Literature represents much of the very best of humanity's writings, and it is not by any accident that, after bestsellers and sensationalized books have faded from memory, literature continues to thrive and remain intensely relevant to contemporary human conditions. Literature's stories and texts survive the fires of time. This is why for decades and centuries - long after their authors have gone silent - the writings of Dante, Shakespeare, and Austen, among so many other vital voices, will continue to captivate readers and comment upon life. Literature has innumerable qualities and purposes and can open doors to unique situations and worlds which are never wholly removed from our own.
Posted on September 15, by Dana Allen Since I first picked up a Virginia Woolf novel, modernism has been my favorite literary genre. Perhaps it is to my detriment, but when I read I strive to connect to the author; I want them to take me on their journey; I want them to speak to me from their hearts.
And especially important during the 19th century, your art should contribute to the moral improvement of society, as dictated by those in charge. For this reason, a lot of literature up until the 19th century feels impersonal to me, almost sterile. Reading Whitman is like a breath of fresh air.
Eliot was a big believer in the necessity of working within the framework of the preexisting literary cannon. This belief is quite clear in his poetry, with the footnotes often taking up almost as much space on the page as the text itself.
The fact that Whitman was not included in the cannon produced during his time rings clear to me and is perhaps why I find his poetry so refreshing.
I believe this is the aspect of modernism that rang true to me so immediately upon encountering Whitman this time around. The crisis of modernism is a serious one for sure, and a lot of modernist works are dark and brooding, and understandably so.
Full of life, now, compact, visible, I, forty years old the eighty-third Year of The States, To one a century hence, or any number of centuries hence, To you, yet unborn, these, seeking you.
When you read these, I, that was visible, am become invisible; Now it is you, compact, visible, realizing my poems, seeking me; Fancying how happy you were, if I could be with you, and become your comrade; Be it as if I were with you.
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