th 20 Century Revolutions in Art and Literature General Mood of the Period WW I and WW II caused widespread destruction and disillusionment in Europe Attitudes of artists changed – a surge of creativity comes with a rejection of the art, music, and literature of the previous century World War I During WWI warfare changes drastically Gas warfare Massive casualties Machine guns Trench Warfare World War II Europe struggles to recover after WW I Many begin to question Europe’s right to colonize distant lands Poverty forces many to political extremes Fascist dictators take power – most notably in Germany WW II is an even more destructive war that rages throughout Europe, northern Africa, China and Japan Notable Artists Pablo Picasso Created a new style of painting called “cubism.” Objects are viewed from different perspectives simultaneously How does this change the artist’s message? “It isn’t up to the painter to define the symbols. Otherwise it would be better if he wrote them out in so many words! The public who look at the picture must interpret the symbols as they understand them.”[ Notable Artists Igor Stravinsky Ballet The Rite of Spring used harsh sounds, discord, and primitive rhythms Different from anything ever heard before. Listen to the two examples. How would you react? Notable Artists Ezra Pound Founded a literary movement called “Imagism,” which rejected the wordiness and poetic diction of late 19th cent. poetry Imagism IN A STATION OF THE METRO The apparition of these faces in the crowd ; Petals on a wet, black bough. Modernism Emphasis on “impressionistic” writing that strays from traditional forms of narration. Moves away from objective narration with clear moral positions. Laments a fragmented view of human subjectivity, but still holds that art can provide a sense of unity, coherence, and meaning. No one perception of reality is correct, but we can look to art for some degree of comfort Postmodernism No comfort to be found in art. Takes the ideas of modernism even further. Important Terms Impressionism – Recreation of an experience without interpreting or moralizing Symbolism – The use of objects or people to represent larger concepts New Classicism – Fashioning of new literature from the most vital elements of the past. Katherine Mansfield Impressionistic writer – less concerned with elements of plot, complication, conflict, and climax than with creating an impression of character, mood, and situation. Traditional Plot Mansfield Does away with many of the formal conventions of the short story (such as the introduction) to produce a more subtle art form Made use of “significant detail” or symbolic objects and gestures, and carefully rendered dialogue Frequently shifts from present to past Suggests that the coincidences and the unchangeable personalities of characters make up reality Virginia Woolf Like many modernist writers, Woolf is more interested in the way life becomes fiction than in depicting life in fiction. Woolf shows how we each sift through impressions of reality in an attempt to make sense of the world. Ultimately, we each have our own unique impressions of the world. A Room of One’s Own Woolf invents the character of “Shakespeare’s sister.” A woman with the same level of genius as Shakespeare would lack the physical and emotional space in which to create. Repressing creative urges in order to become a wife and mother would ultimately lead Shakespeare’s sister to a state of misery. In the end, she would kill herself in despair. Joseph Conrad Fiction often takes place in far away and exotic locations Examines issues of race and colonialism Controversy: Is Conrad Racist? European narrators of Heart of Darkness and “The Lagoon” view natives as primitive and even monstrous Questionable as to whether Conrad’s fiction indicates the existence of white racial superiority Conrad also shows the disastrous effects of colonialism and slave trade on both natives and Europeans What do I Look for in This Story? Imagery and symbolism Mood Motif Shift in point of view Structure Theme Character development D.H. Lawrence Conflict in “The Rocking Horse Winner” has clear autobiographical overtones. Lawrence’s mother sought to elevate her son by instilling in him artistic and intellectual aspirations. Thought that his mother tried to create in her son everything that her husband was not. The polarities in Lawrence’s upbringing created the sense of conflict in his stories. Background on “The Rocking Horse Winner” Lawrence condemned materialism and commercialism as destructive forces which freeze the heart and eliminate the spontaneity from life. www.sleepytales.com/play.php?vid=111 Structure of the Story Lawrence uses elements of the fairy tale, social satire, and psychological study to criticize the values of the upper-middle class. He presents a demented version of “Rumpelstilskin.” Unlike the girl in this story, no gnome shows up to save Paul from his duty of generating wealth. However, it is still the calling out of a name that ultimately resolves the conflict. Freudian Theory Conscious Mind – What you are aware of at any particular moment, your perceptions, memories, thoughts, and feelings. Preconscious – The memories you are not at the moment thinking about but can easily bring to mind. Unconscious – All things that are not easily available to our awareness (drives, instincts, repressed memories). Oedipal Complex The first “love-object” for all of us is our mother. We want her affection; she is at the center of our attention. A young boy eventually develops a sense of rivalry with his father. The boy eventually redirects desire for affection to other girls and then women. If this process is disrupted, it can send one into an “Oedipal Crisis.” This is what seems to be happening with Paul. James Joyce "I believe that in composing my chapter of moral history in exactly the way I have composed it I have taken the first step towards the spiritual liberation of my country.“ “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.” “Araby” One of three stories in Dubliners that features a first person narration and a child as the protagonist. Children in all three stories are victims of a more corrupt adult world. The narrator of “Araby” has idealized notions of romantic love when he goes on a “quest” for his “lady in waiting.” When he sees the Araby for what it is, he can no longer believe in such fantasies. Like all stories in Dubliners, “Araby” contains an epiphany – a moment when a character comes to a painful understanding about existence. Important Symbols in “Araby” The booth acts as a reverse confessional in that the narrator leaves it more aware of sin and therefore more corrupt. Coin acts as a pitiful reminder of the narrator’s foolishness. It is the object he stares at when he has an epiphany about his own corrupt and ridiculous nature.