The main feature – subjectivity & self-interest. Modernist aesthetics was formed under the influence of French symbolist poets :
Their aim was to capture the most perishable of personal experience in open-ended & essentially private symbols, to express the inexpressible, to express the slightest movements of the soul, or at least evoke it subtly if not express, create the atmosphere of the soul. The symbolist concentration upon single moments of individual perception. Life in their reproduction was reduced to small fragments of experience. This fragmentation influenced not only composition of the work but also the character. The character was disassembled in fragmentary pieces & these pieces of human character were not held together by any theory of human type, like a collagé, juxtaposition – all transitions are removed. You just put the fragments together. The widely used technique “stream of consciousness” takes the form from a fluid associations, often illogical moment to moment sequence of ideas, feelings & impressions of a single mind. Traditional literary forms & genres merged & overlapped. The introduction of poetry into prose became possible, imagery characteristic of poetry – into prosaic text. The forms of the past were also employed but to produce the satirical effect.
An equally important principle – “the stream of unconsciousness” – the use of irrational logic of dreams & fantasies, denies ordinary logic (“exhausted rationality”). They employed the shadowy structure of dream. The idea “time & space” didn’t exist & the imagination was only slightly grounded in reality but generally it created new patterns by combining previous experiences, etc.
The authors employed myth very much as a kind of collective dream. Modernist’s myth was stripped of its religious & magical associations. Joyce’s “Ulysses” is based on the ground of Homer’s ”Odyssey”. Eliot said: “In using the myth, in manipulating the contentious parallel between contemporaniety & antiquity Mr. Joyce is pursuing the method which others must persue after him. It is simply a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape & significance to an immense panorama of futility & anarchy which is contemporary history”. Myth is the way of organizing history. The writers’ quest for order lead to their preoccupation with the artist himself & with the artistic process. The imaginary character stood for the author himself:
Marsel Proust “Remembrance of the Things Past”
Lawrence “Sons & Lovers”
Joyce “The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”
We can’t say that the artist became modernists’ hero. Not all writers of that period were modernists. There was the co-existence of different styles.
James Joyce (1882 – 1941)
He was born in Ireland (Dublin). Although he spent many years not in Ireland he is considered one of Irish writers. Primarily he wrote about himself, transforming his experiences in his books, & relatives & friends – into symbols. His works are said to be “expansive & inclusive”. Expansive – because he gave a very wide panorama of Dublin life at the turn of the century, inclusive – because his works seemed to include all the human history. These novels still are the stories & novels about life in general.
He started to attend an expensive private boarding school but his father became bankrupt & he continued his education at home. Then he attended “University College” in Dublin. He read very much & began to write seriously. He produced critical articles, essays but also poems & notebooks of epiphanies (theological term – an intense moment in a human life when the truth of a person or some thing is being revealed). He studied in Paris, then returned to Ireland & in 1904 left it. He lived in different places in Europe. First, he earned money by giving English lessons. In 1905 he submitted to the publisher his first version of the collection of stories “Dubliners”. But it was repeatedly rejected & even after acceptance it was subjected to severe censorship for sexual frankness & use of obscenities & use of real names & places. This collection consists of 15 stories devoted to childhood, mature life & public life. All are unified by the theme of person’s loneliness & hopelessness. Joyce describes life with all naturalistic details. Everything suggests that life is dead. All the stories explore the paralysis of Irish life. The most famous stories are “Araby” & “The Dead ”. The stories are arranged in successive sequences – childhood, adolescence, mature & public life. Mood is gloomy, imagery is dark & malignant. People are incurably lonely, their hopes are doomed to disappointment & frustration.
Ðåôåðàò îïóáëèêîâàí: 31/01/2010