Modernism (2264 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

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 …

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Childs, Peter. "Modernism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002; last revised 26 January 2018.
[, accessed 16 October 2018.]

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