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Overview

Modernism in Europe

We are living in a very singular moment of history. It is a moment of crisis, in the literal sense of that word. In every…

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Modernism in Canada and The United States

In Canada and the United States modernism emerges from transnational engagements with global intellectual movements while also grappling with local intellectual, cultural, and political developments…

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Surrealism Overview

Soupault’s publication of Manifeste du Surréalism in 1924. Rising in the wake of the First World War, Surrealism revolted against a world that had become…

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Dadaism

Dada began in Zurich, Switzerland, in the midst of World War I. Several expatriate artists converged in the city to escape the brutal and seemingly…

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Modernism in East Asia

The term ‘modernism’ is commonly used to describe some of the literary and cultural production of the early twentieth century in China, Japan, and Korea,…

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Freud, Sigmund (1856–1939)

Sigmund (Sigismund Schlomo) Freud was an Austrian psychiatrist and the founder of psychoanalysis, who systematized theories of the unconscious and psychosexual development. Freud published case…

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Alienation

From the Christian doctrine of original sin, through G. W. F. Hegel’s conception of freedom, and the situated subject of existentialist thought in the wake…

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Allen, Barney (1902–1967)

Barney Allen was the pseudonym of Solomon Allen, a Jewish-Canadian novelist from Toronto, Ontario. His writing combined influences from James Joyce and Sigmund Freud. His…

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Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury is an area of Central London located in the Borough of Camden between Euston Road and Holborn. The neighborhood is home to the British…

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Lawrence, D. H. (1885-1930)

David Herbert Lawrence (1885–1930) was born in Eastwood, near Nottingham, England. He composed poetry, several travel books, expressionist paintings, short novels and stories, literary criticism…

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Bryher (1894–1983)

Born in Margate, England, the illegitimate daughter of British multi-millionaire Sir John Ellerman, Bryher resisted gender and marriage conventions throughout her life. Best known as…

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Daney, Serge (1944–1992)

Serge Daney was regarded as one of the greatest film critics in French intellectual culture. For Jean-Luc Godard, his untimely demise signalled the end of…

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Schapiro, Meyer (1904–1996)

Art historian Meyer Schapiro was born in Šiauliai [Shavley], Lithuania, on September 23, 1904, but soon immigrated to the United States with his family in…

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Sinclair, May (1863–1946)

May Sinclair was a novelist, journalist and literary critic. She began writing relatively late in life to help support her family, and while most of…

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Pollock, Jackson (1912–1956)

Jackson Pollock was one of the leading figures of Abstract Expressionism in mid-twentieth century America. He began his career working for the Federal Art Project,…

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Blitz

The Blitz during World War II both curtailed and provoked creative expression. Key figures of the modernist movement re-evaluated the politics underlying their aesthetics at…

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Hesse, Hermann (1877–1962)

Hermann Hesse was born in Calw (Germany) in a pietistic missionary family. To his devout parents, ‘the I’, as a subject next to God, had…

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Svevo, Italo (1861–1928)

Italo Svevo was born as Aron Ettore Schmitz in 1861 in Trieste, a city in the north-east of Italy that until 1919 was part of…

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H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) (1886–1961)

Perhaps best known as one of the founding imagists, H.D. was also a novelist, essayist and actor active throughout the entire modernist period. From her…

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Butts, Mary (1890–1937)

Mary Butts was a well-known and prolific British novelist, essayist, poet, and writer of short stories in her time. First published by Robert McAlmon, Butts…

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Canetti, Elias (1905–1994)

Elias Canetti, winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Literature, spent the first half of his life traveling, and encountered often violence. He devoted the…

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Deren, Maya (1917–1961)

Maya Deren (born Eleanora Derenkowskaia in Kiev, Ukraine) was a Russian American experimental filmmaker whose work in the 1940s and 1950s had a profound impact…

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Teige, Karel (1900–1951)

Karel Teige was a Czech theoretician of art and architecture, an artist and typographer, and an organizer of the Czech avant-garde. He was one of…