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The Beautiful and Damned. Changing Perspectives on the Lost Generation Writers(1929-1951)

By Robert Visscher


This thesis explores two paradigms shifts on the Lost Generation Writers. After the twenties, critics created an image (the first paradigm shift) of irresponsibility, immorality and excess of the Lost Generation Writers. They were criticized for their nihilistic attitude towards life. On the one hand critics and writers were fascinated by the Lost Genration, on the other they condemned their way of thinking. The second paradigm shift took place during the Second World War. Because of the war, many critics and writers could now relate to the things the (other post-war ) Lost Generation wrote about. The Lost Generation were seen by the New Generation (born 1918-1925) as their "literary forefathers". This thesis will argue that the depression played an important role in the creation of the image of the thirties of the Lost Generation Writers. Morals and values were very important to the critics and writers of the thirties and they emphasized that the Lost Generation had not known proper morals, because they wrote about music, sexuality and disillusionment. The writers and critics of the thirties focused primarily on the social aspects of the Lost Generation novels. During the war a New Generation started publicizing their views. They embraced the Lost Generation. Because of the war they could relate to the feelings of disillusionment. They did not focus on the social aspects, but on the war novels by Lost Generation writers

Topics: Letteren
Year: 2005
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