2Phases of Modernism Early Avant-garde (Dadaism, Surrealism, Cubism)High1920 – 1929 Modernist Classics (Ulysses, The Waste Land, Manhattan Transfer,The Great Gatsby, Cane), Experimenalism, Minimalism, Black modernismThirties – 1940 Socialist realism, proletarian novel, black modernismLate Modernism: modernism is canonizedPost-Modernism s radicalization of modernism or break with high modernism
7Watershed date in American art The Armory Show 1913Watershed date in American artIntroduced astonished New Yorkers to modernismTeddy Roosevelt said, “That’s not art!”“In 1913, a single exhibition changed the face of American art forever. The International Exhibition of Modern Art, known as the Armory Show,endeavored to combine the newest and most striking examples of European art with their American counterparts in a magnificent, unparalleled show.“
8Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, 1912
9"Take the picture which for some reason is called 'A Naked Man Going Down Stairs'. There is in my bathroom a really good Navajo rug which, on any proper interpretation of the Cubist theory, is a far more satisfactory and decorative picture and from the standpoint of decorative value, of sincerity, and of artistic merit, the Navajo rug is infinitely ahead of the picture."(Theodore Roosevelt )
11John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) Mrs Knowles and her Children, 1902
12The Blue Nude (Souvenir de Biskra), 1907 Henri Matisse,The Blue Nude (Souvenir de Biskra), 1907oil, 36 1/4 x 55 1/8.
13Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (Nu descendant un escalier), 1912 Marcel Duchamp,Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2(Nu descendant un escalier), 1912oil, 58 x 35.
14"Duchamp’s Nude creates an atmosphere of release, color release, release fromstereotyped forms, trite subjects. I (WilliamCarlos Williams) laughed out loud when I firstsaw it, happily, with relief."(Williams 134).
15Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d‘Avignon, 1907 The Birth of Modernism
18In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd;Petals on a wet, black bough.Ezra Pound, 1913
19The Red Wheelbarrowso much dependsupona red wheelbarrowglazed with rainwaterbeside the whitechickens. William Carlos Williams, 1923
20Ta ta ppin g toe hip popot amus Back gen teel-ly lugu bri ous eyes LOOPTHELOOPasfathandsbangragE.E.Cummings, 1923
21Harlem What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?Or fester like a sore—And then run?Does it stink like rotten meat?Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet?Maybe it just sagslike a heavy load.Or does it explode?Langston Hughes, 1951
22T.S. Eliot: “These fragments that I have shored up against my ruins” “The fragments are fragments from the literature of thepast. Eliot contrasted the wholeness of past eras in ourheritage with what he saw as the fracturing of feeling,sensibility and belief in his own day, the 1920s, a time of public and, for Eliot himself, personal collapse.“(Excerpt from The Great Books by Anthony O'Hear)
23What is Modernism? A Dictionary Definition: "a general term applied retrospectively to the wide range of experimental and avant-garde trends in the literature (and other arts) of the early 20th century.... Modernist literature is characterized chiefly by a rejection of 19th-cent traditions and the conventions of realism ... (e.g. traditional meter). Modernist writers tended to see themselves as an avant-garde disengaged from bourgeois values, and disturbed their readers by adopting complex and difficult new forms and styles. In fiction, the accepted continuity of chrono-logical development was upset…. In poetry, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot replaced the logical exposition of thoughts with collages of fragmentary images and complex allusions. Modernist writing is predominantly cosmopolitan, and often expresses a sense of urban cultural dislocation, along with an awareness of new anthropological and psychological theories. Its favoured techniques of juxtaposition and multiple point of view challenge the reader to reestablish a coherence of meaning from fragmentary forms.”The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, 1991
24What is Modernism?International tendency in the arts (literature, music, architecture, film, dance…)Rejection of tradition, Anti-VictorianExperimental, fragmented, non-representational, anti-realistNew narrative techniques: stream of consciousness, interior monologueThemes: psychological, self-alienation,-realisation, emancipation, tries to represent human subjectivityGoals: Make art more vivid & authenticEffect on the reader: challenging, unsettling, disturbing
28Scientific Revolution Albert Einstein’s Principle of UncertaintyIn quantum mechanics: increasing the accuracy of measurement of one observable quantity increases the uncertainty with which another may be knownQuantum theoryExplains the nature of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level
30Modernity & Film Kinetoscope 1893-95 Thomas Edison in 1891 patent; 1893 demo of 35mm filmAndrew Holland opened 1st peep-show parlor on Broadway April 1894, with Kinetoscopes for individual viewers; 25 cents for 16-second film viewed individuallyVaudeville TheatersLouis and Auguste Lumiere in Paris 1895 Edison purchased rights to the Vitascope 1896Nickelodeonurban working-class storefront theaters showing movies for 10 cent.Edwin S. Porter's photoplay The Great Train Robbery,1903. The 300 vaudeville theaters offered a variety of entertainment for 50 centsby 1910, 26 mill. attended 10,000 movie theaters each week for 10 cents.Rise of Classical Hollywood Narrative Film
32Modernism = W – worldly MODERNITY M – metropolitan D – democratic stylistic personal emancipationsexual
33Characteristics of Modernism in Literature Meaning comes from the individual’s perspective and is personalized;A single story might be told from the perspective of several different people, with the assumption that the “truth” is somewhere in the middle - relativism
34Inner psychological reality or “interiority” is represented Stream of consciousness—portraying the character’s inner monologue
35Characteristics of Modernism in Literature No longer seen as transparent, allowing us to “see through” to reality;But now considered the way an individual constructs reality;Language is “thick” with multiple meanings and varied connotative forces.
36Characteristics of Modernism in Literature Emphasis on the ExperimentalArt is artifact rather than reality;Organized non-sequentiallyExperience portrayed as layered, allusive, discontinuous, using fragmentation and juxtaposition.Ambiguous endings—open endings which are seen as more representative of reality.