Modernism | Literature Criticism James Sloan Allen

This literature criticism consists of approximately 25 pages of analysis & critique of Modernism.
This section contains 7,447 words
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James Sloan Allen

SOURCE: "Self-Consciousness and the Modernist Temper," in Georgia Review, Vol. 33, No. 3, Fall, 1979, pp. 601-20.

In the following essay, Allen considers self-consciousness as a defining trait of the Modernist temperament.

If there is one undisputed attribute of the modernist temper, it is self-consciousness. Even quarrels over the merits of that temper fall into agreement here: self-consciousness—in such guises as the mirror, shadow, multiple selves, self-reflecting thought, an anxious pause between sensation and expression, shuffling feet, or quickly averted eyes—marks every work of the modernist imagination.

Critics who find fault with that temper often locate the fault in self-consciousness. A generation ago, Jacques Barzun, observing that "the first striking trait of the modern ego is self-consciousness," belabored this trait for subverting the "willingness to take risks" and thereby working "to the detriment of happiness… and of...

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This section contains 7,447 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the James Sloan Allen