In search of a timeline of literary periods.
December 27, 2007 12:39 PM   Subscribe

I'm entering a Literature graduate program and I'd like to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge of the British/American canon. I've been looking for a timeline of literary periods to assist me in identifying where my major gaps are. It would (ideally) have major authors and for bonus points, their major works. I've been googling for about 45 minutes now and I can't find anything substantive. I would pay a pretty decent premium to have it poster-sized to hang above my desk.

Something ready-made would be great - but if I can find a .pdf, I've got friends at Kinko's...
posted by damnthesehumanhands to Education (13 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I would expect your graduate program to have a study guide of sorts explaining what works/authors/topics are covered on their comprehensive exams; have you already checked for that?
posted by kimota at 12:55 PM on December 27, 2007

Maybe this will help. You can do a search by country between dates and it will give you a list of authors.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:11 PM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: Kimota: yes. However, the point of this isn't to bone up for the exams, it's to help me visualize/memorize and mentally orient the order of things in my brain.
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 1:11 PM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: triggerfinger: thanks! Not exactly what I'm looking for, but I've bookmarked it as a great resource.
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 1:15 PM on December 27, 2007

Best answer: How about this?
posted by slavlin at 1:15 PM on December 27, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: (Though I'm baffled that Joyce's Ulysses doesn't appear on that list...)
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 1:19 PM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: slavin: Brilliant! Now if I can just find its British companion...
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 1:21 PM on December 27, 2007

Best answer: Here's another timeline, with major works listed.

Here's one for British Lit.

Here's one for American Lit (you have to pick a date).

Wikepedia also has good entries on American Lit and British Lit. You could probably compile all the info you need from these and make some of a homemade poster with a timeline.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:26 PM on December 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Bloom's cranky old list of the "Western canon" might actually come in handy here - there's a UK / US section for each applicable time period.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 1:30 PM on December 27, 2007

You might try searching for qualifying exam reading lists. Ones like this one aren't necessarily timelines, but you'll get a sense of what programs are expecting students to have read. Generally they're in chronological order in presentation.
posted by synecdoche at 2:22 PM on December 27, 2007

Best answer: There's a pretty decent one inside the back cover of each volume of the Norton Anthology of American Literature (7th Edition). It lists the authors lifespans along with a few major historical events. I would assume that the same is true for their anthology of British Literature. In fact, the chronological index (for British lit) and timeline (for American lit) might be helpful.
posted by wheat at 2:34 PM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Between you all, that ought to about take care of it!
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 3:58 PM on December 27, 2007

Rasturbate it.
posted by theora55 at 8:46 AM on December 28, 2007

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