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Information about Modernism

Published on March 30, 2008

Author: benjamindavis2000


The Modernist Revolution: Make It New!:  The Modernist Revolution: Make It New! Modernism: A Time of Coming to Age Scientific Rationalism:  Scientific Rationalism During 19th Century, the Enlightenment notion of the world as a machine—something whose parts could be named and seen to function—came back into favor. Positivism—the 19th Century belief that everything, including human nature, could be explained and understood through science. Modernism rejects this idea. An Ugly War:  An Ugly War WW I was the first “total war” in which modern weapons spared no one, including civilians. The casualties suffered by the participants in World War I dwarfed those of previous wars: some 8,500,000 soldiers died as a result of wounds and/or disease. War was increasingly mechanized from 1914 and produced casualties even when nothing important was happening. Civilians:  Civilians It has been estimated that the number of civilian deaths attributable to the war was higher than the military casualties, or around 13,000,000. These civilian deaths were largely caused by starvation, exposure, disease, military encounters, and massacres. The enormity of the war had undermined humankind's faith in Western society and culture. A generation of young men lost. Survivors reexamine bases of certainly, structure of knowledge, systems of belief and authorities. Creating a feeling of hopelessness. Postwar modernist literature reflected a sense of disillusionment and fragmentation. Albert Einstein:  Albert Einstein Theory of relativity abandoned the concepts of absolute motion and the absolute difference of space and time. Theories became interpreted in popular culture that we cannot know anything for sure; all knowledge is relative. Modernist Literature:  Modernist Literature Urging experimentation in both literary form and subject matter, American poet Ezra Pound advised authors to “make it new.” The choice of subject matter was often a revolt against the traditional conception of what was appropriate for literature. Experiments with point of view and narrative structure. Rejection of chronological and narrative continuity. Literature and language as a game. Precise images and common speech. Literature = art object produced by consummate craft rather than as a statement of emotion. Experimentation :  Experimentation The belief that what came before was inadequate as a means to describe one's current experience. Technical innovation, sometimes for its own sake. Originality—the writer, painter, artist will try to deviate from the norm and from your expectations of what's to come. Anti-realism:  Anti-realism Art for art's sake.   This idea that art represents itself and is not something beyond that it is.   Perhaps something is meaningless, and that in itself is meaningful.   How's that for a conundrum? Preference for allusion rather than description as a way of reminding the readers of the old, lost coherence. World seen through the artist rather than an attempt to be objective—the understanding that we are all colored by our own emotions and mental states and cultures. Questioning of the conventional view of the world, often times seen as the "realistic" view of the world. Use of myth, archetypes, heavy symbolism, and the unconscious (Freud) rather than a strict reliance upon the conventions of plot. Individualism :  Individualism Promotion of the artist's viewpoint, at the expense of the communal. The understanding that religion, nature, science, economy, and society are limited and are in some ways a mechanism of the people Belief that artists, not society, should judge the arts, so art becomes somewhat elitist Desire to get to a primary image—something devoid of comment: stream of consciousness. Intellectualism :  Intellectualism Writing that is more cerebral than emotional Posing more questions than providing answers Cool observation: viewpoints and characters detached and depersonalized Open-ended work, not finished or aiming for a sense of conventional "formal perfection" The subject is often the act of writing or producing the art itself.   It becomes self-referential. Expressionism:  Expressionism Refused direct representation of reality. Favor of expressing an inner vision, emotion, or spiritual reality. The Scream by Edvard Munch evokes a whole realm of spiritual agony. Surrealism:  Surrealism Aim to bring a fuller awareness of human experience—both conscious and unconscious states. Your Turn :  Your Turn The next few slides offer a variety of art and a poem. How do they reflect modernism? Use the next slide and previous slide to help Review the qualities and discuss with the person next to you. Techniques of the Modernist Era:  Techniques of the Modernist Era Modernists Rebellion Realism- In its literary usage the term realism is often defined as a method or form in fiction that provides a "slice of life," an "accurate representation of reality." Such a seemingly straightforward definition, however, belies a number of complexities that inform the concept of realism. The term, though applicable to contemporary works, is most often used in discussion of nineteenth-century novels. Meters- Systematic forms of writing Narrative coherence through structured form Formal exposition of ideas Naturalist theater Modernists Techniques Alienation- The recognition of the self as a distinct and separate entity within a larger and frequently antagonistic society is the basis of alienation. Fragmentation- The idea of fragmentation has often been invoked as a general description of life in the modern era, encompassing all aspects of experience from social traditions to religious and philosophical systems to aesthetic forms. The concept itself is opposed to that of totality, whether as a description of the self or subject/object, the system of values we inhabit, or the material experiences of everyday life. Stream of Consciousness Collages of fragmentary images Complex allusions Juxtaposition and multiple points of view Use of extended symbolism Placed more emphasis on the unaffiliated writer New types of symbolism allusive in style and an interest in rarefied mental states. Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VIII, 1923 Oil on canvas (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York) :  Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VIII, 1923  Oil on canvas (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York) Pablo Picasso The Poet:  Pablo Picasso The Poet Jackson Pollock Autumn Rhythm:  Jackson Pollock Autumn Rhythm Joan Miro Le Courtesan Grotesque            :  Joan Miro Le Courtesan Grotesque            IN A STATION OF THE METRO by Erza Pound:  The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. IN A STATION OF THE METRO by Erza Pound Authors of the Modernist Period:  Authors of the Modernist Period Hughes Frost Pound Hemingway Wright Eliot Woolf Hurston Fitzgerald Faulkner Joyce

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