chapter 32 - Modernism Some Cultural Forces Driving...

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Modernism Some Cultural Forces Driving Modernism Some of the major issues to which twentieth century art and literature responded in ways generally known as "Modernism  
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Time Frame + Terminology Enlightenment: 17 th + 18 th centuries Romantic/Victorian: 19 th century Modernism: 1880s to 1945 Post-Modernism 1945-present
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Rise of Modernism In 1913, French writer Charles Pequy claimed “the world has changed less since the time of Jesus Christ than it has in the last 30 years.” 1887: the phonograph 1879: the light bulb 1882: the machine gun 1892: the Ford car 1895: the radio 1895: the movie camera
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In other ways the old 19 th c. assurances about who we were and what we knew were crumbling. Four men had a profound effect on the way late Victorian people thought about themselves and the world. In every field there was suddenly doubt . DARWIN MARX EINSTEIN FREUD DOUBT
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Charles Darwin 1809-1882 1871 Descent of Man . Darwin’s theories about human origins left traditional faith in doubt and many people experienced a loss of traditional literal Biblical assurances. In essence what Darwin said was that we are governed by large biological forces.
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Karl Marx 1818-1883 Marx’s economic theories about sharing wealth raised questions about old, commonly held theories of social hierarchy where the rich are “naturally” better than the poor. Marx suggests that we are governed by economic forces.
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Albert Einstein 1879-1955 Einstein’s theories tell us that the world is not as we see it. There are no absolutes; all is probability. Matter cannot be measured or predicted with certainty. Einstein suggests we may not know what we “know.”
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Sigmund Freud 1856-1939 Freud’s theories about human thinking emphasize the role of the unconscious. He suggests that we many not be in control of our impulses and our will, and that much of who we are is driven by unconscious urges.
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World War I If this wasn’t enough WWI also produced profound changes. “The Britons who came of age in the early part of this century had no doubt as to when the world ended: July 1, 1916. A generation suffocated in the poisoned air of France and drowned in the mud of the Somme.” Stefan Kanfer, Time
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W W I (1914-1918) First Mechanized War
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illusions. The ages of blind obedience to institutions, tradition, and dogma were over. The modern epoch of distrust and terror had begun. T.S. Eliot spoke for all the sad young men: ‘After
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chapter 32 - Modernism Some Cultural Forces Driving...

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