On Modernism

by Jürgen Klein (Author)
© 2022 Monographs 212 Pages
English Literature & Culture
Series: Britannia, Volume 20

© Peter Lang GmbH, Berlin

ISBN: 978-363-187405-9

Modernism in British arts, literature and philosophy is manifest as a unique thing
around and after 1900. This paradigm shift in all arts and modern science made
traditional beliefs, norms, and social patterns obsolete. Forerunners were 19th-century intellectuals, who favoured a new and lively spiritual culture. A new concept of reality not only changed the view of nature (atomic physics) but also the structure and gist of literature. As the belief in the visible world declined, consciousness and symbolism (surface and depth structures) occupied the focus of attention. Literature became an autonomous field. From artistic subjectivity modernism led the way to crystallizing creations of complex imaginative structures. Simultaneously, neorealism in philosophy and relativity in physics substituted a worn-out mechanistic world picture by a scientific reality reaching far beyond the visible world.