Even if under the term “Modernism” there are different movements including Symbolism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Futurism and so on, common features were the awareness of the sperimental studies that had developed in other disciplines and the loss of faith in the traditional vision of reality and art. As a consequence “modernism” became synonymous with reaction and opposition to the traditional expressive form, mainly to representational art. It was persistently experimental and gave way to Relativism while scientific and philosophical discoveries increased.
The founder of the new poetic theory was the Anglo-American poet T.S. Eliot.
He dedicated his poem The Waste Land, the greatest modern poem, to Ezra Pound, the leader of Imagism.
Modernism established that the new poet had to reject subjective feelings in favour of a central authority and objective, central standards. T.S. Eliot found this central authority in tradition that consist in the works of the great masters of the past, like Dante.
The new poetry, which was deeply influenced by the French symbolists, was highly symbolical and concise, using contrast and paradoxes, colloquial and formal speech, including the vulgar. However it was written for the learned, that could understand the many allusions to different traditions.
A great characteristic was that the new poetry rejected the rural in favour of the city, and contemporary life.
The experimental novel focuses on the haphazard flow of thoughts, feelings and emotions that take place within the individual without following a logical or chronological order.
(Freud: with his studies on dreams and sexuality revealed the existence of the subconscious in man, showing that man’s past is man’s present even if we are unable to remember the former. So, for example, a particular experience done in infancy or in childhood will govern future rational decisions. His main works is Interpretations of Dreams.
(Einstein: his theories put