List of literary movements

List of literary movements

This is a list of modern literary movements: that is, movements after the Renaissance. These terms, helpful for curricula or anthologies, evolved over time to group writers who are often loosely related. Some of these movements (such as Dada and Beat) were defined by the members themselves, while other terms (the metaphysical poets, for example) emerged decades or centuries after the periods in question. Ordering is approximate, as there is considerable overlap.

These are movements either drawn from or influential for literature in the English language.

Amatory fiction
*Romantic fiction written in the 17th century and 18th century, primarily written by women.
**Notable authors: Eliza Haywood, Delarivier Manley

Cavalier Poets
*17th century English royalist poets, writing primarily about courtly love, called Sons of Ben (after Ben Jonson).
**Notable authors: Richard Lovelace, William Davenant

Metaphysical poets
*17th century English movement using extended conceit, often (though not always) about religion.
**Notable authors: John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell

The Augustans
*An 18th century literary movement based chiefly on classical ideals, satire and skepticism.
**Notable authors: Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift

*18th to 19th century movement emphasizing emotion and imagination, rather than logic and scientific thought. Response to the Enlightenment.
**Notable authors: Victor Hugo, Lord Byron

Gothic novel
*Fiction in which Romantic ideals are combined with an interest in the supernatural and in violence.
**Notable authors: Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker

Lake Poets
*A group of Romantic poets from the English Lake District who wrote about nature and the sublime.
**Notable authors: William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

American Romanticism
*Distinct from European Romanticism, the American form emerged somewhat later, was based more in fiction than in poetry, and incorporated a (sometimes almost suffocating) awareness of history, particularly the darkest aspects of American history.
**Notable authors: Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne

*19th century, primarily English movement based ostensibly on undoing innovations by the painter Raphael. Many were both painters and poets.
**Notable authors: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti

*19th century American movement: poetry and philosophy concerned with self-reliance, independence from modern technology.
**Notable authors: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau

Dark romanticism
*19th century American movement in reaction to Transcendentalism. Finds man inherently sinful and self-destructive and nature a dark, mysterious force.
**Notable authors: Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, George Lippard

*Late-19th century movement based on a simplification of style and image and an interest in poverty and everyday concerns.
**Notable authors: Gustave Flaubert, Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Leo Tolstoy, Frank Norris

*Also late 19th century. Proponents of this movement believe heredity and environment control people.
**Notable authors: Émile Zola, Stephen Crane

*Principally French movement of the fin de siècle based on the structure of thought rather than poetic form or image; influential for English language poets from Edgar Allan Poe to James Merrill.
**Notable authors: Stéphane Mallarmé, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Valéry

Stream of consciousness
*Early-20th century fiction consisting of literary representations of quotidian thought, without authorial presence.
**Notable authors: Virginia Woolf, James Joyce

*Variegated movement of the early 20th century, encompassing primitivism, formal innovation, or reaction to science and technology.
**Notable authors: T. S. Eliot, H.D.

The Lost Generation
*It was traditionally attributed to Gertrude Stein and was then popularized by Ernest Hemingway in the epigraph to his novel "The Sun Also Rises", and his memoir "A Moveable Feast". It refers to a group of American literary notables who lived in Paris and other parts of Europe from the time period which saw the end of World War I to the beginning of the Great Depression.
**Notable Authors: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Waldo Pierce

*Touted by its proponents as anti-art, dada focused on going against artistic norms and conventions.
**Notable authors: Guillaume Apollinaire, Kurt Schwitters

First World War Poets
*Poets who documented both the idealism and the horrors of the war and the period in which it took place.
**Notable authors: Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke

Los Contemporáneos
*A Mexican vanguardist group, active in the late twenties and early thirties; published an eponymous literary magazine which served as the group's mouthpiece and artistic vehicule from 1928-31.

*Poetry based on description rather than theme, and on the motto, "the natural object is always the adequate symbol."
**Notable authors: Ezra Pound, Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Aldington

Harlem Renaissance
*African American poets, novelists, and thinkers, often employing elements of blues and folklore, based in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in the 1920s.
**Notable authors: Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston

*Originally a French movement, influenced by Surrealist painting, that uses surprising images and transitions to play off of formal expectations and depict the unconscious rather than conscious mind.
**Notable authors: Jean Cocteau, Dylan Thomas

Southern Agrarians
*A group of Southern American poets, based originally at Vanderbilt University, who expressly repudiated many modernist developments in favor of metrical verse and narrative. Some Southern Agrarians were also associated with the New Criticism.
**Notable authors: John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren

*Mid-20th century poetry and prose based on seemingly arbitrary rules for the sake of added challenge.
**Notable authors: Raymond Queneau, Walter Abish

*Postwar movement skeptical of absolutes and embracing diversity, irony, and word play.
**Notable authors: Jorge Luis Borges, Thomas Pynchon, Alasdair Gray

Black Mountain Poets
*A self-identified group of poets, originally based at Black Mountain College, who eschewed patterned form in favor of the rhythms and inflections of the human voice.
**Notable authors: Charles Olson, Denise Levertov

Beat poets
*American movement of the 1950s and '60s concerned with counterculture and youthful alienation.
**Notable authors: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Ken Kesey

Hungryalist Poets
* A literary movement in postcolonial India during 1961-65 as a counter-discourse to Colonial Bengali poetry.
** Notable poets:Chattopadhyay Shakti,Malay Roychoudhury,Binoy Majumdar

Confessional poetry
*Poetry that, often brutally, exposes the self as part of an aesthetic of the beauty and power of human frailty.
**Notable authors: Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath

New York School
*Urban, gay or gay-friendly, leftist poets, writers, and painters of the 1960s.
**Notable authors: Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery

Magical Realism
*Literary movement in which magical elements appear in otherwise realistic circumstances. Most often associated with the Latin American literary boom of the 20th century.
**Notable authors: Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio Paz, Günter Grass, Julio Cortázar

*A diverse, loosely connected movement of writers from former colonies of European countries, whose work is frequently politically charged.
**Notable authors: Jamaica Kincaid, V. S. Naipaul, Derek Walcott, Salman Rushdie, Wole Soyinka

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