view by novelists and readers.
FEATURES OF EARLY V.A.: More and more authors took to novel writing. The first part of the Victorian age is characterized by the triumph of the REALISTIC NOVEL. The aim of realistic fiction is to represent life as really it is, that is, to create a fictional world which the reader accepts as real.
Characters in early Victorian age novels conformed to the rules that were generally accepted. Both characters and events were interpreted and judge by an omniscient narrator who expresses the dominant moral views of the time. The story generally ended happily.
CHARLES DICKENS :The novelist who best represent Victorian age both in his life and novels. In his novel he frequently expressed the social coscience of the time, denouncing abuses in education, in the law and in employment. The misfortunes of oliver give dickens the opportunity to portray the criminal world.
The reading public responded warmly to the way Dickens treated his themes because they recognised in the novels what they themselves thought, felt and experienced. They were also attracted by the plots in which he Often made concessions to the predominant taste for sensationalism and sentimentality. His comic and linguistic gifts and his ability to create memorable characters are greatly admired.
. WILLIAM M. THACKERAY: Another novelist of the period who is highly representative of the Victorian fiction. He concentrates on satirasing the upper-middle class. in Vanity Fair he recreates the upper class of early 19th century society with true-to-life, memorable and round characters. Lust for money and social status, selfishness and corruption are the principal objects of his criticism. He use a very obtrusive omniscient narrator who comments, digresses and directs reader’s reactions to the events narrated.
ELIZABETH GASKELL_ she conveys a lively picture of the society of his time through her novels. She has a great ability to portray everyday life with sympathy and humour. The events of the story give Mrs Gaskell the opportunity to illustrate the precarious condition of the workers and to examine the problems created by the clash between capital and labour.
ANTHONY TROLLOPE_ he wrote 40 novels. The best known are two series which were the first in english to retain the same theme and the same characters of a sequence of novels in order to give a wider of the deeper vision of a social class or of a period.
THE BRONTES: era quite different from other novelists. The themes of their novels reveal a romantic sensibility almost divorced from the society in which they lived. Heathcliff is a tipycal Byronic hero, with strong passion, an unknown past and destined to be unhappy. The love with Catherine is of a destructive nature. The noivel was considered mrbid and immoral as it seemed to imply that convensions should yield to the forces of passion.
Charlotte bronte was more restrained in her portrayial of passion, but her heroines didn’t behave according to Victorian conventions.
What is essentially Victorian is the fact that the 2 sisters should have chosen to convey themes anf feeling.
FEATURES OF THE LATER V. FICTION: In the second part of the century the sense of a shared view of reality between novelists and readers began to break down. Novelists of the second part of the period turned more to an analysis of the meaning and form of their work. They want to give the novel a deeper moral and aesthetic dimension. This become part of a general anti-Victorian trend which culminated towards the end of the century in the aesthetic movement. This rejected the victorian moral view of literature in favour of the principle of “art is beauty and beauty is art”.
ROBERT L. STEVENSON_ he reacted against the hypocrisy of bourgeois respectability in victorian society. He expressed his reaction more in his way of life, but his refusal of the optimistic faith of his age is reflected in his exploration of the double nature of man in novels suche as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
RUDYARD KIPLING_ while other victorian novelists setted their novel in England he created a whole fictional world out of the anglo-indian experience of Empire. Most of his novel are realistic but some ( jungle books) include fantasy elements. They are remarkable for their narrative technique, their vivid language and variety of characters.
HENRY JAMES_ he was probably the novelist who contributed most to the development of the novel. An american by birth he spent most of his time in Europe. One of his major theme is the impact of old european culture on America.
James’s major contribution was to shift the fictional emphasis from action to reflection and from subject matter to form. What interested him in narrative technique was how to represent human consciousness.
He went further by reproducing the role of the omniscient narrator and shifting the point of view of the perceptions and thoughts of the characters themselves.
This has also an effect on who read the novels. Most readers were interested in plots and characters not in inner thoughts and formal matters. And so only a small minority of highly motivated an educated readers took pleasure in his novels.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE POETRY
GENERAL FEATURES: in V. P. it is impossible to detect unifying ideas. V poets reacted in different ways to the industrial world:
• Some expressed hostility to it and retreated into the past or into a dream world.
• Some attempted to describe the new conditions and either accepted or criticised them
• Some retained the traditional interest in the natural world
• Some turned more to man than society
There are poems about religion and the progress of science. The language is musical or ornate and refined or closer to colloquial speech.
THE READING PUBLIC: the V reader turned to poetry for a variety of reason:
• To some it was simply a source of aesthetic pleasure
• To some it transfigured the present and made it more tolerable
• To some it was a substitute for the religious faith which they had lost
V.PAND THE ROMANTIC TRADITION: the poetry of the period is far from homogeneous. There are many different kinds of poems and poets.
The 3 mayor poets are: Tannyson, Browning, Hopkins.
One generalisation can be made: V.P. was essentially a continuation of the romantic tradition established at the end of the century. Tennyson starts from Keats, browning from shelley.
ROMANTIC ASPECTS: they are
4. the most important: they saw a poem as an expression of the poet’s deepest personal feeling about life and death.
5. the importance attached to nature, either for its beauty or as an expression of god’s presence
6. their love for the past.
Under the influence of the pre-Raphaelite movement the meddle ages were romanticised.
Rossetti and swinburne brought some romantic tendencies to the extreme, following the way for the aesthetic movement: their sensuous response to beauty and their attention to the musical quality of the verse helped poetry to shift towards the condition of music.
ORIGINAL ASPECTS: Tennyson was almost purely a romantic.
Browning is best known for his development of the dramatic monologue which could be interpreted as an attempt to break away from the inward-looking tendency of romanticisms in the sense that the speaker is a clearly created character firmly set apart from the poet. The effect achieved is similar to that achieved by characterisation in a realistic novel of the same period.
The other original aspects of Browning’s poetry is his attempt to get closer to the language and rhythm of speech. this was an aim started by wordsworth. Browning went a step further in trying to capture the complexity, variety of the spoken syntax and speech. the result is sometimes obscure, but when he’s at his most successful one really does hear a human voice talking.
VICTORIAN THEMES: the major themes the preoccupied V novelists find little pace in V poetry. The effects of industrialisation are vividly presented in Hopkins, but this is a really isolated example. The exception here is the question of religious belief which is dealt more fully in V poetry then in the novel. Both Tennyson and Browning tried to fight with the spreading phenomenon of the agnosticism. Religious belief is Hopkins’s major theme. His attitude is that of a passionately believing Jesuit priest who constantly needs to reaffirm his catholic faith.

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