The age of anxiety

A sort of continuity with Edwardian age, but there are some differences. The system of the Victorian values comes to an end, crumbles dramatically under the impact of some blows

1) Historical
WWI- a million British soldiers died--> impact: emptiness, anger, direness became the subject matter of poetry--> war poets
Dissolution of the empire into the Commonwealth

2) Philosophical
Freud- "The interpretations of dreams" 1900
New investigation of the unconscious, the power of the mind. This challenges the Victorian features of duty/ behavior. This will have an impact in novel writing, now the focus is on the mind, not just on the soul.(es. Virginia Woolf, Joyce)

William James- "Principles of Psychology"
Idea of consciousness, the idea that it flows--> the stream of consciousness
Free association of ideas and the flacks of thoughts.

Bergson
He makes differences of different ideas of time:
• External - historical, chronological development of events.
• Internal - psychological, measured by the emotional intensity of a moment, the time of the mind.

3) Scientific
Einstein - theory of relativity
Cinema/ photography


Modernism
-powerful international movement (not just in London, also overseas)
Definition--> spirit of revolt, innovation, experimentation in all artistic fields, a radical remaking of all arts that went on in America and in Europe in the years following 1914.

Modern Literature
Innovation- idea of new
Tradition- it's risky, why? Many artists started to want to break it. The writers liked it because it was controversial.
Eliot believed that tradition and innovations are connected, interlined.
Cosmopolitan- spread out, up to America.

Modern Poetry (chart on the book)
Importance of musicality of words.

• Georgian
• Imagism
• Symbolism
• 1930s
• 1940s

• Free Verse
Rejection of the conventional patterns of traditional poetry
• No more traditional Meter (blend of the verse)
• No rhymes, compensated with alliterations, assonance and the musicality of words
• Flexibility in the length of the line

Modern Novel
"No poet, no artist of all arts, has his complete meaning alone" Elliot's Idea of tradition
"Tradition is not a load we drag alone with us", you have to labour.

Before: Victorian novel (18th/19th century)
-omniscient narrator
- chronological development of events

- Social world focus
- Little psychological analysis


Shift: transformation of British society, war cancels all the certainties. New social and psychological investigations.
From Society to man' sinner world: attempt to rediscover the unique experience of the individual by exploring their inner world, their consciousness.

Main influences that contributed to the development of modern novel: Bergson + Freud

New features
No omniscient narrator--> it's multiple
The point of view shifted to the internal one
New technique: interior monologues. It is used to depict the stream of consciousness.
Direct interior monologue:
- the most revolutionary one, because it was taken to extreme by Joyce.
- flow of thoughts is free
- Narration takes place in the mind of the character
- How? Breaking down the syntax
Indirect interior monologue
- anonymous/third person narrator (free indirect speech) that filters the character's thought

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