Modernism1.ppt - Modernism — Concepts Dr Joel Peckham 1 Modernism Overview Modernism is far too general a term to break down into a simple definition

Modernism1.ppt - Modernism — Concepts Dr Joel Peckham 1...

This preview shows page 1 - 5 out of 28 pages.

1 Modernism — Concepts Dr. Joel Peckham
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

2 Modernism Overview Modernism is far too general a term to break down into a simple definition. Unlike Romanticism, one cannot list a set of philosophical beliefs or stylistic characteristics that would broadly apply to every Modern Writer. The Modern Period could be argued to extend from the late 19th century to the mid-twentieth century and could include any author writing during that period—even if that author hated the modern world and Modernist thinking. In fact, the reactionary impulse—to go back to a time that was more civilized, more Godly, more rational, more whole—may be the most modern of all impulses as it is reflected in the work of Yeats, Eliot, Stevens, Pound, and Jeffers. It may be most useful, then to look at Modern Writers as those authors who responded to the particular challenges that various upheavals from that era posed to the individual. The industrial revolution and its corresponding scientific advances, two major world wars, the development of the atomic bomb, The Great Depression, the Russian Revolution, the end of slavery in the United States, a burgeoning Women’s Movement, the influence of African Americans on world art and music etc., all combined to create a world in which the old order of things seemed to have been upended and there was no clear sense of a new direction being offered. For some artists, this meant a realization of the freedom only hinted at by the Romantics, for some it meant a disorienting, fragmented, and purposeless reality in which the individual was lost in a churning mass of humanity. What follows is a by no means exhaustive list of terms important to Modernism and Modernists with examples drawn from literature and art intended to stimulate discussion.
Image of page 2
3 15 Terms Existentialism: A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts. The Problem of Radical Freedom: Derives from the existential belief in absolute freedom—the idea that men can literally do anything and are totally responsible for their own actions. Of course in a world with infinite choices and no clear guide for action, this freedom can be terrifying, leading to Existential Panic: A condition in which the individual, completely aware of his freedom and his responsibility, is overwhelmed by that awareness and cannot act. It can also be defined by the panic caused when one cannot discover his purpose or value in the universe.
Image of page 3

Subscribe to view the full document.

4 15 Terms Cont. Absurd Hero : The outlook of the absurd hero is this: determined to continue living with passion even though life appears to be meaningless. The absurd hero does not look back in regret or forward with hope--he or she simply accepts life as it is and keep going in accordance with a personal code.
Image of page 4
Image of page 5

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Ask Expert Tutors You can ask 0 bonus questions You can ask 0 questions (0 expire soon) You can ask 0 questions (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes