In America romanticism was connected with nationalism. They were proud of the American intellectual tradition which created their republic.
Walt Whitman was a poet of democracy, freedom and sexual love and he made the American poetry independent of European poetry. He influenced the whole modern poetry with rhythmical free verse which was his innovation. His most famous collection is Leaves of Grass.
Edgar Allan Poe was a short story writer and the founder of science-fiction. His best poem is The Raven. He’s the author of The Murders in the Rue Morgue.
Herman Melvile was the greatest symbolist. His novel Moby Dick is the symbolic story of Captain Ahab, a free man, who wants to kill the white whale Moby Dick that is a symbol of evil.
Mark Twain is one of the greatest US authors. He became famous as a humorist and story teller. His best books are based on his own experience along the Mississippi: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Authors first try to describe the ugliness of life, where money-making dominates. Realism and naturalism developed.
Theodor Dreiser’s masterpiece is An American Tragedy. His hero is negative, he becomes a murder.
Jack London described adventurous life: The Call of the Wild.
The most outstanding personalities in the 20th century drama are:
Eugene O’Neill, who is a Nobel Prize winner.
Tennesse Williams : Streetcar named Desire.
Edward Albee : Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf.
20th century poetry is famous for group of poets and artists who gathered around 1956 in San Francisco and are called Beat Group. They were disgusted by corrupt, commercial and conventional world around them and hoped they can make their world better by some excitement given by drugs, drink and they were also influenced by Zen Buddhism teaching. The best known poets of this period are Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.
Lost Generation – writers who were influenced by the World War I.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald is connected with the Jazz Age. He wrote many stories about wealthy people, for whom everything is so easy because of money. The Great Gatsby is his best novel.
William Faulkner is a Nobel Prize winner, who wrote about the problems of South.
John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize too. His famous work is Of Mice and Men.
Norman Mailer is one of the best writers about the World War II. The Naked and Dead is based on his own experience in Pacific.
John Updike is one of the most successful novelists and poets. He describes the American everyday life in a family.
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