It’s a cultural movement spread in the first two decades of the 20th century not only in Europe but also in the USA. It broke with the past so with the tradition and the key-word is “unconventionality”. This movement develops mainly in painting with Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky and in particular they shared:
- distortion of shapes, so different point of view (Picasso)
- The breaking down with the limitations in space and time so the introduction of new theories about the time (Einstein)
- they preferred the interior monologue so the stream of consciousness and not the objectivity of the reality, but only the analysis of the human mind (Freud)
- the collapse of certainty so the reality presented is no more objective but subjective
The modern novel broke up with the past so with the traditional novel and the main features are:
- The narrator is unobtrusive so characters introduced themselves
- the lack of plot, so it deals only with the characters’ mind with thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations, and as a result we have the birth of a psychological novel

- we have a new concept of time, before we have past, present and future but now we have a mix of past, present and future with flashback and flash for award. Also the time isn’t anymore chronological, ordered, measured by the clock and objective but is only subjective
- we can find the interior monologue that is the verbal expression of the stream of consciousness (a psychic phenomenon, these words are introduced for the first time by William James, an American psychologist, that wanted to describe the continuous flow of thoughts that characterize the human mind like the continuous flow of a river)
- no moral aim and no realism
- finally we have the impersonality of the narrator that isn’t an intermediator between the reader and the characters because the latter presented themselves

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