Modernism and Post Modernism in Literature : Defining Briefly

Topics: Structuralism, Modernism, Jacques Derrida Pages: 3 (960 words) Published: May 26, 2013
Modernism and Post Modernism in Literature
Modernism in Literature
Literary Modernism has its origins in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mainly in Europe and North America. Modernism is characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional styles of poetry and verse. Modernists experimented with literary form and expression, adhering to the modernist maxim to "Make it new." The modernist literary movement was driven by a desire to overturn traditional modes of representation and express the new sensibilities of their timeFriedrich Nietzsche was another major precursor of modernism[need quotation to verify] with a philosophy in which psychological drives, specifically the 'Will to power', were more important than facts, or things. Henri Bergson (1859–1941), on the other hand, emphasized the difference between scientific, clock time and the direct, subjective, human experience of time[3] His work on time and consciousness "had a great influence on twentieth-century novelists," especially those modernists who used the stream of consciousness technique, such as Dorothy Richardson, Pointed Roofs (1915), James Joyce, Ulysses (1922) and Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927). Also important in Bergson's philosophy was the idea of élan vital, the life force, which "brings about the creative evolution of everything" His philosophy also placed a high value on intuition, though without rejecting the importance of the intellect. These various thinkers were united by a distrust of Victorian positivism and certainty.Modernism as a literary movement can be seen also, as a reaction to industrialization, urbanization and new technologies. Modernist literature attempts to take into account changing ideas about reality developed by Darwin, Mach, Freud, Einstein, Nietzsche, Bergson and others. From this developed innovative literary techniques such as stream-of-consciousness, interior monologue, as well as the use of multiple...
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