il realismo – diventa “psicanalisi” di una società
Theodore Dreiser was an American writer who is seen as the forerunner (precursore) of a new trend in novel , the psychological realism. Sister Carrie, his first novel, was published in 1900 but was suppressed (censurata) until 1912. It tells the story of a young, pretty, country girl who moves to the big city to satisfy her vague ambitions (vaghe ambizioni). She is used by men and uses them in turn (a sua volta)to become a successful Broadway actress and realizing her own American Dream. On the other hand (D’altro canto), George Hurstwood, the married man who has run away with her, fails (fallisce), becomes a beggar (mendicante) and then commits suicide. It has been called the “greatest of all American urban novels” because it is a realistic presentation of the vagaries (capricci) of urban life: its ingenuous heroine goes unpunished for her transgressions against conventional morality while the emotional disintegration of Hurstwood represents a triumph of psychological analysis.In 1956 the novel was adapted into a movie – Carrie – by William Wyler, starring Sir Lawrence Olivier and Jennifer Jones and in Italy it appered under the title Gli occhi che non sorrisero.
i capolavori dipinti – Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
In 1935 the publisher of the Heritage Press and Limited Editions Club books, invited Norman Rockwell to illustrate Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Rockwell, at first criticized because considered toosentimental and bourgeois (borghese), was then receiving more attention as he had chosen (aveva scelto) subjects such as racism and school racial integration. Twain’s novels were perfect for him. Rockwell accepted the work and visited Hannibal, Missouri, Twain’s boyhood (adolescenza) town, to find authentic details (dettagli) to include in his work. Twain’s vivid descriptions of character, setting (luogo) and mood (atmosfera) were an inspiration to the illustrator, who considered each of the writer’s scenes to be “complete and perfect to the last detail.”
due ragazzi lungo il Mississippi
Most of Mark Twain’s works include some of the best American humour, starting with the short story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, published in a newspaper in 1865. Twain’s best-known (più famosi) works are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). They are apparently simple stories, but at a deeper reading they show American corruption at all levels of society. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer celebrate boyhood and reveal the habits and thoughts of people in America small-towns—small-minded (di vedute ristrette) at times, generous in spirit at other times. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered Twain’s masterpiece (capolavoro). In it, the boy protagonist, Huck Finn, learns about human nature’s evil side (parte maligna della natura umana) as well as its kind side (come pure il lato gentile). As a result of his close friendship with a black man ( per via della sua amicizia con un uomo di colore) who is escaping slavery (schiavitù), Huck also must confront the conflict between individual intuition about what is right and the prevailing views (punto di vista prevalente) of society on the subject.
come parla la gente – Mark Twain
A remarkable influence on literature came also from the southern states of north America, where Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, reproduced the different ways of speaking, accents and regional dialects in the dialogues of his characters. In this way he could depicts the many sides of life and of human nature. He published from 1865 until 1910, but his literary fame is firmly rooted (radicata) in the 19th century with its problems of racism, class conflicts, and poverty, a situation that he experienced as he worked on the steam boat (battello a vapore) of the Mississippi river. His pen name derives from “mark twain,” the cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms (misura marittima). Twain’s great capacity to understand human nature is also due to (dovuta a ) his interest and studies in parapsychology; he was an early (primo) member of the Society for Psychical Research. Probably this interest was born after a tragic experience: while training (mentre faceva apprendistato) to become a pilot of a steam boat, Samuel convinced his younger brother Henry to work with him, but the boat Henry worked on exploded and he died in 1858 – Twain had foreseen this death in a dream a month earlier. The sense of guilt pursued (senso di colpa lo perseguitò) Twain for the rest of his life. He continued to work on the river and was a river pilot until the American Civil War broke out (scoppiò) in 1861 and traffic along the Mississippi was curtailed (venne ridotto).