The synthetic perspective of modernismShow full item record
|The synthetic perspective of modernism
|Doctor of Philosophy
|Modern literature, literature of the Twentieth Century, is not founded upon any new literary tradition, but rather upon the merging of two powerful literary movements, Romanticism and Realism. From the Romantic tradition, modern writers appropriated the simple grandeur and dignity of all worldly creation. The works of Wallace Stevens, D. H. Lawrence, and James Dickey testify to the Romantic assumption that the world is fecundly endowed with value and worth and is deserving of exploration by the inquiring mind of man. From the Realists, modern writers adopted the recognition of the other reality, the crass, brutal, and violent one, which held human misery as an unavoidable imperative of life in the modern world. The devastating disillusionment caused by World War I, the death of the American Dream, and the stultifying experiences of life in urban areas negatively affected the aspiring spirit of Romantic modern man. The view of war, expressed by the British trench poets, of the demise of genteel values in modern America, pondered by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Norman Mailer, and of urban living, considered by William Carlos Williams and Philip Larkin, confirm the necessities of a Realistic appraisal of modern life. From these two traditions and their most widely manifested forms, Symbolism and Naturalism, the moderns formed an alternative perspective. Upon the exhortation by Pound to "make it new," modern writers synthesized the earlier traditions into a new movement, one which blended the worthy components of the past into an inventive new viewpoint. Technically speaking, neologisms, peculiar enjambment and rhythms, and the mixing of languages highlighted this synthesis. The fiction of James Joyce seems to best embody this new perspective; his Ulysses unifies both the Romantic and Realistic viewpoints into an organic piece of imaginative writing which displays the modern concern for language and rhythm. As a celebration of modern life, the modernistic movement seems to have been widely adopted for it best expresses the transformation of man into the modern era.
|Vanderwerken, David L.
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- Doctoral Dissertations