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Modernist Literary Movement Essay Example

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Modernist Literary Movement

Modernist Literary Movement. Proust stated that reality takes place in the memory, and T. Eliot reflects on the time in its famous poem The Waste Land. “Understandably, this new conception of the world led to the use of different techniques in art, such as the abrupt beginning and open-ended conclusion of many Modernist novels.Both Bergson and Freud created a view of an individual-centered reality, in which the past events shape the psyche and the intuition overcomes rational reflections, which was combined with Nietzsche’s thought. In his Essay on Self-Criticism, Nietzsche foreshadows the Modernist self-scrutinizing and the focus on aesthetics. Along with Darwin and Freud, Nietzsche contributed to an increased interest in myth.

Joyce´s Ulysses is a great modernist work which demonstrates the recreation of the myth within an urban and modern context. “In a famous review of Ulysses, published in 1923, T. Eliot had argued that Joyce’s use of Homeric myth had provided ‘a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history” (Rainey xxii).At the same time, Ferdinand de Saussure led a revolution about language. The crisis of Modernism affected the literary use of language, and enabled free verse, imagism, expressions of the unconscious, among other innovative phenomena. “If, with world-changing consequences, Freud decentred the individual and Marx decentred history, it was Saussure’s decentring of language which made possible so such subsequent theoretical work across the art, social science and humanities in the second half of the twentieth century. His importance to Modernism lies in his parallel attempt to explore the relationship between language and meaning” (Childs 63-64).Finally, Einstein’s theory studied the physical universe with ambiguity and flexibility, which was taken by Modernists to free themselves from social conventions and challenge the aesthetic guidelines from the previous generation. Narrative becomes relative, due to the use of perspective, unreliability, instability and subjectivism. In modernist fiction, as well as in relativity theory, the point of view is crucial.Modernism was a literary movement that received influences from the major authors in the fields of economics, science, psychology, philosophy and linguistics. Its importance does not only relate to its causes, but also to the effects on later movements, such as. Modernist Literary Movement.

Work Cited

Baldick, Chris. The Oxford English Literary History. Volume 10: The Modern Movement.

Bell, Michael. “The metaphysics of Modernism”. The Cambridge Companion to Modernism. Ed. Michael Leverson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 9-32.

Bradbury, Malcolm & McFarlane, James, eds. Modernism: A Guide to European Literature 1890-1930. London: Penguin, 1991.

Childs, Peter. Modernism (The New Critical Idiom). London: Routledge, 2000.

Kolocotroni, Vassiliki, Goldman, Jane & Taxidou, Olga, eds. Modernism: An Anthology of Sources and Documents. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Leverson, Michael. “Introduction”. The Cambridge Companion to Modernism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 1-8.

Leverson, Michael, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Modernism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Rainey, Lawrence S. Modernism: An Anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.

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preview essay on Modernist Literary Movement
  • Pages: 5 (1250 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Literature
  • Level: Masters
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