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Transcript of MODERNISM
Historical Context & Characteristics
Modernism in paintings
Look Back in Anger
Kitchen sink realism
Reaction against romanticism
Love story between 3 people, excessively ordinary environment, rupture with poetic environment of romanticism and way to criticize old society's values
Definition and CHARACTERISTICS
use of expressive colors
1860s - 1970s
40 different movements
Art nouveau, Cubism (Picasso), Impressionism (Monnet), Pop Art (Warhol), Surrealism (Dali), Symbolism (Gaugin).
Ideal subject ? WWI
Volunteer for the French Red Cross and the Royal Army Medical Corp
Inspiration ? his experience in the trenches
Aim ? draw public's attention on mechanized nature of modern warfare
Some of HIS WORK
In the trenches (1917)
The Strafing (1916)
"La MITRAILLEUSE" (1915)
Before 19th: religious, mythical scenes, stories with the aim to instruct the viewer
During 19th: art about people, places, experiences (dreams, symbolism, willingness to show and express the world as it is (realistically)
Adeline Virginia Stephen
1882 - 1961
Ideal Victorian parents
(1925) / T
o the Lighthouse
One of her greatest achievement
Stream of consciousness
Septimus Warren Smith
Nineteen eighty four
A Brave New World
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Very educated family (grandfather worked alongside Darwin)
Teacher of Orwell
Friend of Woolf
Concerns about the evolution of the world
Place of science and religion in society
End of life: screenwriter in America and experiences with drugs
Huxley's most famous novel
Dystopia (such as 1984)
A world in the future in which humans are totally in control from birth to death, natural reproduction is forbidden, and everyone is made to fulfill a role in society (genetic manipulations), population under the influence of a drug (soma: almost harmless, socially acceptable, makes them happy)
Opposition with "savages", humans living in the wildlife, outside organized society
Concerns about the place of science and religion, the future of the world, the quest for everlasting happiness (soma)
Eric Arthur Blair
1903 - 1950
Born in India
Resigned from the imperial police
Most famous novels : Animal Farm (1944) and Nineteen eighty four (1949)
Literary and political rebel
Based on Russian Revolution
Made Orwell rich and prosperous
Warning after Nazism and Stalinism
Orwell's last book
September 11, 1885 (England) – March 2, 1930 (France)
Infamous novel Lady Chatterley's Lover
Criticised by feminists for his representations of women
Led a generation of writers and readers to break away from Victorian social, sexual, and cultural norms
Provides crucial insight into the social and cultural history of Anglo-American Modernism
The end of Modernism
Strong reaction against Modernism after World War II
Always have a huge influence
Changed the way many people perceive truth and reality
Emergence of Postmodernism
Best-known and most infamous novel.
Published in Italy in 1928
Details the sexual relationship between an aristocratic lady and a working-class man
Banned in the United States until 1959, and in England until 1960
Turning point in the history of freedom of expression and the open discussion of sex in popular culture
Strong and intentional break with tradition
Rejection of romanticism
The world is created in the act of perceiving it
There is no such thing as absolute truth
celebration of inner strength (stream of consciousness and interior monologues)
Life is unordered
Concerned with the sub-conscious
Modernism was distinguished by its
opposition to traditional forms
with those forms.
highly self-conscious manipulation of form
Since it started off as criticism of the Victorian values, it is essentially British.
Because they were influenced by the discoveries in psychology, the modernists were interested in expressing their characters’ perceptions and thoughts.
2 techniques to achieve that:
stream of consciousness:
no syntax and no logical sense
direct or indirect
II. Subjectivity of the narration
A subjective dimension is given by writing in the
The narrator can be called
III. Blurring distinctions between genres
The genres of literature fall apart, everything melt together. Poetry becomes more realistic and novels more poetic.
Example in The Waves by Virginia Woolf:
“The sun had not yet risen. The sea was indistinguishable from the sky, except that the sea was slightly creased as if a cloth had wrinkles in it. Gradually as the sky whitened a dark line lay on the horizon dividing the sea from the sky and the grey cloth became barred with thick strokes moving, one after another, beneath the surface, following each other, pursuing each other, perpetually.”
(Woolf, 1931, p. 1)
IV. Fragmented forms and discontinuous narratives
Since modernism is the deconstruction of all literary boundaries, one of its main features is fragmentation:
- Fragmentation in the
one style to another
- Fragmentation in the
alternate reality, flash backs/forwards
- Fragmentation in the
change language, register, add neologism, etc
by James Joyce:
Sir Tristram, violer d’amores, fr’over the short sea, had passen-core rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his
penisolate war: nor had topsawyer’s rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens County’s gorgios while they went doublin their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick not yet, though venissoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac: not yet, though all’s fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe.
(Joyce, 1939, p. 1)
V.Reflexivity of the work of art
The author or character himself knows a work of art is in progress.
Example: The Waves by Virginia Woolf:
I am now in the mood. I can write the letter straight off which I have begun ever so many times. I have just come in; I have flung down my hat and my stick; I am writing the first thing that comes into my head without troubling to put the paper straight. It is going to be a brilliant sketch which, she must think, was written without a pause, without an erasure. Look how unformed the letters are--there is a careless blot. All must be sacrificed to speed and carelessness.
(Woolf, 1931, p. 46)
VI. Blurred boundaries between “low” and “high” culture
traditional art architecture, sculpture, painting, music, poetry, literature
popularity among the masses, popular culture cinema, photography, comics…
Thanks to modernists, this separation doesn't exist anymore
James Joyce was born on February 2, 1882 in Dublin, Ireland, and died in 1941 in Zurich.
Eldest of a family of ten children
He published "Portrait of the Artist of a Young Man" in 1916 and caught the attention of Ezra Pound.
With "Ulysses" and "Finnegan's Wake", Joyce perfected his stream-of-consciousness style and became a literary celebrity
He battled eye ailments for most of his life.
Dubliners, Finnegan's Wake, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses.
Joyce began writing Ulysses in 1914, but it was first published in Paris in 1922.
It was banned in the U.S. until 1933 and in the U.K. until 1937
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
. Ulysses picks up Stephen Dedalus’s life and introduces two new main characters, Leopold and Molly Bloom, and takes place on a single day, June 16, 1904, in Dublin.
Ulysses presents itself as a realistic novel and also works on a mythic level, by way of a series of parallels with Homer’s Odyssey.
Particularly famous for Joyce’ s stylistic innovations:
1. Stream of consciousness:
“ A quarter after what an unearthly hour I suppose theyre just getting up in China now combing out their pigtails for the day well soon have the nuns ringing the angelus theyve nobody coming in to spoil their sleep except an odd priest or two for his night office or the alarmlock next door at cockshout clattering gave me was like that something only I only wore it twice better lower this lamp and try again so that I can get up early.” (Joyce, 1922)
2. Interior monologues:
He [Stephen] lifted his feet up from the suck [of the sand] and turned back by the mole of boulders. Take all, keep all. My soul walks with me, form of forms. [. . .] The flood is following me. I can watch it flow past from here.
(Ulysses iii; Joyce 1993: 37; my emphasis)
Sparknotes.com, Ulysses [online], n/a, http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/ulysses/context.html, 19/04/2016
LORCHER, T. Modernism in Literature: Quick Review [online], 22/03/2015, http://www.brighthubeducation.com/high-school-english-lessons/29453-modernism-in-literature/, 19/04/2016
ATHERTON, J.S. James Augustine Aloysius Joyce [online], 04/07/2015,
Biography.com Editors, Biography of James Joyce [online], n/a, http://www.biography.com/people/james-joyce-9358676#profile, 19/, 19/04/2016
Through the Postmodern Looking Glass.
The Faculty of Translation and Interpretation of Mons.
MERRIMAN C.D. George Orwell [Online], 2006, http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/, 15/03/2016
WOODCOCK G. George Orwell, British author [Online], 24 September 2015, http://www.britannica.com/biography/George-Orwell, 15/03/2016
End of Modernism
KUIPER K. Modernism, [Online] 22/02/2016, http://www.britannica.com/art/Modernism-art, 12/04/2016
RAHN J. Modernism [Online], 2011, http://www.online-literature.com/periods/modernism.php, 12/04/2016
Modernism in Paintings
Artuk.org, Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson, [Online], http://artuk.org/discover/artists/nevinson-christopher-richard-wynne-18891946, 16/04/2016
DUFFY.M, Who’s who- Christopher Nevinson [Online] 22/08/09, http://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/nevinson_christopher.htm, 16/04/2016
Moma.org, What is modern art? [Online], https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/themes/what-is-modern-art, 16/04/2016
Tate.org.uk, Christopher Richard Wynne, La Mitrailleuse 1915 [Online], http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/nevinson-la-mitrailleuse-n03177, 16/04/2016
Tate.org.uk, Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson [Online],
Theartstory.org, Surrealism, [Online], http://www.theartstory.org/movement-surrealism.htm, 16/04/2016
Biography.com, Aldous Huxley [Online], n/a, http://www.biography.com/people/aldous-huxley-9348198#synopsis, 16/04/2016
HIGGINS, C., Regina HIGGINS, and WARREN Paul, Cliffnotes on Brave New World [Online], n/a, http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/b/brave-new-world/aldous-huxley-biography, 16/04/2016
PEARCE D., Brave New World: A Defence of Paradise-Engineering [Online], 1998 (updated 2015), http://www.huxley.net/, 16/04/2016
Sparknotes Editors, Sparknote on Brave New World [Online], 2002, http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/bravenew/, 16/04/2016
The Sensual World
Who is Kate Bush?
Inspired by the “Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy” in James Joyce's Ulysses
Repetition of the word "yes"
First version : “The Sensual World” (1989)
Second version : “Flower of the Mountain” (2011)
Then I'd taken the kiss of seedcake back from his mouth
Going deep South, go down, mmh, yes,
Took six big wheels and rolled our bodies
Off of Howth Head and into the flesh, mmh, yes,
He said I was a flower of the mountain, yes,
But now I've powers o'er a woman's body, yes.
Stepping out of the page into the sensual world.
To where the water and the earth caress
And the down of a peach says mmh, yes,
Do I look for those millionaires
Like a Machiavellian girl would
When I could wear a sunset? mmh, yes,
"O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens
and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain
when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red
and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again
and then he asked me would I
my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him
and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and
“Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy” in James Joyce's
BERTINETTI, P. English Literature. A Short History, Turin: Einaudi, 2010
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, Bloomsbury Group [online], 06/11/2013, http://www.britannica.com/topic/Bloomsbury-group, 18/03/2016
CLARKE, S.N. & VWSGB 2000. Virginia Woolf: A Short Bibliography [online], http://www.virginiawoolfsociety.co.uk/vw_res.biography.htm, 18/03/2016
MCCRUM R. The 100 best novels: No 50 – Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925) [online], 01/11/2014, http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/01/100-best-novels-mrs-dalloway-virginia-woolf-robert-mccrum, 18/03/2016
Sparknotes.com, Virginia Woolf [online], n/a, http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/dalloway/, 18/03/2016
Biography.com Editors, D.H. Lawrence Biography [Online], n/a, http://www.biography.com/people/dh-lawrence-17175776#death-and-legacy, 17/04/2016
BLACK M.H. D.H. Lawrence English writer [Online], 22/04/2015, http://www.britannica.com/biography/D-H-Lawrence, 17/04/2016
Judy Berman, Nerdy Mixtape: Songs Inspired by Modernist Literature [Online], 16/06/2010, http://flavorwire.com/99441/nerdy-mixtape-songs-inspired-by-modernist-literature, 14/04/2016
SCHWITTEK, D. The top three Kate Bush of all time : a love letter (2 of 3), [Online], 05/05/2014, https://oldschoolrecordreview.com/2014/05/05/the-top-3-kate-bush-albums-of-all-time-a-love-letter-2-of-3/, 14/04/2016
Kate Bush - The Sensual World - Official Music Video, [Online], 29/12/2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1DDndY0FL, 14/04/2016
BBC Editors, Music Timeline - Modernism, [Online], http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/classical/onmusic/music_modernism.shtml 14/04/2016
New World Encyclopedia writers, [Online], 11/11/2014, http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Modernism 14/04/2016
THE GREAT WAR
THE BLOOMSBURY GROUP
Meeting at Garsington Manor: Lady Ottoline Morrell, Aldous Huxley, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell
Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf - A Room of One's Own
E.M. Forster - Maurice
Example: The Great Gatsby by F.S Fitzgerald:
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." […] And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, come to the admission that it has a limit.” (Fitzgerald, 1925, p. 1)
The Sensual World
Modernism in music
artists who rebelled against nineteenth-century academic and historicist traditions
= period of change and development in musical language
Change of the traditional harmony to realise ever more subtle or extreme shades of emotion
Began to merge with consumer culture after World War II, especially during the 1960s
Youth sub-culture called itself Moderns / Mods
The Who, The Kinks, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, the Beatles
Combined popular musical traditions with Modernist verse, adopting literary devices derived from Eliot, Apollinaire, and others
United States during the 1920s, the “Jazz Age”
Jazz began to be played by British musicians from the 1930s, often within dance bands
From the late 1940s British "modern jazz", was influenced by American bebop
Look Back in Anger
DAVIS, Lane/Chazelle, Damien, Look Back in Anger Study Guide [online], 30/06/2010, http://www.gradesaver.com/look-back-in-anger, 20/04/2016
DAVIS, Lane/Chazelle, Damien, Look Back in Anger The Kitchen Sink Drama: Perspectives and Criticism [online], http://www.gradesaver.com/look-back-in-anger/study-guide/the-kitchen-sink-drama-perspectives-and-criticism, 20/04/2016
Sir Allen Lane 1935
True or false?
1. Modernism was a reaction against Romanticism.
2. George Orwell was Aldous Huxley's mentor.
3. There are 20 different movements in modernist painting.
was written by Aldous Huxley.
5. The Bloomsbury Group was a group of intellectuals that met in the Bloomsbury district of London to discuss aesthetic and philosophical questions.
6. There is a clear reference to Homer's
by James Joyce.
7. James Joyce was British.
8. The modernists never made any sexual references in their work.
9. Virginia Woolf wrote
To the Lighthouse
10. In Nevinson's paintings red represents death.
Thanks for you attention!
And how we'd wished to live in the sensual world
You don't need words--just one kiss, then another.
Stepping out of the page into the sensual world
Stepping out, off the page, into the sensual world.
And then our arrows of desire rewrite the speech, mmh, yes,
And then he whispered would I, mmh, yes,
Be safe, mmh, yes, from mountain flowers?
And at first with the charm around him, mmh, yes,
He loosened it so if it slipped between my breasts
He'd rescue it, mmh, yes,
And his spark took life in my hand and, mmh, yes,
I said, mmh, yes,
But not yet, mmh, yes,