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Modernist Literature


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A sensual image that is suggestive of some higher meaning
The description of a sense impressions (see, touch, smell) but in terms of another seemingly inappropriate sense e.g. "a deafening yellow"
Associated w/ Symbolism
Writing that seeks to capture fleeting impressions of characters, settings and events, depicted subjectively as they appear trough the writer. Belief that individual's subjective impression is legitimate artistic subjective
"Roughness of the Eye"
From Pater's "The Renaissance," the roughness of the eye is a definition of impressionism, and the sense that it is the person's impression of images, events and characters
Epistemological Pessimism
The theory that the world is so complex therefore the theories we have about the world can never be valid/correct; therefore, we never understand the world...and our idea's are impermanent anyway.
way of cataloguing sense-data
when you impose a concept on sense-data
Epistemological Optimism
Forward thinking attitude towards how much humans can know
A state of mind when there is no need to act or do anything with uninterpreted sense-data
mind-dependent objects that humans are directly aware of in perception, that have the properties they appear to have
A verbal representation of a visual representation or visual work of art
Spatial Form
An author's reliance on the spacial arrangement, rather than temporal use of words on the page
The appropriateness of form for the content of the poem
Quest Romance
A type of novel narrative whereby the protagonist undertakes a quest out of royalty for someone else, there is usually some trouble in the land, the protagonist's purpose is to meet some take to cure the king, and then the protagonist returns home
Miranda Complex
When women get used as an excuse for colonialism (the women need to be protected from the truth, but not the men)
the study of cultures (foreign) through field-work, trips etc
Modernist Ethnography
A fieldworker preserves in his report all reactions on encountering ethnographic subjects
Stream of Consciousness
Psychology: (William James) refers to the flow of thoughts in the conscious mind; the full range of thoughts that one cam be aware of can form the content of this stream, not just verbal thoughts.

Literature: a literary device which seeks to portray the character/protagonist's POV by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes.

Empirical Psychology
Psychology that avoids introspection, avoids questioning the stream of consciousness, and avoids defining it/knowledgement
A literary movement in poetry, whereby the goal of poems was to attempt to capture a complex (interpenetrated) state of consciousness
Intensive Manifold
A definition for the 'image' Consciousness resides in intensive manifolds; an indivisible multiplicity of sensation and thought
Pound's definition: an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time
Superficial Self
T.E. Hulme's theory; a persons outer self that they describe to others: e.g. "I feel tired, confused"
Fundamental Self
The indescribable self which is only reached at certain moments of tensions where all the states (of consciousness) interpenetrate, and of which no picture or description can be given. (Similar to the Sublime)
Free Indirect Discourse
discourse that is represented, rather than directly related, to the reader; thoughts, statements, and dialogues engaged in by characters are recounted to the reader in a “reportorial” narrative mode
A sudden, spiritual manifestation
A provisional truth, proposed and then tested against experience
The crossing of narrative levels or self-referentiality (typical of the Kuntslerroman) E.g. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Poem written on occasion of a loss, it is supposed to console and heal the wounds
A poem written about loss that refuses consolation
Work of Mourning
Freud's phrase for psychological work involved in getting over a loss
unresolved state of grieving
Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view
Object Correlative
T.S. Eliot: A set of objects; a situation; a chain of events which shall be the formula of a particular emotion
"Mythical Method"
The use of a sustained allusion to a pre-existing story, that points to a continuing parallel between contemporary and antiquity
An indirect reference to a person, event, statement, or theme found in literature, the other arts, myths, religion, or popular culture
Cubism: an artistic composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface, often with unifying lines and colour
"Metaphysical Questioning"
From Greek Meta te physika ("after the things of nature") referring to an idea, doctrine, or posited reality outside of human sense percetion
Pragmatic Turn
As seen in Wallace's "The Latest Freed Man:" when a person decides they're not going to agonize over an intellectual choice any longer
Philosophical movement or system having various forms, but generally stressing practical consequences as constituting the essential criterion in determining meaning, truth, or value
A person's world view
Affirming the status quo - implicitly discouraging social change
"Ideology of Modernism:
This is conservative ideology; a world that isn't interested in challenging the status quo
The world is there for the poet/artist to use to express their own feelings
Socialist Realism
The official approved art for the Soviet Union, its subject matter in art was the workers and the proletariat commonly Communist leaders were inserted into paintings
Social Realism
The realistic depiction in art of contemporary life, as a means of social or political comment, which depicts social and racial injustice, economic hardship...often depicting working class activities as heroic.
A key requirement of Social Realist literature, where there must big a bigger picture, or some greater conquest
A key requirement in social realist literature, where the characters must be both individual (round) and types (flat)
"Concrete Potentiality"
A key requirement in social realist literature where the protagonist must be in struggle with his environment
"Abstract Potentiality"
Potentiality that belongs wholly to the realm of subjectivity; i.e. a person's dreams
New Negro Movement
I.e. The Harlem Renaissance, a literary movement in the 1920s that centered on Harlem and was an early manifestation of black consciousness in the U.S. The movement included writers such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.
a person whose parents are a quadroon and a white person and who is therefore one-eighth black by descent.
Cotton Club
A club that perpetuated colonialism, prominent Harlem Renaissance artists performed in this club but only white people were allowed admittance; it reproduced the racist imagery of the times, jazz musicians expected to create "jungle music" for the female dancers to dance to
A problematic perspective with another culture; the idea that different societies are 'primitive' and need to be colonized, different societies can be at different speeds of modernism
"Tradition and the Individual Talent"
Eliot's essay theorizing that a poet's ancestor's work must be present in their work "not only the best, but the most individual parts of his work may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously" - the illustration of the past penetrating the present
The evocation of something through denying that it's there
"Reflex Speech"
Orwell and Lukác's: The speech of the superficial, speech that has an absence in meaning because of what society/conventions tells us is appropriate.
A literary movement that sought clarity of expression through the use of precise images; it also prized luminous detail and exact diction economy.
A literary/art movement that had a focus on the real world and machines, and the fact that the body exists much less because of machines; it embraces machines and attempted to capture movement in an image
An artistic and poetic movement or style using symbolic images and indirect suggestion to express mystical ideas, emotions, and states of mind; a movement in poetry that emphasized disconnected descriptions of thoughts and feelings

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