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MODERNISM

(literary-artistic-cultural period approximately between 1910-1950)

MAJOR HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL FACTORS 1. World War I 2. Economic and technological expansion (electricity, cinema, radio, globalized communications and transportation systems): growing capitalism, materialism 3. The passage of 19th Amendment in 1920 giving women the right to vote: Feminism. 4. Science: quantum physics, Einstein and relativity 5. Decline of religious belief 6. 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia 7. Development of citiesparticularly New York; immigration and multiculturalism 8. The Jazz Age 9. The stock-market Crash of 1929 , the Great Depression and their impact. 10. Major Artistic Innovations/Movements: Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUNDS A. B. C. MARXISM class struggle, socialism human behavior controlled by forces OUTSIDE self SIGMUND FREUDS PSYCHOANALYSIS self-analysis, the unconscious and irrational self human behavior controlled from forces INSIDE the selfself as multiple rather than simple. FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHES NIHILISM God is Dead; existence precedes essence -- existentialism spiritual ruins after the war, what is the meaning of life?

Characteristics of Modernism
A. narration through fragmented or MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES or viewpoints; B. NON-LINEAR TIME, or other distortions of time-conventions in Realistic fiction C. STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS DEVICE( influence of Freuds theories of consciousness and

D. E. F.

G.

H. I. J.

unconscious). The characters thoughts are reproduced as they occur, not following any logical sequence PRIMITIVISM theres an idealization of that which is simple, unsophisticated, or primitive also known as atavism ALLUSIVENESS: there are often symbolic references to prior literary works or selfconscious intertextuality with them REALITY IS PRESENTED AS LAYERED AND DISCONTINUOUS. Modernism breaks with the sequential cause-and-effect presentation of reality typical of realist fiction.To achieve it, they use symbols, allegories, juxtapositions. LOSS OF THE ROMANTIC FIGURE OF THE HERO : modernist protagonists, faced with a meaningless world, fear to act because they feel that any action is pointless. So, any heroic action is unattainable The gothic may re-appear in broken or fleeting forms as the grotesque COMPLEX USE OF LANGUAGE: language has multiple meanings, because reality is multiple as well ALIENATED AUTHORS AND ACTIVE READERS: due to the experimental nature of their works, there is a split between authors and their audience, since they disclaim any responsibility towards the audience and declare themselves only loyal to the work of art. Consequently, the reader , confronted with a fragmented chronology, structure and language becomes responsible for reassembling the whole narration to give it a significance.

AUTHORS AND WORKS: JAMES JOYCE. Ulysses; A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man; Finnegans Wake VIRGINIA WOOLF: Mrs. Dalloway ; To the Lighthouse T.S. ELIOT: The Waste Land; Four Quartets EZRA POUND: The Cantos