Modernist WritersWriters of Modernism
That does not mean that modernist writing is unavailable, as its fame suggests. When you think about it, we are reading the whole bibliography, understanding all languages, only partially: we miss reference, we do not grasp the irony in every confer. In modern ist often modern literary practice, the limits of speech as a means of communicating are at the forefront: many of its characters wonder how best to communicate: think of Eliot's Prufrock in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", Joyce's Stephen in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dorothy Richardson's Miriam in Pilgrimage or Virginia Woolf's Bernard in The Waves.
Dealing with this issue, the authors of modernism not only reflect on their own battle for a convincing work of artwork, but also examine how effective speech is in communicating our societal and policy experience. What is'modernism'? It is a concept that can only, really, mean timeliness, but when we use it to speak about English literary, we usually mean a move or a time span that lies in the past.
When you take a course in modernist writing at college or college, you will probably study writers who began their career between 1908 and 1930 - like the ones I have cited before. There are certainly not everyone who would accept that modernity is an early 20th c. movement: there are certainly modern writers who would describe themselves as'modernist or'neo-modernist'.
When modernity cannot be bound safely to a time, can it be interpreted as a form of time? The works of the authors most closely associated with the modernist movement - such as Eliot, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf - seem to have some things in common: an interest in the town and not the countryside, a love of the inner lives of people, and, as I have already indicated, an interest in experimentation with new ways of dealing with speech and literature.
Yeats' poetic work is about the town, for example some of D.H. Lawrence's novel, which experiment with novel isticity. Moreover, "Modernism" was not a concept that these writers used to describe their own writing: it was only circulated in the end of the 1920' when it was used in an influential way by the writers Laura Riding and Robert Graves in A Survey of Modernist Work ("Poetry", 1927).
Modernism " is a concept that says more about the wish of the 20th and twenty-first centuries to categorize and prioritize certain types of literary work than about the literary world itself. It is a kind of promotional trick that strengthens the virtues that influenced writers and writers wanted to combine with their own work and their admiration - in his renowned 1919 essays "Tradition and the Individual Talent", for example, T.S. Eliot raised a strong demand for "impersonality" as a characteristic of good modernism. This resulted in some very tense reads of modernist works such as Ezra Pound's Cantos, which contain much autography and "personality".
It is interesting, and not by chance, that the concept of "modernism" now has more money than ever before, with more and more textbooks using the name " modernism ", while at the same token the critic is more skeptical about its use. Several of the most interesting researches in the area of early 20th c. writing break the borders between writers who were considered traditional modernists and those who were kept out of the modernist canons.
A possibility is the reading of early 20th c. literature magazines, which shows which authors were edited together and how they were used. Take a look at Faith Bincke's article on this page (below), which has more to say on the topic, and you can even view online copies of early 20th c. magazines from the Modernist Magazines Project, De Montfort University, and the Modernist Journal Project, Brown University and University of Tulsa.
It is a intriguing way to reflect on how'modern' the writers we now call modernists were, and a way of identifying some'great writers' has wrongly overlooked.