Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Modernism Is ... OCEL

From the Oxford Companion to English Literature, edited by Margaret Drabble:
MODERNISM: an omnibus term for a number of tendencies in the arts which were prominent in the first half of the twentieth century: in English literature it is particularily associated with the writings of V. Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Pound Joyce, Yeats F.M. Ford & Conrad. Broadly, modernism reflects the impact upon literature of the psychology of Freud and the anthropology of J.G. Frazer as expressed in The Golden Bough.... it was marked by a persistent experimentalism; it is 'the tradition of the new' in Harold Rosenberg's phrase. It rejected the traditional .... Although so diverse in its manifestation, it was recognised as representing as H. Read wrote (ArtNow, 1933) , 'an abrupt break with all tradition ...'Modernist works (for instance, the poetry of Elot & Pound) may have a tendency to dissolve into a chaos of sharp atomistic impressions.

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