Modernism

Modernism
Modernism is the generally accepted term to describe the sweeping changes that took place, particularly in the arts and literature, between the late nineteenth century and the beginning of the Second World War. There is, however, no clear demarcation by date, and although the term post-modern is increasingly used to describe changes since the Second World War, there are some who argue Modernism persists, and others who see its demise as having occurred much earlier. Roland Barthes, a French semiologist , defined Modernism as the pluralization of world-views deriving from the evolution of new classes, technology, and communications that were gathering momentum in the mid-nineteenth century, while the English novelist and essayist Virginia Woolf regarded it as a historic opportunity for change in human relationships and the human character.
Although there is little unanimity as to when it began or exactly what its characteristics were, stylistically Modernism is usually depicted as a movement towards sophistication, mannerism, introversion, technical display, internal self-scepticism, and as a reaction against Victorian realism. Friedrich Nietzsche , often regarded as one of the first modernists because of his proclamation that ‘no artist tolerates reality’, argued that the aim of art should be its own self-realization, and that art itself makes life. His emphases on the individual and the drama of the artist's own consciousness were influential in a number of ways for the development of Mofernism, as were Sigmund Freud's theories of the unconscious, and the importance he placed on sexuality.
Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Symbolism, Imagism, Voriticism, Dadaism, and Surrealism: all of these movements sprung from what is generally called Modernism, and all were, to varying degrees, subversive of the realist or romantic impulse and disposed towards abstraction. In music, Modernism was characterized by atonalism, in poetry by vers libre, in fiction by stream of consciousness writing, while in architecture it is associated with functionalism. But Modernism was not just a movement associated with the arts. Rather, it was a broad intellectual movement affecting, and affected by, technological, political, and ideological changes and developments of the time. Einstein's theory of relativity, the discovery of X-rays, the beginning of the mass production of cars, and, crucially, shattering new developments in warfare during the First World War, all led to generalized traits of crisis, fragmentation, and introversion which can be seen as affecting all realms of culture and society at the time, and arguably still resonate at the end of the twentieth century.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • Modernism — • Etymologically, modernism means an exaggerated love of what is modern, an infatuation for modern ideas Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Modernism     Modernism      …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Modernism — Mod ern*ism, n. 1. Modern practice; a thing of recent date; esp., a modern usage or mode of expression. [1913 Webster] 2. Certain methods and tendencies which, in Biblical questions, apologetics, and the theory of dogma, in the endeavor to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • MODERNISM —    Modernism (modanizumu) manifested itself first in Europe, with notable modernist writers, such as James Joyce and T. S. Eliot. Its influence was quickly felt in Japan by such writers as Yokomitsu Riichi, Kawabata Yasunari, Hori Tatsuo, Ito Sei …   Japanese literature and theater

  • modernism — (n.) 1737, deviation from the ancient and classical manner [Johnson, who calls it a word invented by Swift ], from MODERN (Cf. modern) + ISM (Cf. ism). From 1830 as modern ways and styles. Used in theology since 1901. As a movement in the arts… …   Etymology dictionary

  • modernism — ► NOUN 1) modern ideas, methods, or styles. 2) a movement in the arts or religion that aims to break with traditional forms or ideas. DERIVATIVES modernist noun & adjective modernistic adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • modernism — [mäd′ərn iz΄əm] n. 1. a) modern practices, trends, ideas, etc., or sympathy with any of these b) an instance of this; a modern idiom, practice, or usage 2. [often M ] any of several movements variously attempting to redefine Biblical and… …   English World dictionary

  • Modernism — For other uses of the word, see Modernism (disambiguation). For the period in sociology beginning with the industrialization, see Modernity. Hans Hofmann, The Gate , 1959–1960, collection: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Hofmann was renowned not… …   Wikipedia

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