Modernism

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  • Topic: Mind, Modernist literature, Fiction
  • Pages : 3 (879 words )
  • Download(s) : 7
  • Published : April 2, 2013
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With the dawning of the twentieth century, a literary movement emerged.  That movement would come to be known as modernism. “On or about December, 1910, human character changed . . . All human relations have shifted— those between masters and servants, husbands and wives, parents and children.  And when human relations change there is at the same time a change in religion, conduct, politics, and literature.”(Woolf, Mr. Bennett, 22) Modernists were the literary artists who would come to address these changes in human character.  The way individual reality was seen, as well as the way a single moment was processed, viewed and represented through the narrative had changed.  Narration was a step closer to thought, a step closer to human emotion and farther away from the physical and the external.  The focus of the novel as a form of writing had become much more intimate; and was fixated on the inner workings of the mind, and this is evident in the form of the narrative. The narrative form, as seen in the modernist novel, is very experimental, incorporating features such as fragmentary and distant narration, unexpected point of view shifts, an unorthodox treatment of time, as well as form that mimics content perfectly. These authors were pioneering techniques that took the literary world by storm. Modernists revolutionized the style and form of the novel.  Authors like Virginia Woolf and James Joyce viewed literary convention as an enemy that they must constantly stride against with their work.  Modernist authors wrote in response to writers who Woolf called “materialists. The materialist’s concern with the “body” and not the “spirit” is exactly what modernist writers were attempting to alleviate.  They were working to draw closer to the spirit of the human character and away from all of these previously established literary norms and techniques.  Woolf implies that even if we wander off and lose ourselves in the desert, that it would at least offer an opportunity for...
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