The Literary Eras



The Renaissance





Medieval times

You can view history as a linear thing,


Cause - Effect

Thesis - Antithetis - Synthesis

The conqueror writes the history.

You can also think of time as a pendulum,

that swings between ideas, ideals and identities.

Keep in mind:

Reading and Writing are "markers of civilization"

Reading and Writing are

the human urge to convey complex ideas and experiences between people.

We communicate because

we are social animals.

That doesn't mean that animals don't communicate!

What does this frog "say"?

Bees do a waggle dance to describe where pollen can be found

What was the first word ever spoken?

One theory says that speech developed when people had to work together when hunting large prey.

Another theory claims it might have been the sound for mother. (mamma, mama)

Medieval times

Monk in a scriptorium

ca . 500 - 1500

The feudal system




Code of chivalry

To live one's Life so that it is worthy of respect and honor by


Fair Play






We call this period the "Dark ages"


The average life expectancy was

only about 28 years

The Literacy was low


Hocus Pocus



Only those with wealth and power could read


Only those with wealth and power could afford to own a book


ca. 700-1000

The Renaissance

Ca. 1400 - 1700

Gutenberg - 1450s

The Printing press

Suddenly books could be copied at a rapid rate which brought down the cost of books.

"A renaissance man"

The Ambassadors - Holbein

"Memento mori" to ward off hubris

Leonardo Da Vinci


The Virtuvian Man 1492

Da Vinci



Baroque movement

ca.1600 - 1700


thought of as a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, theater, and Music.


The popularity and success of the Baroque style was encouraged by the Catholic Church.

Baroque - strange, over the top, religious!

The Castle of Versailles

Stiftsbibliotek - Admont

The Enlightenment


The era of reason

The enlightenment is

concerned with the brain and its faculties!

Reason, intellect, deduction!



The seeds planted by the Enlightenment


led to scientific and technological


advances, but also to ideas about


rationalism and reason.



Our modern take on romanticism





Would be foreign for the people who lived during the Romantic era.









The Romantic era


Friheten på barrikaderna - Delacroix 1830

American revolution (1775-1783)

French revolution (1789-1799)


Industrialism led to big Changes for

how our society is structured.

Beer street and gin Alley - Hogarth

The ideals of the Romantic era

Emotion and Heart

The metaphysics and the soul


Back to nature
"The cult of sensitivity" - the depiction of Life from a female and Child perspective.
(Rousseau - Emile)

Truth as Beauty in art, literature and philosophy.



Sturm und drang

Storm and longing


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Lord Byron

Childe Harold's pilgrimage 1812-1818

A Rainy summer....1816

Villa Diodati, Genève

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Frankenstein - 1818

All our modern genres stem from the Romantic era: Science fiction, horror, detective novels, biographies, paranormal, fantasy.


The Brothers Grimm
Jacob (1785-1863) Wilhelm (1786-1859)



Female authors write under male pseudonyms.

The Brontë sisters


Victoria Benedictsson

"Ernst Ahlgren"

 National romanticism

Wanderer above the sea of fog - Friedrich 1818

National romanticism - patriotism, nationalism, revolution, armed combat...

Individualism - the author of the times were interested in human beings as individuals.

Genres - The genres have never left us alone since the romantic era, we are still amused, entertained and

concerned with the type of stories that emerged from this era.

Realism and naturalism

Realism concerned itself with how life was structured socially, economically, politically, and culturally in the mid-nineteenth century. This led to unflinching, sometimes "ugly" portrayals of life's unpleasant moments .


Stop dreaming, see Life as it is!

The stone breakers - Courbet

The Gleaners - Courbet

Waiting for the ferry - Knight

Realism in literature


Details, details, details!


The authors strived to present Life truthfully and avoided supernatural, exotic

or implausible elements.


Naturalism pushed the envelope even further and included social conditions, hereditary and environmental aspects as

something that shaped human existence.

Influenced by Darwin's Theory of evolution.


Modernism and postmodernism

The 1900s

The World becomes smaller

Steam Engines, Trains, Planes

We understand it better

Two World wars in one century

Two and a half wars - The Cold war!

Literacy increases

Universal schooling


Reading becomes a way to

make social change


Reading helped boost

the economic and scientific boom

in developed countries during the 1900s



The role of the author/artist changes

from an intellectual superior

to a person who wants to experience life

and write about it.


They want to challenge even the format of art itself.


Does a book need covers?

Does a painting need to hang from a wall?



Ceci n'est pas une pipe - Magritte

Our World becomes even smaller

We can carry the World in our pocket!

We are experiencing unrest and upheaval

due to an unbloody revolution

between industrialism and the next era to come.

Challenges for your generation!

The Economy

The Environment

Social issues


Space exploration

What will coming generations call our era?

The era of economism

The era of information

The Plastic era

The era of recycling

What do you Think it will be called?


By besskirsi


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