48 terms

Modernism in Literature

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Why did Modernism come about?
America was quickly transitioning to an urban world power, so writers and artists felt that new methods of expression were needed to reflect these changing times
What is Modernism? What are some characteristics of the Modernist aesthetic?
New forms of artistic expression arose to symbolize the rapid alteration in society. Some Modernist aesthetics included: The renovation of art, previously sustaining structures of human life (political, social, religious, artistic) had been destroyed or shown up as falsehoods, order and sequence in art did not accurately reflect reality, as well as contraction out of fragments in modernist art.
What was changing in society to which Modernism was a reaction?
Urbanization, industrialization, immigration, African Americans and women being the center of politics
What are the three great literary conflicts of Modernism?
'Art for Art's Sake' vs Political Art, 'High Brow' serious art vs 'Low Brow' popular art, and Tradition vs Authenticity
What are the four major themes of Modernism?
Valorization, Urbanscapes, Breakdown of cultural norms, Alienation
What are some of the 'schools' ('schools'=group of people who share a talent/interest) of Modernist literature and art? (imagism, cubism, surrealism, dada)
Imagism: EzraPound, H.D. [Hilda Doolittle], Amy Lowell, William Carlos Williams
Cubism: Picasso, Duchamp
Surrealism: Dali, Ernst
Dada: Duchamp, Arp
What are some of the characteristics of these schools?
Imagism: Direct treatment of the "thing," whether subjective or objective. To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation
Cubism: Employs an analytical vision based on fragmentation and multiple viewpoints. Attempts to break down nature into basic geometric forms (cubes, rectangles, triangles, etc.)
Surrealism: An artistic movement that displayed vivid dream worlds and fantastic unreal images
Dada: Artistic movement in which artists rejected tradition and produced works that often shocked their viewers. Dadaism stressed the simplicity and importance of life.
Why did so many African-Americans move north to urban areas during the Great Migration?
They migrated to find employment in the urbanized North and escape the poverty/brutal racism of the South
What is the "New Negro?"
"New Negro" embraces "new psychology" and
"new spirit" of the age to 'smash' all of the
racial, social and psychological impediments that
had long obstructed black achievement. Art and literature serve to "uplift the race". Celebrates black dignity, creativity, and identity
According to Harlem Renaissance artists, writers, and intellectuals, what should be the purpose of African-American art during this period?
It explores African-American experience, both past and present, from a Black perspective. Spans spectrum of arts,
culture, and social thought: literature, drama, music, visual arts, dance, history, politics, sociology, philosophy
Modernist vs Traditionalist Poetry
Modernist: Free verse, usually critiques of modern life, Poems do NOT interpret experience, but provide an objective means by which readers can discover what matters.
Traditionalist: Iambic pentameter, had a rhyme scheme, Imagery often focuses on the natural world itself
Iceberg Effect
The writer leaves out certain elements of a story intentionally so the reader can look for a deeper meaning than what meets the eye
Grace Under Pressure
Remaining calm and unemotional even when under stress
Objective correlative
An object, a situation, or a chain of events that serves as the formula for a specific emotion.
Dramatic monologue
A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener. As readers, we overhear the speaker in a dramatic monologue.
Epigraph
A brief quotation found at the beginning of a literary work, reflective of theme.
Free verse
Poetry that does not have a regular meter or rhyme scheme
Robert Frost
Like other modernist poets, he wrote his poems in ways that were new and different when he was writing, at the beginning of the 20th century. But unlike other modernists, Frost also kept some of the traditional aspects of poetry, such as "The Road Not Taken" which does not include many modernist techniques.
Understatement
The presentation of something as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is.
Denotation
The dictionary definition of a word
Connotation
An idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning
Infamy
Evil fame or reputation
Etherized
To render groggy or numb, as if by an anesthetic
Tedious
Tiresome by reason of length, slowness, or dullness; boring
Insidious
Intended to trap or beguile
Presume
To take for granted, assume, or suppose
Digress
To deviate or wander away from the main topic or purpose in writing or speaking
Scuttling
The act of deliberately sinking a ship by allowing water to flow into the hull
Footman
A liveried servant whose duties include admitting visitors and waiting at table
Snicker
To laugh in a suppressed way
Marmalade
Fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water
Deferential
Showing deference; respectful
Politic
Seeming sensible, advisable, and judicious under the circumstances
Meticulous
Taking or showing extreme care about minute details; precise; thorough
Obtuse
Lacking quickness of perception or of intellect
Grotesque
Odd or unnatural in shape, appearance, or character; fantastically ugly or absurd; bizarre
Reproach
Disgrace, discredit, or blame incurred; the cause of disgrace or discredit
Spruce
Neat, dapper
Ineffectual
Futile, powerless, impotent
Communion
interchange of thoughts and emotions; intimate communication; association
Transient
Temporary, not lasting
Wen
A benign tumor of the skin containing fatty material
Wheedling
To try to influence or persuade by smooth, flattering, beguiling words or acts
Langston Hughes
African American poet who described the rich culture of African American life using rhythms influenced by jazz music. He wrote of African American hope and defiance, as well as the culture of Harlem and also had a major impact on the Harlem Renaissance.
Claude McKay
A poet who was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement and wrote the poem "If We Must Die" after the Chicago riot of 1919.
Countee Cullen
He was associated with generation of poets of the Harlem Renaissance. He was an American poet, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist; early innovator for literary art known as jazz poetry; He wrote "Any Human to Another," "Color," and "The Ballad of the Brown Girl;"
Slice of Life
Is a term that describes the type of realistic or naturalistic writing that accurately reflects what life is like. This is done by giving the reader a sample, or slice, of experience.
Why did the modernist movement end?
The Great Depression. People were more concerned with survival and basic necessities rather than art for art's sake.