Realistic vs romantic: the imagistic world of post-war English literature

María Antonia Álvarez Calleja
1996 Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses  
The short story ¡s the genre which has come closest to representing the most poetic aspects of post-Second World War English literature, not only for its linguistic and stylistic concentration, but also for its imagistic world, in which the realistic contrasts with the romantic. Nevertheless, there is a transference from the classic literary images to a modera alternative. On the other hand, since 1945 writers have been preoccupied with the quest for self-a search for identity, an effort on the
more » ... y, an effort on the part of the héroes and heroines to understand and define who or what they are. In fact, the term identity plays a central role in virtually every judgment or opinión of the post-war literary The general trends and directions of post-Second World War English literature have been distinguished by their "imagistic methods and symbolic potential," as Malcolm Bradbury affirms in his Introduction to The Penguin Book ofModern British Short Stories, since contemporary writers have explored the "long-standing tradition of realistic narrative and the notion of it as an art of language, of experimental form and symbol; a notion that has often led in the direction of the strange, the fantastic, the grotesque, the surreal and the myth." (13) Since 1945 English literature has created a vast, imagistic world, which can be illustrated with many examples, e.g. Ted Hughes's deep human realities in his visions of animáis; Fay Weldon's alternatives to the classic concept oíEnglishness; the manipulation
doi:10.14198/raei.1996.9.01 fatcat:yr25qwudzfdcdb6fyo6blinvua