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Encyclopedia > Modernist literature

Modernist literature is the literary form of Modernism and especially High modernism; it should not be confused with modern literature, which is the history of the modern novel and modern poetry as one. There is a separate section on modernist poetry. Image File history File links Information_icon. ... Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... For Modernism in an American context, see American modernism. ... High modernism is a particular instance of modernism, coined towards the end of modernism. ... This article is homosexual and should be burned the second in a series of The History of Literature. ... The first modern novel has generally been ascribed to a series of picaresque novels, most famously Don Quixote (1605) by Cervantes. ... Mountebanks ...


Modernist literature was at its height from 1900 to 1940, and featured such authors as Knut Hamsun, Vladimir Nabokov, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Andrei Bely, W.B. Yeats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, H.D., Jaroslav HaĊĦek, Menno ter Braak, Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Boris Pasternak. Year 1900 (MCM) was an exceptional common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar, but a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Knut Hamsun (31 years old) in 1890 Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952) was a leading Norwegian author and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1920. ... Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков, pronounced ) (April 22, 1899 [O.S. April 10], Saint Petersburg – July 2, 1977, Montreux) was a Russian-American author. ... Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965), was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. ... James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (Irish Séamus Seoighe; 2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish writer and poet, widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. ... William Cuthbert Faulkner (September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) was an American novelist and poet whose works feature his native state of Mississippi. ... Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. ... Kafka at the age of five Franz Kafka (IPA: ) (July 3, 1883 – June 3, 1924) was one of the major German-language fiction writers of the 20th century. ... Joseph Conrad. ... Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941) was an English novelist and essay writer who is regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. ... Leon Bakst Portrait of Andrei Bely Andrei Bely (Андрей Белый) was the pseudonym of Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev (October 14, 1880 (Old Style)- January 8, 1934), a Russian novelist, poet, theorist, and literary critic. ... A 1907 engraving of Yeats. ... Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an Irish American Jazz Age author of novels and short stories . ... Ezra Pound in 1913. ... Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 29, 1946) was an American writer and catalyst in the development of modern art and literature, who spent most of her life in France. ... H.D. in the mid 1910s Hilda Doolittle (September 10, 1886, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – September 27, 1961, Zürich), prominently known only by her initials H.D., was an American poet, novelist and memoirist. ... Jaroslav HaÅ¡ek Jaroslav HaÅ¡ek (IPA: ) (April 30, 1883 in Prague – January 3 , 1923 in Lipnice nad Sázavou ) was a Czech humorist and satirist who became well-known mainly for his world-famous novel The Good Soldier Å vejk, an unfinished collection of farcical incidents about a soldier in... Menno ter Braak as a student Menno ter Braak (January 26, 1902 – May 15, 1940) was a Dutch modernist author. ... “Proust” redirects here. ... For other persons named Thomas Mann, see Thomas Mann (disambiguation). ... Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov (Russian: Михаил Афанасьевич Булгаков; May 15 [O.S. May 3] 1891, Kiev – March 10, 1940, Moscow) was a Russian novelist and playwright of the first half of the 20th century. ... Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (Russian: ) (February 10 [O.S. January 29] 1890 – May 30, 1960) was a Nobel Prize winner Russian poet, writer best known in the West for his epic novel Doctor Zhivago, a tragedy whose events span the last period of Czarist Russia and the early days of the...

Contents

Overview

Modernist literature attempted to move from the bonds of Realist literature and introduce concepts such as disjointed timelines. Modernism was distinguished by emancipatory metanarrative. In the wake of Modernism, and post-enlightenment, metanarratives tended to be emancipatory, whereas beforehand this was not a definite. Contemporary metanarratives were failing with World War I, the rise of trade unionism, and a general discontent. Something had to perform a unifying function, and this was the point when culture became politically important. Realism in the visual arts and literature is the depiction of subjects as they appear in everyday life, without embellishment or interpretation. ... In the arts, the word nonlinear is used to describe events portrayed in a non-chronological manner. ... In critical theory, and particularly postmodernism, a metanarrative (sometimes master- or grand narrative) is a global or totalizing cultural narrative schema which orders and explains knowledge and experience.[1] The prefix meta means beyond and is here used to mean about, and a narrative is a story. ... The Age of Enlightenment (French: Siècle des Lumières, German: Aufklärung) refers to the eighteenth century in European and American philosophy, or the longer period including the Age of Reason. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nikolay II Aleksey Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert H. Asquith D. Lloyd George Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna... A Trade Union (Labour union) ... is a continuous association of wage-earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment. ...


Modernist literature is defined by its move away from Romanticism, venturing into subject matter that is traditionally mundane--a prime example being The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. Modernist literature often features a marked pessimism, a clear rejection of the optimism apparent in Victorian literature. In fact, "a common motif in Modernist fiction is that of an alienated individual--a dysfunctional individual trying in vain to make sense of a predominantly urban and fragmented society". However, many Modernist works like T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land are marked by the absence of a central, heroic figure; in rejecting the solipsism of Romantics like Shelley and Byron, these works reject the subject of Cartesian dualism and collapse narrative and narrator into a collection of disjointed fragments and overlapping voices. Wanderer above the sea of fog by Caspar David Friedrich Romanticism is an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in 18th century Western Europe. ... Look up mundane in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, a poem by T. S. Eliot, marked the start of his career as one of the twentieth centurys most influential poets. ... Pessimists see the world as uninviting and cruel. ... Charles Dickens is still one of the best known English writers of any era. ... T. S. Eliot (by E. O. Hoppe, 1919) The Waste Land (1922), sometimes mistakenly written as The Wasteland, is a highly influential 433-line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot. ... Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 4, 1792 – July 8, 1822; pronounced ) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is widely considered to be among the finest lyrical poets of the English language. ... Lord Byron, Anglo-Scottish poet George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron (January 22, 1788–April 19, 1824) was an Anglo-Scottish poet and a leading figure in Romanticism. ... Cartesian dualism was Descartess principle of the separation of mind and matter and mind and body. ...


Modernist literature goes beyond the limitations of the Realist novel with its concern for larger factors such as social or historical change; this is largely demonstrated in "stream of consciousness" writing. Examples can be seen in Virginia Woolf's Kew Gardens and Mrs Dalloway, James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses, Katherine Porter's Flowering Judas, Jean Toomer's Cane, Maxine Proctor's Stories From the Basement and others. In psychology and philosophy stream of consciousness, introduced by William James, is the set of constantly changing inner thoughts and sensations which an individual has while conscious, used as a synonym for stream of thought. ... Kew Gardens is the name of several places: Kew Gardens is a commonly-used name for the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, United Kingdom Kew Gardens is the name of a park in The Beaches neighborhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada Kew Gardens is also the name of a neighborhood... Vanessa Redgrave as Clarissa Dalloway Mrs Dalloway (1925) is a novel by Virginia Woolf detailing one day in Clarissa Dalloways life about post-World War I England. ... A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story by James Joyce, published in 1916. ... Ulysses is a 1922 novel by James Joyce, first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from 1918 to 1920, and published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on February 2, 1922, in Paris. ... Katherine Ann Porter (15 May 1890 - 18 September 1980) was a celebrated American journalist, essayist, short story writer and novelist. ... Jean Toomer (December 26, 1894–March 30, 1967) was a poet, novelist and an important figure of the Harlem Renaissance. ...


Modernism as a literary movement is seen, in large part, as a reaction to the emergence of city life as a central force in society. The city of Los Angeles is an example of urbanization Urbanization is the increase over time in the population of cities in relation to the regions rural population. ...


One of the "fathers" of Latin American Modernism is the poet Ruben Dario of Nicaragua.[citation needed] Félix Rubén García Sarmiento (January 18, 1867- February 6, 1916) was a Nicaraguan poet who wrote under the pseudonym of Rubén Darío. ...


Many Modernist works are studied in schools today, from Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, to T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, to James Joyce's Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. ... The Old Man and the Sea is a novella by Ernest Hemingway written in Cuba in 1951 and published in 1952. ... Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965), was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. ... T. S. Eliot (by E. O. Hoppe, 1919) The Waste Land (1922), sometimes mistakenly written as The Wasteland, is a highly influential 433-line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot. ... Ulysses is a 1922 novel by James Joyce, first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from 1918 to 1920, and published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on February 2, 1922, in Paris. ... A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915 and published in book form in 1916. ...


From Romanticism to Modernism

A characteristic of Romanticism was intuitive insight: that one could see to the inside essence or soul of things. This was pitted against inductive reasoning and empirical methodologies. This caused a split between philosophers and scientists, and poets and artists. The former privileged transcendental reason, whereas poets and artists privileged the imagination. It was at this point that imagination became a separate object. The construction of the imagination as a 'special place' started with Romanticism and was carried over into Modernism. Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ... In philosophy, transcendental/transcendence, has three different but related primary meanings, all of them derived from the words literal meaning (from Latin), of climbing or going beyond: one that originated in Ancient philosophy, one in Medieval philosophy and one in modern philosophy. ... Wanderer above the sea of fog by Caspar David Friedrich Romanticism is an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in 18th century Western Europe. ...


Albert Gelpi noted that in Romanticism there was a belief in an intrinsic organic triad of correspondence between (i) the subject, (ii) the object (the perceived world), and (iii) the medium of expression. The medium of expression is expected to reveal the subtending spirit which animates this relationship. There is no fracture; no dissonance between subject and object. In contrast, Modernism perceived not out of a conviction of organic unity, but an awareness of discontinuity between subject and object. The triad of Romanticism was replaced by the dyad of Modernism: (i) the subject (intellectual imagination) and (ii) the object/medium language. The medium of expression becomes itself, the object. In Romanticism the author or language revealed something in the object. Modernism was not about a revelation aesthetic, instead it was the opposite, it was about the dislocation of elements from nature into invention. Gelpi pointed out that in the middle of this dislocation there was still a huge need for order. Wallace Stevens stated that "a blessed rage for order was the motivating force of the Modernist artist." He argued that the work of the imagination itself helps people to live their lives. The imagination was privileged as a creative and organising space... Wallace Stevens Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955 in poetry) was a major American Modernist poet. ...


Romanticism used the language of religious ecstasy and vocation in the secular. In Modernism this becomes ever more explicit. The imagination had a spiritual dimension and a vocational dimension to the life of the artist. In Romanticism language was transformative: the reader was transported by the poem. In Modernism language was formative: the reader was not transported anywhere.


The early attention to the object as freestanding became in later Modernism a preoccupation with form. The dyaduc collapse of the distance between subject and object represented a movement from means to is. In Romanticism this relationship means something. In Modernism the object is; the language doesn't mean it is. This is a shift from an epistemological aesthetic to an ontological aesthetic. Or in simpler terms, a shift from a knowledge-based aesthetic to a being-based aesthetic. This shift is central to Modernism. Archibald MacLeish, for instance, said, "A poem should not mean / But be." It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... In philosophy, ontology (from the Greek , genitive : of being (part. ... Archibald MacLeish Archibald MacLeish (May 7, 1892 – April 20, 1982) was an American poet, writer and the Librarian of Congress. ...


Characteristics of Modernism

Formal Characteristics

Free verse (also at times referred to as vers libre) is a term describing various styles of poetry that are not written using strict meter or rhyme, but that still are recognizable as poetry by virtue of complex patterns of one sort or another that readers will perceive to be... Look up juxtaposition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Intertextuality is the shaping of texts meanings by other texts. ...

Thematic Characteristics

  • Breakdown of social norms and cultural sureties
  • Dislocation of meaning and sense from its normal context
  • Valorization of the despairing individual in the face of an unmanageable future
  • Disillusionment
  • Rejection of history and the substitution of a mythical past, borrowed without chronology
  • Product of the metropolis, of cities and urbanscapes
  • Stream of Consciousness
  • Overwhelming technological changes of the 20th Century

Disillusionment is the process of removal of an illusion from the human mind. ... In literary criticism, stream of consciousness is a literary technique which seeks to portray an individuals point of view by giving the written equivalent of the characters thought processes. ...

Popular culture

The Moderns is a 1988 film by Alan Rudolph, which takes place in 1926 Paris during the period of Lost Generation and at the height of modernist literature. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Lost Generation is traditionally attributed to John Wilks Booth[1] and was then popularized by Ernest Hemingway in the epigraph to his novel The Sun Also Rises and his memoir A Moveable Feast. ...

See also

Modernism
20th century - Modernity - Existentialism
Modernism (music): 20th century classical music - Atonality - Serialism - Jazz
Modernist literature - Modernist poetry
Modern art - Symbolism (arts) - Impressionism - Expressionism - Cubism - Surrealism - Dadaism - Futurism (art) - Fauvism - Pop Art - Abstract expressionism - Minimalism - Lyrical Abstraction - Color Field
Modern dance - Expressionist dance
Modern architecture - Bauhaus - Brutalism - De Stijl - Functionalism - Futurism - Heliopolis style - International Style - Organicism - Visionary architecture
...Preceded by Romanticism Followed by Postmodernism...
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Modernist literature - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1297 words)
Modernist literature is the literary form of Modernism and especially High modernism; it should not be confused with modern literature, which is the history of the modern novel and modern poetry.
Modernist literature was at its height from 1900 to 1940, and featured such authors as T.
Modernist literature goes beyond the limitations of the Realist novel with its concern for larger factors such as social or historical change; this is largely demonstrated in "stream of consciousness" writing.
Modernism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4943 words)
The Modernist Movement emerged in the mid-19th century in France and was rooted in the idea that "traditional" forms of art, literature, social organization and daily life had become outdated, and that it was therefore essential to sweep them aside and reinvent culture forever.
Modernists, in turn, attacked the madness of hurling millions of young men into the hell of war, and the falseness of artistic norms that could not depict the emotional reality of life in the 20th century.
For this reason many modernists of the post-war generation felt that they were the most important bulwark against totalitarianism, the "canary in the coal mine", whose repression by a government or other group with supposed authority represented a warning that individual liberties were being threatened.
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