Machine-Age Comedy (Modernist Literature and Culture)
Furthermore, there have been expressionist writers of prose fiction, as well as non-German speaking expressionist writers, and, while the movement had declined in Germany with the rise of Adolf Hitler in the s, there were subsequent expressionist works. Expressionism is notoriously difficult to define, in part because it "overlapped with other major 'isms' of the modernist period: with Futurism , Vorticism , Cubism , Surrealism and Dada.
They looked back to Swedish playwright August Strindberg and German actor and dramatist Frank Wedekind as precursors of their dramaturgical experiments. Oskar Kokoschka 's Murderer, the Hope of Women was the first fully Expressionist work for the theatre, which opened on 4 July in Vienna. The first full-length Expressionist play was The Son by Walter Hasenclever, which was published in and first performed in Futurism is yet another modernist movement.
Marinetti 's first manifesto. Modeled on Marx and Engels ' famous " Communist Manifesto " , such manifestoes put forward ideas that were meant to provoke and to gather followers. However, arguments in favor of geometric or purely abstract painting were, at this time, largely confined to "little magazines" which had only tiny circulations.
Modernist primitivism and pessimism were controversial, and the mainstream in the first decade of the 20th century was still inclined towards a faith in progress and liberal optimism. The arts of cultures other than the European had become accessible and showed alternative ways of describing visual experience to the artist. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new kind of art which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy.
The sources from which individual artists drew their theoretical arguments were diverse, and reflected the social and intellectual preoccupations in all areas of Western culture at that time. The use of photography , which had rendered much of the representational function of visual art obsolete, strongly affected this aspect of modernism. Modernist architects and designers, such as Frank Lloyd Wright  and Le Corbusier ,  believed that new technology rendered old styles of building obsolete.
Le Corbusier thought that buildings should function as "machines for living in", analogous to cars, which he saw as machines for traveling in. Following this machine aesthetic, modernist designers typically rejected decorative motifs in design, preferring to emphasize the materials used and pure geometrical forms. Louis, Missouri , United States, is among the first skyscrapers in the world.
In —which was the year of philosopher Edmund Husserl 's Ideas , physicist Niels Bohr 's quantized atom, Ezra Pound 's founding of imagism , the Armory Show in New York, and in Saint Petersburg the "first futurist opera", Mikhail Matyushin 's Victory over the Sun —another Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky , composed The Rite of Spring , a ballet that depicts human sacrifice , and has a musical score full of dissonance and primitive rhythm.
This caused uproar on its first performance in Paris. At this time though modernism was still "progressive", increasingly it saw traditional forms and traditional social arrangements as hindering progress, and was recasting the artist as a revolutionary, engaged in overthrowing rather than enlightening society. This is often presented as an early example of a writer using the stream-of-consciousness technique , but Robert Humphrey comments that Proust "is concerned only with the reminiscent aspect of consciousness" and that he "was deliberately recapturing the past for the purpose of communicating; hence he did not write a stream-of-consciousness novel.
Stream of consciousness was an important modernist literary innovation, and it has been suggested that Arthur Schnitzler — was the first to make full use of it in his short story "Leutnant Gustl" "None but the Brave" However, with the coming of the Great War of —18 and the Russian Revolution of , the world was drastically changed and doubt cast on the beliefs and institutions of the past.
The failure of the previous status quo seemed self-evident to a generation that had seen millions die fighting over scraps of earth: prior to it had been argued that no one would fight such a war, since the cost was too high. The birth of a machine age which had made major changes in the conditions of daily life in the 19th century now had radically changed the nature of warfare. The traumatic nature of recent experience altered basic assumptions, and realistic depiction of life in the arts seemed inadequate when faced with the fantastically surreal nature of trench warfare.
The view that mankind was making steady moral progress now seemed ridiculous in the face of the senseless slaughter, described in works such as Erich Maria Remarque 's novel All Quiet on the Western Front Therefore, modernism's view of reality, which had been a minority taste before the war, became more generally accepted in the s. In literature and visual art some Modernists sought to defy expectations mainly in order to make their art more vivid, or to force the audience to take the trouble to question their own preconceptions. This aspect of modernism has often seemed a reaction to consumer culture , which developed in Europe and North America in the late 19th century.
Whereas most manufacturers try to make products that will be marketable by appealing to preferences and prejudices, high modernists rejected such consumerist attitudes in order to undermine conventional thinking. The art critic Clement Greenberg expounded this theory of modernism in his essay Avant-Garde and Kitsch. For Greenberg, modernism thus formed a reaction against the development of such examples of modern consumer culture as commercial popular music , Hollywood , and advertising.
Greenberg associated this with the revolutionary rejection of capitalism. Some Modernists saw themselves as part of a revolutionary culture that included political revolution. In Russia after the Revolution there was indeed initially a burgeoning of avant-garde cultural activity, which included Russian Futurism.
However others rejected conventional politics as well as artistic conventions, believing that a revolution of political consciousness had greater importance than a change in political structures. But many modernists saw themselves as apolitical. Others, such as T. Eliot , rejected mass popular culture from a conservative position.
Some even argue that modernism in literature and art functioned to sustain an elite culture which excluded the majority of the population.
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Surrealism , which originated in the early s, came to be regarded by the public as the most extreme form of modernism, or "the avant-garde of Modernism". By , Modernism had won a place in the establishment, including the political and artistic establishment, although by this time Modernism itself had changed.
Modernism continued to evolve during the s. Between and composer Arnold Schoenberg worked on Moses und Aron , one of the first operas to make use of the twelve-tone technique ,  Pablo Picasso painted in Guernica , his cubist condemnation of fascism , while in James Joyce pushed the boundaries of the modern novel further with Finnegans Wake. Also by Modernism began to influence mainstream culture, so that, for example, The New Yorker magazine began publishing work, influenced by Modernism, by young writers and humorists like Dorothy Parker ,  Robert Benchley , E.
White , S. Perelman , and James Thurber , amongst others. One of the most visible changes of this period was the adoption of new technologies into daily life of ordinary people in Western Europe and North America. Electricity, the telephone, the radio, the automobile—and the need to work with them, repair them and live with them—created social change. The kind of disruptive moment that only a few knew in the s became a common occurrence.
For example, the speed of communication reserved for the stock brokers of became part of family life, at least in middle class North America. Associated with urbanization and changing social mores also came smaller families and changed relationships between parents and their children. Another strong influence at this time was Marxism. Eliot and Igor Stravinsky —which rejected popular solutions to modern problems—the rise of Fascism , the Great Depression , and the march to war helped to radicalise a generation. Bertolt Brecht , W. Significant Modernist literary works continued to be created in the s and s, including further novels by Marcel Proust , Virginia Woolf , Robert Musil , and Dorothy Richardson.
The American Modernist dramatist Eugene O'Neill 's career began in , but his major works appeared in the s, s and early s. Lawrence 's Lady Chatterley's Lover was privately published in , while another important landmark for the history of the modern novel came with the publication of William Faulkner 's The Sound and the Fury in In the s, in addition to further major works by Faulkner, Samuel Beckett published his first major work, the novel Murphy Then in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake appeared.
This is written in a largely idiosyncratic language , consisting of a mixture of standard English lexical items and neologistic multilingual puns and portmanteau words, which attempts to recreate the experience of sleep and dreams. Eliot, E. Cummings , and Wallace Stevens were writing from the s until the s.
While Modernist poetry in English is often viewed as an American phenomenon, with leading exponents including Ezra Pound, T. The Modernist movement continued during this period in Soviet Russia. In composer Dimitri Shostakovich 's — opera The Nose was premiered, in which he uses a montage of different styles, including folk music , popular song and atonality. Amongst his influences was Alban Berg 's — opera Wozzeck , which "had made a tremendous impression on Shostakovich when it was staged in Leningrad.
Berg's Violin Concerto was first performed in Like Shostakovich, other composers faced difficulties in this period. In Germany Arnold Schoenberg — was forced to flee to the U. Schoenberg also wrote tonal music in this period with the Suite for Strings in G major and the Chamber Symphony No. But he too left for the US in , because of the rise of fascism in Hungary. The quartet was first performed in January to an audience of prisoners and prison guards. In painting, during the s and the s and the Great Depression , modernism is defined by Surrealism , late Cubism , Bauhaus , De Stijl , Dada , German Expressionism , and Modernist and masterful color painters like Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard as well as the abstractions of artists like Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky which characterized the European art scene.
In Germany, Max Beckmann , Otto Dix , George Grosz and others politicized their paintings, foreshadowing the coming of World War II, while in America, modernism is seen in the form of American Scene painting and the social realism and regionalism movements that contained both political and social commentary dominated the art world.
When his patron Nelson Rockefeller discovered that the mural included a portrait of Vladimir Lenin and other communist imagery, he fired Rivera, and the unfinished work was eventually destroyed by Rockefeller's staff. Frida Kahlo's Rivera's wife's works are often characterized by their stark portrayals of pain. Kahlo was deeply influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is apparent in her paintings' bright colors and dramatic symbolism.
Modernist Literature: An Introduction
Christian and Jewish themes are often depicted in her work as well; she combined elements of the classic religious Mexican tradition, which were often bloody and violent. Frida Kahlo's Symbolist works relate strongly to Surrealism and to the Magic Realism movement in literature. Political activism was an important piece of David Siqueiros' life, and frequently inspired him to set aside his artistic career.
His art was deeply rooted in the Mexican Revolution. The period from the s to the s is known as the Mexican Renaissance, and Siqueiros was active in the attempt to create an art that was at once Mexican and universal. The young Jackson Pollock attended the workshop and helped build floats for the parade. During the s radical leftist politics characterized many of the artists connected to Surrealism, including Pablo Picasso. The Germans were attacking to support the efforts of Francisco Franco to overthrow the Basque government and the Spanish Republican government.
Pablo Picasso painted his mural-sized Guernica to commemorate the horrors of the bombing. Nighthawks is a painting by Edward Hopper that portrays people sitting in a downtown diner late at night. It is not only Hopper's most famous painting, but one of the most recognizable in American art.
The scene was inspired by a diner in Greenwich Village. Hopper began painting it immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After this event there was a large feeling of gloominess over the country, a feeling that is portrayed in the painting. The urban street is empty outside the diner, and inside none of the three patrons is apparently looking or talking to the others but instead is lost in their own thoughts.
This portrayal of modern urban life as empty or lonely is a common theme throughout Hopper's work. American Gothic is a painting by Grant Wood from Portraying a pitchfork -holding farmer and a younger woman in front of a house of Carpenter Gothic style, it is one of the most familiar images in 20th-century American art.
Art critics had favorable opinions about the painting; like Gertrude Stein and Christopher Morley , they assumed the painting was meant to be a satire of rural small-town life. The situation for artists in Europe during the s deteriorated rapidly as the Nazis' power in Germany and across Eastern Europe increased. Degenerate art was a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany for virtually all modern art.
Such art was banned on the grounds that it was un-German or Jewish Bolshevist in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions. These included being dismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art entirely.
Degenerate Art was also the title of an exhibition, mounted by the Nazis in Munich in The climate became so hostile for artists and art associated with modernism and abstraction that many left for the Americas. In New York City a new generation of young and exciting Modernist painters led by Arshile Gorky , Willem de Kooning , and others were just beginning to come of age. Arshile Gorky's portrait of someone who might be Willem de Kooning is an example of the evolution of abstract expressionism from the context of figure painting, cubism and surrealism.
Along with his friends de Kooning and John D. Graham , Gorky created biomorphically shaped and abstracted figurative compositions that by the s evolved into totally abstract paintings. Gorky's work seems to be a careful analysis of memory, emotion and shape, using line and color to express feeling and nature. The term " late modernism " is also sometimes applied to Modernist works published after Basil Bunting , born in , published his most important Modernist poem Briggflatts in Samuel Beckett , who died in , has been described as a "later Modernist".
The terms " minimalist " and " post-Modernist " have also been applied to his later works. Prynne born are among the writers in the second half of the 20th century who have been described as late Modernists. More recently the term "late modernism" has been redefined by at least one critic and used to refer to works written after , rather than With this usage goes the idea that the ideology of modernism was significantly re-shaped by the events of World War II , especially the Holocaust and the dropping of the atom bomb.
The postwar period left the capitals of Europe in upheaval with an urgency to economically and physically rebuild and to politically regroup.
- Machine-Age Comedy (Modernist Literature & Culture) by Michael North
In Paris the former center of European culture and the former capital of the art world the climate for art was a disaster. Important collectors, dealers, and Modernist artists, writers, and poets had fled Europe for New York and America. The surrealists and modern artists from every cultural center of Europe had fled the onslaught of the Nazis for safe haven in the United States.
Many of those who didn't flee perished. The term " Theatre of the Absurd " is applied to plays, written primarily by Europeans, that express the belief that human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence.
Critic Martin Esslin coined the term in his essay "Theatre of the Absurd". He related these plays based on a broad theme of the Absurd, similar to the way Albert Camus uses the term in his essay, The Myth of Sisyphus. During the late s Jackson Pollock 's radical approach to painting revolutionized the potential for all contemporary art that followed him. To some extent Pollock realized that the journey toward making a work of art was as important as the work of art itself.
Like Pablo Picasso 's innovative reinventions of painting and sculpture in the early 20th century via Cubism and constructed sculpture , Pollock redefined the way art is made. His move away from easel painting and conventionality was a liberating signal to the artists of his era and to all who came after. Artists realized that Jackson Pollock's process—placing unstretched raw canvas on the floor where it could be attacked from all four sides using artistic and industrial materials; dripping and throwing linear skeins of paint; drawing, staining, and brushing; using imagery and nonimagery—essentially blasted artmaking beyond any prior boundary.
Abstract expressionism generally expanded and developed the definitions and possibilities available to artists for the creation of new works of art. The other abstract expressionists followed Pollock's breakthrough with new breakthroughs of their own. Rereadings into abstract art by art historians such as Linda Nochlin ,  Griselda Pollock  and Catherine de Zegher  critically show, however, that pioneering women artists who produced major innovations in modern art had been ignored by official accounts of its history.
He was best known for his semi- abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art. His forms are usually abstractions of the human figure, typically depicting mother-and-child or reclining figures, usually suggestive of the female body, apart from a phase in the s when he sculpted family groups. His forms are generally pierced or contain hollow spaces. The last three decades of Moore's life continued in a similar vein, with several major retrospectives taking place around the world, notably a prominent exhibition in the summer of in the grounds of the Forte di Belvedere overlooking Florence.
By the end of the s, there were some 40 exhibitions a year featuring his work. On the campus of the University of Chicago in December , 25 years to the minute after the team of physicists led by Enrico Fermi achieved the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, Moore's Nuclear Energy was unveiled.
The "London School" of figurative painters, including Francis Bacon — , Lucian Freud — , Frank Auerbach born , Leon Kossoff born , and Michael Andrews — , have received widespread international recognition. Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, graphic and emotionally raw imagery. Bacon began painting during his early 20s but worked only sporadically until his mids.
His breakthrough came with the triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion which sealed his reputation as a uniquely bleak chronicler of the human condition. These were followed by his early s modern variations of the crucifixion in the triptych format. From the mids to early s, Bacon mainly produced strikingly compassionate portraits of friends. Following the suicide of his lover George Dyer in , his art became more personal, inward-looking, and preoccupied with themes and motifs of death.
During his lifetime, Bacon was equally reviled and acclaimed. Lucian Freud was a German-born British painter, known chiefly for his thickly impastoed portrait and figure paintings, who was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time. In paintings like Girl with a White Dog —52 ,  Freud put the pictorial language of traditional European painting in the service of an anti-romantic, confrontational style of portraiture that stripped bare the sitter's social facade.
Ordinary people—many of them his friends—stared wide-eyed from the canvas, vulnerable to the artist's ruthless inspection. In abstract painting during the s and s several new directions like hard-edge painting and other forms of geometric abstraction began to appear in artist studios and in radical avant-garde circles as a reaction against the subjectivism of abstract expressionism.
Clement Greenberg became the voice of post-painterly abstraction when he curated an influential exhibition of new painting that toured important art museums throughout the United States in Color Field painting, hard-edge painting and lyrical abstraction  emerged as radical new directions. By the late s however, postminimalism , process art and Arte Povera  also emerged as revolutionary concepts and movements that encompassed both painting and sculpture, via lyrical abstraction and the postminimalist movement, and in early conceptual art.
Janis mounted the exhibition in a 57th Street storefront near his gallery. The show sent shockwaves through the New York School and reverberated worldwide. This movement rejected abstract expressionism and its focus on the hermeneutic and psychological interior in favor of art that depicted and often celebrated material consumer culture, advertising, and iconography of the mass production age. The early works of David Hockney and the works of Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi who created the groundbreaking I was a Rich Man's Plaything , are considered seminal examples in the movement.
Meanwhile, in the downtown scene in New York's East Village 10th Street galleries, artists were formulating an American version of pop art. Later Leo Castelli exhibited the works of other American artists, including those of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein for most of their careers. There is a connection between the radical works of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray , the rebellious Dadaists with a sense of humor, and pop artists like Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein, whose paintings reproduce the look of Ben-Day dots , a technique used in commercial reproduction.
Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music , wherein artists intend to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all nonessential forms, features, or concepts. Minimalism is any design or style wherein the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect. As a specific movement in the arts it is identified with developments in post—World War II Western art, most strongly with American visual arts in the s and early s. By the early s minimalism emerged as an abstract movement in art with roots in the geometric abstraction of Kazimir Malevich ,  the Bauhaus and Piet Mondrian that rejected the idea of relational and subjective painting, the complexity of abstract expressionist surfaces, and the emotional zeitgeist and polemics present in the arena of action painting.
Minimalism argued that extreme simplicity could capture all of the sublime representation needed in art. Minimalism is variously construed either as a precursor to postmodernism , or as a postmodern movement itself. A chronological study of the novels of Virginia Woolf covering the period Chaucer describes a group of pilgrims, drawn from all parts of late medieval English society, who enter into a tale-telling competition on their way to Canterbury. You will examine how the tales relate to their literary and cultural contexts, and read them in the light of different schools of modern criticism.
You will also have the opportunity to read a range of earlier writers who influenced Chaucer, including Ovid, Boethius, Dante and Boccaccio, and later writers who responded to him, including Lydgate, Hoccleve and Dryden. In this module you will study the complete career of Charles Dickens , looking at eight novels in their historical and cultural contexts. You will examine Dickens's life and times, and the cultural discourses that shaped his fiction; the serialisation and illustration of his work, and the themes, forms and structures of his writing.
You will also consider the richness and specificity of Dickens' actual work. In this module you will have the opportunity to read in detail and in chronological order the full range of works by Oscar Wilde, from his early poetry to his last letters. His work is intensely literary and profoundly political yet it is popular and fleet-of-foot.
And just as his output is exceptionally varied, so too the questions which arise from its study will take students in many directions. Aesthetic poetry, the role of the critic, the construction and betrayal of national and sexual identities, symbolist drama, platonic dialogue, fairy tale, farce, satire, wit: these are some of the topics you will examine.
9780195381221 - Machine-Age Comedy (Modernist Literature & Culture) by Michael North
In this module you will explore the works of American author Herman Melville in breadth and depth. Often described as the most difficult and influential poems of the twentieth-century, T. Eliot's "The Waste Land" is undoubtedly one of the key Modernist texts. The twenty-first century has seen an explosion of adaptations of Shakespeare around the globe. These performances often draw attention to new theatre traditions as well as new ways of seeing the world. Queer theorists, on the other hand, are anxious that queer perspectives get lost in world-literature theory and texts, which tend to, they argue, either privilege a masculine nationalist agenda or not pay enough attention to the effects of globalisation on local articulations of race, gender and sexuality.
In this module you will explore this productive tension by paying close attention to variety of texts from around the world. This module concentrates on a particular mode of writing, genre, theme, issue or idea. You will be encouraged to make creative work in relation to the focus, and develop your writing practice in relation to wider contexts relevant to the contemporary writer.
Creative Writing Special Focus courses are open to both creative writing and non-creative writing students. The dissertation is an opportunity for you to undertake a substantial piece of independent work in an area of your choice, and so to deepen your understanding of literature, culture and critical theory.
The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 12 course units the rate of four per year, including both core and optional units. You will be taught through a combination of lectures and small seminar groups, where you will be able to try out new ideas by giving presentations and participating in lively discussions in a supportive environment. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.
We use a variety of assessment methods, including long and short essays, formal examinations at the end of each year, online tests and exercises, presentations, commentaries and portfolios of creative work. You will take a study skills course during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree.
This course does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants. All teaching at Royal Holloway apart from some language courses is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here. Upon successful completion, you may progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London. On completion of your Comparative Literature and Culture and English degree at Royal Holloway you will have proven analytical skills and be an adaptable and critical thinker with impressive communication and leadership skills - all of which will appeal to future employers.
You may also choose to continue your studies by means of a postgraduate degree. Some of the tailored opportunities you are encourage to take up include work placements, specialise training workshops, networking events and our annual festival of culture. How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options , including loans , scholarships and bursaries. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc.
There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones. Heading to university is exciting.
Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start. Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help. They say the two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why. Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today.
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Study unusual, non-traditional subjects such as the body in the 18th century or time in modern literature or courses incorporating visual arts and cinema. Course structure. Entry requirements. Writing 7. No other subscore lower than 5. Pearson Test of English: 69 overall. Writing No other subscore lower than Country-specific requirements For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.
Your future career. Our recent graduates have very successfully entered a wide range of careers including law, journalism, publishing, finance, business, teaching, marketing and the media, as well as gone onto postgraduate study in a variety of fields. Sign up for more information. Clubs and societies There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones 1. Accommodation Heading to university is exciting. Key aspects of modernism-James Joyce's reputation in America, Ezra Pound's proposals for copyright reform, Samuel Roth's activities as a pirate-pornographer-are reexamined in the light of the U.
The Great American Songbooks shows how popular music shapes and permeates a host of modernism's hallmark texts. The Great American Songbooks shows how popular music shapes and permeates a host of modernism's How was modernism shaped by copyright law? How did modernists, for their part, exploit, reform, and evade intellectual property law? In pursuit of these questions, Modernism and Copyright brings together essays by well-known scholars of literature, theater, cinema, music, and law as well as by practicing lawyers and caretakers of modernist How did modernists, for their part, exploit, reform, and Criminal Ingenuity offers both a history and a theory of the conflicted relation between poetry and painting in high and mid-century modernism, focusing on figures like T.
Criminal Ingenuity offers both a history and a theory of the conflicted relation between poetry and Unseasonable Youth examines a range of modernist-era fictions by Wilde, Woolf, Conrad, Joyce, Bowen, and others to challenge and expand our understanding of the bildungsroman genre. Americanizing Britain anatomizes the various ways British writers responded to the ever-increasing influence of U.