Modernism and Post-modern literature

Modernism and Post-modern literature

  1. Read the text and find the answers to the following questions:

· What were the factors that brought about Modernism?

· What Modernist poets and novelists can you name?

· Why is Ezra Pound considered to be so important in the development of the Modernist movement?

· How can you characterize Postmodernist literature?


The movement known as English literary modernism grew out of a general sense of disillusionment with Victorian era attitudes of certainty, conservatism, and objective truth. The movement was greatly influenced by the ideas of Romanticism, Karl Marx's political writings, and the psychoanalytic theories of subconscious - Sigmund Freud. The continental art movements of Modernism and Post-modern literature Impressionism, and later Cubism, were also important inspirations for modernist writers.

The first decades of the twentieth century saw several major works of modernism published, including the seminal short story collection Dubliners by James Joyce, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and the poetry and drama of William Butler Yeats.

Important novelists between the World Wars included Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, P.G. Wodehouse and T. S. Eliot was the preeminent English poet of the period. Across the Atlantic writers like William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and the poets Wallace Stevens and Robert Frost developed a Modernism and Post-modern literature more American take on the modernist aesthetic in their work.

Perhaps the most important figure in the development of the modernist movement was the American poet Ezra Pound. Credited with "discovering" both T. S. Eliot and James Joyce, whose novel Ulysses written in the style of stream of consciousness is considered to be one of the century's greatest literary achievements, Pound also advanced the cause of imagism and free verse, forms which would dominate English poetry into the twenty-first century.

Gertrude Stein, an American expat, was also an enormous literary force during this time period, famous for her line "Rose Modernism and Post-modern literature is a rose is a rose is a rose."

The term Post-modern literature is used to describe certain tendencies in post-World War II literature. It is both a continuation of the experimentation championed by writers of the modernist period (relying heavily, for example, on fragmentation, paradox, questionable narrators, etc.) and a reaction against Enlightenment ideas implicit in Modernist literature. Postmodern literature, like postmodernism as a whole, is difficult to define and there is little agreement on the exact characteristics, scope, and importance of postmodern literature. Among post-modern writers one can name Henry Miller Modernism and Post-modern literature, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote, Thomas Pynchon.

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seminal – продуктивный, содержащий плодотворные идеи

preeminent – исключительный, превосходящий других

expat – экспат (человек, добровольно покинувший родину, и долгое время живущий

за границей), эмигрант

Enlightenment – эпоха Просвещения

  1. Look through the text again and find words and constructions you may use in your professional discourse (scientific terms etc.). Translate and memorize them.
  2. Find the transcription of the following words and practise pronouncing them: disillusionment, psychoanalytic, subconscious.
  3. Decide whether the following statements are true or false according to the text:

· White verse is the dominant form of the 21 century English poetry.

· Modernist literature shared many Modernism and Post-modern literature Enlightenment ideas.

· Postmodernism comprises versatile features and trends.


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Документ Modernism and Post-modern literature