- History 1
- See also 2
- References 3
- Further reading 4
- External links 5
The antihero archetype can be traced back at least as far as Homer's Thersites. The concept has also been identified in classical Greek drama, Roman satire, and Renaissance literature such as Don Quixote and the picaresque rogue.
Literary Romanticism in the 19th century helped popularize new forms of the antihero, such as the Gothic double. The antihero eventually became an established form of social criticism, a phenomenon often associated with the unnamed protagonist in Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. The antihero emerged as a foil to the traditional hero archetype, a process that Northrop Frye called the fictional "centre of gravity." This movement indicated a literary change in heroic ethos from feudal aristocrat to urban democrat, as was the shift from epic to ironic narratives.
The antihero became prominent in early 20th century existentialist works such as Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis (1915), Jean-Paul Sartre's La Nausée (1938) (French for Nausea), and Albert Camus' L'Étranger (1942) (French for The Stranger). The protagonist in these works is an indecisive central character who drifts through his life and is marked by ennui, angst, and alienation.
The antihero entered American literature in the 1950s and up to the mid-1960s was portrayed as an alienated figure, unable to communicate. The American antihero of the 1950s and 1960s (as seen in the works of Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, et al.) was typically more proactive than his French counterpart; with characters such as Kerouac's Dean Moriarty famously taking to the road to vanquish his ennui. The British version of the antihero emerged in the works of the "angry young men" of the 1950s. The collective protests of Sixties counterculture saw the solitary antihero gradually eclipsed from fictional prominence, though not without subsequent revivals in literary and cinematic form.
- "American Heritage Dictionary Entry: antihero". Ahdictionary.com. 2013-01-09. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- "anti-hero - definition of anti-hero by Macmillan Dictionary". Macmillandictionary.com. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "Antiheroine - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- "anti-hero: definition of anti-hero in Oxford dictionary (British & World English)". Oxforddictionaries.com. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
- "Antihero - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- Steiner, George (2013). Tolstoy Or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism. New York: Open Road. pp. 197–198.
- "antihero (literature) - Encyclopedia Britannica". Britannica.com. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
- "Literary Terms and Definitions A". Web.cn.edu. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- Halliwell, Martin (2007). American Culture in the 1950s (Transferred to Digital Print 2012 ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press. p. 60.
- Steiner, George (2013). Tolstoy Or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism. New York: Open Road. pp. 199–200.
- "Literary Terms and Definitions B". Web.cn.edu. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
- Alsen, Eberhard (2014). The New Romanticism: A Collection of Critical Essays. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. p. 72.
- Simmons, David (2008). The Anti-Hero in the American Novel: From Joseph Heller to Kurt Vonnegut (1st ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 5.
- Lutz, Deborah (2006). The Dangerous Lover: Gothic Villains, Byronism, and the Nineteenth-century Seduction Narrative. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. p. 82.
- Steiner, George (2013). Tolstoy Or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism. New York: Open Road. pp. 201–207.
- Frye, Northrop (2002). Anatomy of Criticism. London: Penguin. p. 34.
- Barnhart, Joe E. (2005). Dostoevsky's Polyphonic Talent. Lanham: University Press of America. p. 151.
- Asong, Linus T. (2012). Psychological Constructs and the Craft of African Fiction of Yesteryears: Six Studies. Mankon: Langaa Research & Publishing CIG. p. 76.
- Gargett, Graham (2004). Heroism and Passion in Literature: Studies in Honour of Moya Longstaffe. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Rodopi. p. 198.
- Brereton, Geoffery (1968). A Short History of French Literature. Penguin Books. pp. 254–255.
- Hardt, Michael; Weeks, Kathi (2000). The Jameson Reader (Repr. ed.). Oxford, UK ; Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. pp. 294–295.
- Edelstein, Alan (1996). Everybody is Sitting on the Curb: How and why America's Heroes Disappeared. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 18.
- Ousby, Ian (1996). The Cambridge Paperback Guide to Literature in English. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 27.
- Edelstein, Alan (1996). Everybody is Sitting on the Curb: How and why America's Heroes Disappeared. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 1.
- Hardt, Michael; Weeks, Kathi (2000). The Jameson Reader (Repr. ed.). Oxford, UK ; Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. p. 295.
- Simmons, David (2008). The Anti-Hero in the American Novel: From Heller to Vonnegut. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Character Analysis