A-Z: General definitions: Modernism


Modernism was an artistic movement starting around 1900 in conscious reaction to the prevailing Victorian Romanticism. In literature, its exponents were highly experimental and included writers such as T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and Virginia Woolf. Among it s features were: a refusal to distinguish between the beautiful and everyday reality; the inspiration to discover new possibilities of form; the use of multiple perspectives; the refusal to be sentimental; and the use of symbolism in their writings. Insights from prominent intellects such as psychiatrist Sigmund Freud and philosopher Karl Marx also featured.

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