The Modernist movement was a self-conscious break from the traditional methods and techniques of writing prose and poetry. The term exemplifying the movement was coined by Ezra Pound: “Make it new.”

Modernist writing often blurs the boundaries between forms and genre. Poetry, free verse, script writing, traditional prose, and non-traditional prose all share the same space. The works range in difficulty, but are often quite challenging to read with complete understanding. Many of these works will be footnoted, even in non-academic volumes.

Often these works deal with difficult subject matter or unpopular viewpoints (at the time they were written) or social inequalities. Some were censored at the time of publication.

Modernist writers include Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Rilke, Kafka, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Gertrude Stein, and Arno Schmidt.

This time is part of the 20th Century.

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