Presentation on theme: "Interdisciplinary trend, affecting the visual arts, literature, architecture, the social sciences, philosophy, dance and music More a rebellious state."— Presentation transcript:
Interdisciplinary trend, affecting the visual arts, literature, architecture, the social sciences, philosophy, dance and music More a rebellious state of mind than a distinct style Emerges out of large-scale changes in Western society in the late 19th century and early 20th century
Innovations that gave shape to Modernism Technological and scientific advancements New philosophical perspectives: - the impact of Einsteins theory of relativity - F.H. Bradleys understanding that reality is not absolute - Henri Bergsons conception of élan, and his work on time & consciousness - Freuds work on dreams, the unconscious and sexuality
Modernism implied… The rejection of accepted beliefs and conventions –In organized religion –In science –In social and economic paradigms –In the arts
The Modernist Artist rejected Aristotelian dictum that art should be a mirror of reality developed an art that testifies to all that is unknown, troubling and unpredictable in the self expressed a fascination for the primitive impulses of man Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles dAvignon (1907). Oil on canvas.
Art was not to be judged by the old standard of mimesis, the literal representation of reality Experimentation and the pushing of boundaries defined much of modernist art Modernism epitomized the pursuit of personal and artistic freedom Raoul Hausmann. "Dada Siegt (1920)
Modernism focused on the City Modernists explored the city as a place of alienation and loneliness, but also of possibilities and freedom Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Berlin Street Scene ( ). Oil on canvas.
Modernist works have been defined as… a self-conscious art of high aesthetic value, usually non-representational and non-mimetic. It is an art which turns from realistic and humanistic representations towards a more experimental style in pursuit of a deeper penetration of life (Ray Bradbury, Modernism: A Guide to European Culture, )
Literary modernism Internationalism: The experience of migration marked the modernist movement. Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway lived in Paris; T.S. Eliot in London, James Joyce in Zurich, Trieste and Paris, etc.
Early antecedents Flaubert and Henry James in fiction The avant-garde movements in the visual arts (cubism, futurism, surrealism…) had abolished the conventions that had governed the work of art:
On or about December 1910, human nature changed... (Virginia Woolf "Modern Fiction") (Reference to the end of the Edwardian period, also the first post-impressionist exhibition held in London. Organised by Robert Fry, included works by Gaugin, Cezanne, Matisse, van Gogh, Picasso) It was in 1915 that the old world ended. (D.H. Lawrence, Kangaroo)
Pre-Modern WorldModern World Orderedchaos Hierarchicaldynamic Meaningfulfutile Stableunstable Faithloss of faith Clear sense of identityConfused sense of identity
The impact of WWI on representation If the avant-garde had treated traditional moral and aesthetic values with great suspicion, WWI reduced words such as truthfulness, goodness, progress and rationality to meaningless husks WWI confirmed the modernist perspective that being civilized was merely a veneer that quickly vanishes
Abstract words such as glory, honour, courage or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the number of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates. (Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929)
Modernist literature Suspension of Aristotelian conception of art as imitation of external reality Explorations of reality from unconventional or de-familiarized perspectives Interest in capturing personal impressions and incomplete perceptions, which do not claim to represent any objective truth
Temporality The passage of time, traditionally represented in a linear fashion, changes to capture the fluctuations of the mind Chronological time is often combined with a more subjective representation
Aesthetic values such as clarity and unity of effect lose currency in favor of a style that seeks to represent the disordered and fragmented quality of modern experience Juxtapositions, fragmentation, collage, as well as indirect style and stream of consciousness emerge as central artistic devices
Modernism, which had been a minority taste before the war, came to define the 1920s The Waste Land (1922) as the most prominent poem of modernism, the touchstone of modernist literature
The Waste Land Describes a mood of deep disillusionment stemming from the collective experience of WWI and Eliots personal circumstances It deploys the sense of desolation, of uncertainty, of futility… which is the hallmark of a whole generation. (I.A. Richards)
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images… (T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922)
The Waste Land Recognized as a major statement of modernist poetics in its use of formal techniques The style is marked by hundreds of allusions and quotations from other texts (classic and obscure, high-brow and low-brow) in different languages.
Sources include: The Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, Buddhas Fire Sermon, Ovid, Virgil, Homer, Sappho, Chaucer, Shakespeare, John Donne, Milton, Baudelaire, Sir James Frazers The Golden Bough and Jessie Westons From Ritual to Romance (particularly its study of the wasteland motif in Celtic mythology)
For T.S. Eliot, the function of all these mythological, historical and literary allusions was to create a continuous parallel between the present and antiquity, so as to satirize the present and at the same time give meaning to the panorama of anarchy (Eliots words) which the modern world had become
Significance of the title The title comes from From Ritual to Romance, in which Weston describes a kingdom where the genitals of the king have been wounded. This injury affects the kings fertility as well as the kingdom itself. With its regenerative powers gone, the kingdom has turned into a waste land
Ezra Pound ( ) An American expatriate and a major figure in Anglo-American modernist poetry He was responsible for advancing the literary careers of many writers and poets (James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Ernest Hemingway) He acted as editor in journals that were pivotal in bringing modernist poetry to fruition
Magazines that recognised no taboos
Ezra Pound The founder of Imaginism Imagist poetry was devoted to "clarity of expression through the use of precise visual images" The first tenet of the Imagism "To use the language of common speech, but to employ always the exact word, not the nearly-exact, nor the merely decorative word" minimal designs in poetry
The apparition of these faces in the crowd Petals on a wet, black bough. (Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro, 1913)
H.D. She is known primarily as a poet, but she also wrote novels, memoirs, and essays and did a number of translations from the Greek Her work is consistently innovative and experimental She created a unique voice that sought to bring meaning to the fragmented shards of a war-torn culture
H.D.s most anthologized poem: Whirl up, sea Whirl your pointed pines, splash your great pines on our rocks, hurl your green over us, Cover us with your pools of fir (H.D. Oread, 1914)
Whirl up, sea Whirl your pointed pines, splash your great pines on our rocks, hurl your green over us, Cover us with your pools of fir (H.D. Oread, 1914)
… and another milestone in American modernism
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens (William Carlos Williams, The Red Wheelbarrow, 1923)