Timeline of Selected Readings

Reading the works of only one author at a time is helpful for getting a sense of an artist's style and personality. Likewise, arranging works by the dates of their author's birth is logical when one is putting together an anthology. However, grouping readings by author and ordering texts by authors' dates of birth can also give the impression that literary history is more linear and "progressive" than it in fact is. In reality, many strikingly different authors vie for readers simultaneously, and literary movements overlap one another greatly. To give you a better appreciation for the complexity of literary culture and for the ways in which authors and texts influence one another, see the chronological list of texts below. (Many of the texts listed are readings from our class.)

How are works published in the same year or decade similar and/or different? Are there any overall trends in the subject or style of literature between 1860 and 1914? How are any similarities, differences, trends, and connections you notice helpful or problematic when interpreting a particular work or attempting to understanding the period as a whole?

  • 1860
  • 1870
  • 1880
  • 1890
  • 1900
  • 1910