Literature And Criticism Of The 19th Century

1693 Words Apr 14th, 2016 7 Pages
For many, it is hard to know what to do about a world beset by struggles of cultural nationalism and staggering divides in the wealth and poverty of nations. Struggles of such are direct consequences of British colonial rule, after all, Britain was the largest of a series of European empires to conquer and divide a great portion of the world from a bird’s eye view. Thus, the driving force of postcolonial literature is in fact the legacy with which colonialism left behind; it is often concerned with the revision of history, the reclamation of places, and the assertion of one’s cultural identity and integrity. Now, postcolonial literature and criticism began in the nineteen-nineties and continues to preside in the present day; but what is more important in terms of a shift in literary technique is that movement which came before it: modernism, beginning roughly in the first half of the twentieth century. During this time, technically speaking, writers were free to experiment; experimentation hinged on the outright rejection of all kinds of literary traditions—from narrative, to descriptive, to dramatic. It was as if there was a new stream of consciousness developing in literature. W. B. Yeats, one of modernism’s protagonists—as Gregory G. Colomb puts it (“Modernism”, 889)—is arguably one of the most important writers of the early twentieth century, for he wrote much of his poetry from a modern anti-imperialist perspective. However, be more specific, he was considered an Irish…
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