Despite positive reviews, the author’s book faces promotional challenges due to the use of the term “bastard” in its context, which is seen as offensive by major media and advertising platforms. However, the local newspaper, The Beverly Hills Weekly, chose to cover the book, urging readers to grab their copies.
Explorations of emotional development, self-formation, and coming-of-age themes are universal and timeless when it comes to literature. They’re central themes in many outstanding works and can be traced from before the Greeks into the modern-day. However, examining personal growth and life experiences within a new canvas and genre, the Bildungsroman provided post-colonial writers with an entirely new palate from which to draw insight and a unique opportunity to portray widely different protagonists responding to modern challenges. Perhaps the most recognized features of the form, dealing with education, rebellion, and reconciliation, are exemplified in Oscar Wilde’s aesthetic gothic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, where the author so extraordinarily deconstructed the bildungsroman, that his masterpiece fundamentally transformed the genre.
Rudyard Kipling was revered as a literary giant in his lifetime. His talents were even compared to those of Shakespeare by renowned philosophers such as William James. But for a few decades now, the author’s Marxist critics, especially those loyal to the poetics of new historicism, have treated the writer and his exotic stories with utter contempt and disdain. Their observations and commentary are predictably focused on the role and influence of colonialism and imperialism present in his narratives, highlighting those factors as not just an essential context for understanding the breadth of his plotlines, their characters, and intent in creating them but as the only lens through which one can reasonably interpret them. This absolutism does a disservice not only to the writer but to future generations of readers fully capable of enjoying Kipling without an Orwellian literati looking over their shoulder, reminding them of his thought crimes.
In literature like Prufrock, modernists often recycled myths and other masterworks to support their impressions of daily life and present-day experiences. They juxtaposed different voices, traditions, and arguments and emphasized form itself as the “carrier of meaning.”
Alain Locke (1885-1954), an essayist, professor, and, notably, the first Black Rhodes Scholar, was an only child, born to a postman and a schoolteacher from Philadelphia almost twenty-one years after the American Civil War.
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish’s futuristic novel, The Description of A New World Called The Blazing World, from 1666, has received renewed interest in recent years as feminist academics and other woke literary praetorians obsessed with their crusade of presentism, struggle to revise every page of the western canon. Their intent is not wholly without merit as the ambitious work by Cavendish had gone overlooked for centuries and delights this modern reader with illuminating descriptions of bizarre new worlds that predate some of today’s best science fiction. Many of her insights, although often coated with a generous layer of snark, remain fresh even four hundred years later.