Modernist literature facts for kids

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Claude Monet, Water-Lily Pond and Weeping Willow
Modernist literature scholar David Thorburn saw connections between literary style and impressionist painters such as Claude Monet. Modernist writers, like Monet's paintings of water lilies, suggested an awareness of art as art, rejected realistic interpretations of the world and dramatized "a drive towards the abstract".

Modernist literature is the literary form of modernism. It does not mean "modern" in the sense of recent in time.

Literary modernism has its origins in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mainly in Europe and North America. Modernism is characterized by a break with traditional styles of poetry and verse. Modernists experimented with literary form and expression. Ezra Pound's maxim was "Make it new". The horrors of the First World War had an effect. Thinkers such as Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx were influential.

Modernist literature was at its height from 1900 to 1940, and featured such authors as Knut Hamsun, Vladimir Nabokov, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Andrei Bely, W.B. Yeats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, D.H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Gertrude Stein, Samuel Beckett, Menno ter Braak, Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann, Mikhail Bulgakov, Robert Frost and Boris Pasternak.


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