(1940 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

Modernism is variously argued to be a period, style, genre, or combination of the above; but it is first of all a word; one which exists alongside cognate words. Its stem, ‘Modern’, is a term that, from the Latin modo, means ‘current’, and so has a far wider currency and range of meanings than ‘Modernism’. In the late fifth century, for example, the Latin modernus referred to the Christian present in opposition to the Roman past, modern English is distinguished from Middle English, and the modern period in literature is considered to be from the sixteenth-century on, although it is sometimes used to describe twentieth-century writing. More generally, ‘modern’ has been frequently used …

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Childs, Peter. "Modernism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]