long paper - Muhammad 1 Yusra Muhammad English 220...

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Muhammad 1 Yusra Muhammad English 220 Professor Ueda 05/14/2010 The Evolution of Epistemology “Perversity is the muse of modern literature”- Susan Sontag (1933) Modernism can be defined as the period of aesthetic development from the late nineteenth century extending to the twentieth century. To understand the evolution of modernism, we need to focus on the pre-modern era, which extended from the very beginning of history to the 1650s. The dominant way of thinking was to a vast extent restrained and constricted. The epistemology of primarily the pre-modern period was based on the ‘ultimate truth’, which could only be achieved through direct revelation. Thus this period relied mostly on conservative thoughts, where the ultimate truth could only be achieved from God. However, the modernist era defied all laws and constraints. In literature it was the opening up of the world, theoretically, politically or philosophically. People were in a world which questioned every basic thought and idea. Modernism in turn was replaced by postmodernism, emerging from the same concept postmodernism is very much like modernism, however it focuses more on assemblage and erasure. Thus, I would now begin to explore the evolution and development of the two eras chronologically, analyzing their contribution towards literature by exploring works such as “The Love Song” by J. Alfred prufrock and Ashbery’s “Farm Implements”. In the twentieth century after two devastating global wars (World War I and II), there came an unprecedented remarkable change in the Western society. This change brought people into the world of skepticism. In literature, poets and authors explored different forms of writing making
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Muhammad 2 the reader fascinate about the world which never existed before. The reader was made to feel free to explore the inner working of one’s mind and sub consciousness. People against the modernist movement, primarily the conservatives related the era, as being full of perversion. This skepticism led to people doubting the existence of God as a creator. The openness of thought also led to the emergence of feminism, bisexuality, the family and the mind. Imagism in poetry brought about the aesthetics of free verse, fragmented forms, and discontinuous narratives within many works of literature. There was an emphasis on impressionism and subjectivity in writing; analyzing ‘how’ seeing, reading and perception takes place rather than ‘what’ is perceived. It was a movement defying fixed narrations and clear-cut moral positions, and rejection of elaborate formal aesthetics in order to propose minimalist form of poetry (such as William Carlos William). Thus, modernism was the replacement of expository narration with symbolism and impressionistic notation which brings us to the idea that essentially literary modernism was the revolution of forms (Kagles). In order to clearly understand the literary merits of the modernist era it is important to
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long paper - Muhammad 1 Yusra Muhammad English 220...

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