It is a sarcastic book. Aldington was eager to tell the truth about the society openly. But it was impossible to overcome individualism, the author is not objective, he shows the whole range of feelings. That’s why the end of the book is so bitter & hopeless. The title itself is very sarcastic. His death is also a symbol how senseless the war is, it’s just a torture. His satire has many shades, but also a definite target & purpose. Sometimes it reminds Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” because of the social character of satire. “Death of a Hero” is an absolutely disillusioned novel. Aldington called this book “a jazz novel”. This jazz effect is achieved by kaleidoscopic change of contrasted images. The novel is characterized by multitude of emotional states. The style is rather nervous. He is easily overcome by despair & negation, carried to the very extreme. These feelings are the features of the lost generation people. “The Death of a Hero” is the first big & most successful of all his works. His other novels are:
“All Men Are Enemies”
All are about those people who came back from the war alive but still couldn’t find their place in life. The main characters are akin to George Winterborne. The critics say that Aldington predominantly is the writer of one theme & one hero, & that he just treats this topic in different aspects.
He also wrote some critical works on D. H. Lawrence, & other writings.
He died in 1962.
The word “modern” means “up-to-date”. Critics & historians used it to denote roughly the first half of the XX century. The representatives of this movement were anxious to set themselves apart from the previous generations. They totally rejected their predecessors. The term was suggested by the authors themselves. The difference between past & present tradition is qualitative. Modernist writers clearly defined the borderline between Victorian age & modernism: in 1910 – the death of king Edward & the first post-impressionist exhibition in London (Virginia Woolf), in 1915 – the first year of World War I (D. H. Lawrence). They had a deep conviction that modern experience is a unique one. They tried to point the change in modernism. This change was – massive disillusionment, destruction of faith in a number of basic social & moral principles, which laid the foundation of Western civilization. This change was to some degree intellectual as the result of late XIX theories & discoveries.
Karl Marx “Das Kapital”. He shaped the imperialistic ideology, he showed it was not the pattern of progress. He believed that the world would not be dominated by enlightened bourgeoisie. The struggle is inevitable.
Charles Darwin “On Origin of Species”(1859) & “The Descent of Man”(1871). A human being was placed in the animal world. The forces that determine human behaviour are not of intellect & reason but is determined by the need of physical survival.
James Frazer’s “The Golden Bough”(1890-1915) showed similarities between primitive & civilized cultures. The primitive tribes appeared to be not so savage as they seemed to be. They were just like the civilized ones.
Nietzsche’s “Birth of Tragedy”. In this book he exposes dark sides of human psyche, glorified the belief in ancient heroic philosophers.
Max Planck’s “Quantum Theory of Atomic & Subatomic Particles”. This model of discreet beats of energy behaving in apparently unpredictable ways seize the imagination of people so much that they extrapolated it beyond the limits of physics. They believed that human behaviour was also chaotic, disorderly & unpredictable.
Freud’s “Interpretation of Dream”. This work created a new model of human personality itself as a complex, multilayed & governed by irrational & unconscious survival of fantasies.
These theories were in fact not very new they were known in the XIX but in XIX they never destroyed the general principles & ideas.
Modern writers after the WWI found themselves in so-called “empty world”. Their world was deprived of its stability. Nothing can be taken for granted. They didn’t believe that life they were living. Being disillusioned & contemplating the society & cosmos most of them looked within themselves for the principles of order. They turned to eternal things. For that matter we see modern literature being pre-occupied with its own self, process of perception, nature of consciousness. In its extreme subjectivity modern literature went parallelly with other modern arts (e.g. painting).
Ðåôåðàò îïóáëèêîâàí: 31/01/2010