In terms of technique, modernist works attempted to blur the lines between genres. As a result, written compositions tended to be poetical or poetry-like in nature. Poetry is defined as "a sequence of words, either spoken or written, that exhibits formal perfection and may have emotional effect on the reader or listener." The aim of modernist poets was to achieve this through using abstract language, unusual word order, and innovative techniques such as stream of consciousness.
Modernism also refers to a style of thinking and writing that emerged in the early 20th century. Modernists rejected traditional assumptions about how knowledge is gained and organized. They believed that all forms of knowledge are subjective, so there is no way to prove that one view is correct over another. Instead, they focused on creating new ideas and experiences for readers/listeners.
As an example, T. S. Eliot is considered a major figure in modern poetry due to his interest in ancient mythology and history. He used this interest as a means of exploring human perception and understanding, which are concepts that modernists felt were undervalued by conventional wisdom.
Eliot's work can be seen as revolutionary because it completely changed how people thought about poetry.
Modernist writers used a variety of stylistic methods to distance themselves from realism writing. These included the use of many meanings in language, form experimentation, nonlinear storylines, sarcastic juxtapositions, and the purposeful obfuscation of meaning. Many modernists also used unusual words and phrases, obscure references, and inconsistent spelling and punctuation to further disguise their texts' intended meanings.
Modernism was popular during the early 20th century, but some critics argue that it is still relevant today.
Many modernists were avant-garde artists or musicians who sought to break away from traditional narrative fiction. Some used experimental writing techniques, such as stream of consciousness, while others created their own poetic forms. Several modernists were also interested in changing the way society functionsed; they questioned traditional notions of reality, truth, and morality in their work.
Some modernists believed that literature should be accessible to everyone, which is why many used simple language and concrete examples in their stories. Other modernists valued ambiguity and did not want their works interpreted too literally. This is why several modernists used metaphors and symbolism in their writings. Finally, some modernists wanted to provoke readers into thinking critically about society so they wrote with sarcasm and irony. They knew that some readers would get what they meant, while others would not.
Navigate to the next page. Go to the search for Literary modernism, often known as modernist literature, emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, mostly in Europe and North America, and is distinguished by a self-conscious departure from conventional forms of writing in both poetry and prose fiction. Modernists rejected traditional ideas about what constituted good writing in order to express their views on society and culture. Many modernists were involved with some form of the arts, including painting, music, and architecture. Others wrote only for their own pleasure, as poets or novelists.
Modernism had many different movements and styles. Some important modernists include: George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, André Gide, Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Kafka, and Samuel Beckett.
The term "modernist literature" was first used by Vladimir Nabokov in his book The Basic Problems of Art. There he defines it as "that body of literature which has sprung into existence since the end of the eighteenth century AD and especially since the turn of the century". He adds that this type of writing uses "the whole range of modern means of expression", such as photography, film, radio, and television.
Nabokov also states that modernist literature tends to be subjective, chaotic, and ambiguous, and that it challenges traditional values by questioning everything from reality to morality.
Considering the preceding concepts, a prevalent practice among modernist poets was the employment of experimental or novel approaches, since modernist writers aspired to break with the past and write poetry in a different way than earlier centuries. For example, H. D. Thoreau wrote about four million words over the course of his lifetime yet never used an abstract noun; by contrast, T. S. Eliot used abstract nouns in The Waste Land, which he described as a "quarrel with authority" in an age when most poetry was considered virtuous and loyal.
Modernists also often changed the form of their poems, either by changing the number of lines or by varying the length of each line. This was done primarily to explore different ways of expressing ideas and emotions. For example, H. D. Thoreau composed a series of poems in various forms including sonnets and sestets. T. S. Eliot varied the length of his lines throughout The Waste Land; sometimes two consecutive lines would be extended to fit the meter, while at other times he would use short sentences to give the poem a more stream-of-consciousness feel.
Finally, modernists often used allusions and references to other works of literature in their own poems.
Experimentation in Modernist Literature's Main Characteristics Modernist writers moved away from traditional forms and approaches. Ridiculousness. The horror of two world wars had a deep impact on authors of the time. Many turned away from serious topics in order to avoid being labeled as un-modern or anti-democratic.
They experimented with language, form, and content. Some changed their names for effect while others used fake names. For example, William Shakespeare created an entirely new genre of drama called "the romantic comedy." Other famous writers who experimented with language include Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and D. H. Lawrence.
Form was another important aspect of Modernist writing. Traditional novels were composed of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. Modernists reduced this length dramatically. Poets such as T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound helped them understand how to make sentences shorter without losing meaning.
Finally, they questioned all traditional values including but not limited to gender, class, ethnicity, and religion. For example, female authors began publishing novels after male authors. This is because women were not considered worthy of equal rights at the time.
Modernism can be described as a reaction against classicism and realism. Modernists rejected these two styles which were popular in literature during the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolutions respectively.