Modernist Literature

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English and American Modernism can be seen as a reaction to the Realist movements of the late nineteenth century. 'Modernism' is a blanket term which encompasses the extensive literary innovations in the first decades of the twentieth century which manifest themselves under the influence of psychoanalysis and other such cultural-historical phenomena.


The period expressed a break from the past, as well as from Western civilization's classical traditions. Modern life was more scientific, faster, more technological and more mechanized.
James Joyce, who has exerted a profound influence on modern literature was born in Dublin and educated in Jesuit schools. His extremely weak eyesight forced him to hear the world more than to see it, and this is reflected both in Joyce's delicate ear for the nuances and cadences of language and in his predominantly auditory imagery. Early in his life he turned his back on both his native city and his childhood religion, and yet wherever he went he carried with him the vision of his home and the emotions of his faith. Joyce with his highly developed sensitivity was responsive to trends and conflicts - social, moral, intellectual, spiritual, and therefore sought new forms, new languages, in which to project these changing ideas. Joyce's early work Dubliners shows the germ of his later development. The strategy of producing a longer and more complicated text by stringing together a series of formally self-contained units is essential not only to the design of Dubliners, where the structural building blocks are short stories, but also to the increasingly complex episodic structures of A Portrait, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.
It should not be misplaced to say that Dubliners i ...
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