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Thread: FAQ: What is Contemporary Literature?

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  1. #1
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Not where you last saw me.

    FAQ: What is Contemporary Literature?

    “Contemporary Literature” is the designation given to those works published post-WWII (published after January 1, 1945) which reflect and shape life, culture, and the mores of an era. Within Contemporary Literature you can track the evolution in thought with regard to changing attitudes about war, social issues, and political issues.

    While many believe that Contemporary Literature really began in the 1960s because a harsher, more cynical view then permeated the treatments of literary themes—love, war, injustice, social equality, politics—the world, particularly the U.S., actually had left behind its rather na´ve views at the ending of the war, though it struggled to find new meaning. The literature of the early years of this era reflected a deep disillusionment and questioned and weighed historically accepted views, attitudes, and mores, but few works placed judgments on them. The cynicism of the 1960s changed that dramatically by rendering those judgments harshly.

    This, then, is the ever-changing and evolving world of Contemporary Literature and its characteristics include:

    • Character driven more than plot driven. (The plot is there, whether within the character or external to the character. If external to the character, the character’s thoughts, views, and actions drive the plot.)
    • Real world settings in current times.
    • A believable story.
    • Complex, finely drawn, and realistic characters.
    • A more sophisticated drawing of unreliable narrators.
    • Sometimes includes multiple narrators.
    • Often less subtle thematic treatments viewed through the eyes of the characters.

    Super Special Notes:

    This room is not about theory or theory only. Oh, no, it's for discussions of our favorite novels, short stories, poems, and plays. Let's talk, for instance, about the novels we love: Life of Pi, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Shadow of the Wind, Foal's Bread, Never Let Me Go, The Girl on The Train, and so many more. And share with each other our favorite works of poets and dramatists from around the world. This is the room for sharing and exploring our favorites in contemporary literature.

    Globalization has brought greater accessibility to the works of ethnically diverse cultures. An exploration of those works is very much encouraged in this room.

    As indicated by the room's new description, discussions of all forms of Contemporary Literature—Fiction, Drama, Poetry—are welcomed and encouraged.
    Last edited by Ari Meermans; 04-26-2017 at 05:21 AM.
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