An example of a similar scene to the above from an Iris Gower novel No relation! He playfully jabbed her in the buttocks with a pin, making her jump in surprise. She turned on him, face flushed with the crimson tinge of anger.
We are being invited to observe a private and intimate moment. And ultimately I could tell you a lot about the heroine, if I could have faced reading the whole book. Unfortunately I can't, because again there is no variation. Even when there is a fire in the loft and she is in iminent danger of being turned into crispy bits we are treated to long passages of how the fire is licking at the stonework and I am sat there thinking 'Sod the fire.
Do something about it you stupid cow! Neither of these trends is, in my humble and dated opinion, good. To me it suggests that writers both sides of the Atlantic are missing a very basic and important point in their craft. You need to write your prose in a fashion that suits the mood of the moment- Long and deliberate to build your characters and build suspense, short and crisp to get the heart thumping and excitement building.
If the trend continues I fully expect American novels to look like SMS word lists, while European ones will be indecipherable masses of text I've had to step back a few years to find a popular author who, in my opinion, managed to balance the writing properly and the best I can offer is Hammond Innes and Alistair Maclean.
In science fiction circles we have to go back much further to early Clarke novels or even HG Wells! Highlander II There can be only one!! Joined Jun 6, Messages 8, Anyway - I see your point, and I agree - the short choppy sentences have their place, but shouldn't be used for the entire work, ditto on the longer ones. A lot of fanfic is written both ways also. Some lack any description at all and some are so filled with it, the plot gets lost.
Authors need to find that 'happy medium' where words are written to the pace of the story. Well, no, if it was, we'd all be millionaire authors.
Writing is a JOB - it's supposed to be challenging, at least. That's okay - some stuff is supposed to be hard. If everything was easy, nothing would be any fun. I can assure you they are different authors- Cornwell lives in Virginia US, Gower lives in Mumbles, UK Sadly their works do sell well, which shows how there is little justice in the world in terms of writing quality.
The US version could perhaps be put down to the instant everything television culture. But I have no idea how the English style came from, except to say that we have always tended to a fuller style.
You may think Hemmingway suffers a heavy dose of the verbals, but he is positively terse compared to the likes of Joyce. I've read both Hemmingway and Joyce if we're talking James Joyce here -- well, okay - Joyce short stories - and personally, I prefer Joyce - if I had to choose Cornwell is well-known here - I've never read her, but she's not really my style. As for the 'staccato' sentences - I do believe TV probably has a bit to do with it.
I was beta'ing a fic a couple weeks ago that suffered a 'lack of description' - almost more like it was a transcript for a TV show instead of a story written to 'show' the program - not enough description of what the characters were seeing and how they were seeing it - it was very flat. Probably part of why I like Jim Butcher's writing so much - There's description, there's action, there's romance, there's intrigue - it's all there - up to and including pop culture references.
There are still sample chapters from "Blood Rites" on my Harry Dresden site if you want to see an example. I miss good writing - and it's not that it's not there - it's just harder to find. Joined Jan 22, Messages I completely agree with you about the short sentences.
I've read a few American modern novels recently, and picked one apart for a college course. By the end of the novel we were all sick to the back teeth of the author's style, for exactly your reason - there was no variation in sentence length or structure.
We didn't give a damn about the character's and were hoping the heroine would hang herself quickly to finish the story. Another modern style I've noticed is leaving the story dangling in mid-air with no firm conclusion. There's no real beginning-middle-end just a snapshot of the whole tale and a make-up-your-own-ending ending.
I've just started reading Lorna Doone by R. D Blackmore and the meaty sentences are very satisfying! Hanging endings or even non-endings are a problem and are there because so many authors are trying to string out their works into whole series. This is frustrating for readers if they don't board the bus with volume 1, but I can see why authors like them, it gives them a chance of selling their next book to increasingly conservative publishers.
Originally posted by ray gower Hanging endings or even non-endings are a problem and are there because so many authors are trying to string out their works into whole series. The hanging ending is by no means a new device in books. It is used a a large number of books, but as it is still part of the English Syllabus in the UK my prime exhibit is Wyndham's Day of the Triffids, can there be a book that screams for a follow on more? Joined Nov 18, Messages 1.
Please pardon me for getting in late on this conversation, but it addresses something I'm concerned about. I've recently retired from a 26 year very time-consuming career with the thought of doing some writing, but to my astonishment I've discovered that modern stories tend to be all conversation and usually have very little description of anything. I'm loath to give up description for the sake of trendiness. Is this really what editor's want?
Below is an example from one of my stories the character is suffering from amnesia: Looking inland I saw an empty beach dimly lit by a full moon, and beyond, the windows and store fronts of distant tall buildings. The faint murmur of mechanized civilization slipped out on a slight warm breeze. Joined Jan 22, Messages 4, I take the point, although I would substitute "popular" and "literary" for "American" and "British".
To my mind the problem is with percieved genre rather than location. As far as so-called, as I find the term patronising literary fiction is concerned, there seems to be a trend among a few authors towards denser sentences, purple prose and semi-poetry for the sake of it, which at best often doesn't help the story and at worst is simply pretentious. I suspect there are a few writers who regard telling the story and getting the reader emotionally involved as nothing more than crass populism.
On the other end of the scale I have read popular novels that contained literally no similies or metaphors whatsoever, incorrect grammar and many other signs of bad, simplistic writing. I recently read a British crime novel that went much like this: Dan's smug face made him mad. Smashing Dan's face would make his day. He said 'Oi, Dan, I'm going to smash Spot has a ball, see Spot run. What both of these approaches miss is that readers' aren't stupid: Chandler and Lovecraft started off as pulp authors, after all, and neither of them is exactly lightweight.
In the '30s, Gollancz was putting out serious political writing aimed specifically at the man in the street. A critic called B. Myers raised this issue in a recent essay called A Reader's Manifesto, and while I don't agree with all his points, his main argument is worth thinking about. It's certainly worth a look. Joined Aug 21, Messages 6, I find this very intriguing as here we have tried to make people write short sentences in the action sequences and vary their sentences in the description.
But what is interesting is that some of the modern British people have forgotten to use colons in their work. This becomes annoying when you read the prose aloud and the sentence is very, very long. Another thing that I noticed is that sometimes modern writers introduce characters and make them to do things that really doesn't make any sense in the intelligent readers mind. There's no reason for their actions, and the poor reader cannot under why the characters are doing what they are doing.
Dozmonic Well-Known Member Nov 19, Among early modernist non-literary landmarks is the atonal ending of Arnold Schoenberg 's Second String Quartet in , the Expressionist paintings of Wassily Kandinsky starting in and culminating with his first abstract painting and the founding of the Expressionist Blue Rider group in Munich in , the rise of fauvism , and the introduction of cubism from the studios of Henri Matisse , Pablo Picasso , Georges Braque and others between and Sherwood Anderson 's Winesburg, Ohio is known as an early work of modernism for its plain-spoken prose style and emphasis on psychological insight into characters.
James Joyce was a major modernist writer whose strategies employed in his novel Ulysses for depicting the events during a twenty-four-hour period in the life of his protagonist, Leopold Bloom , have come to epitomize modernism's approach to fiction. Eliot described these qualities in , noting that Joyce's technique is "a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history Instead of narrative method, we may now use the mythical method.
It is, I seriously believe, a step toward making the modern world possible for art. This is in fact a rhetorical technique to convey the poem's theme: Modernist literature addressed similar aesthetic problems as contemporary modernist art. Gertrude Stein 's abstract writings, for example, have been compared to the fragmentary and multi-perspective Cubist paintings of her friend Pablo Picasso.
In this poem, MacDiarmid applies Eliot's techniques to respond to the question of nationalism, using comedic parody, in an optimistic though no less hopeless form of modernism in which the artist as "hero" seeks to embrace complexity and locate new meanings.
Significant modernist works continued to be created in the s and s, including further novels by Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Robert Musil 'Man without qualities' , and Dorothy Richardson.
The American modernist dramatist Eugene O'Neill 's career began in , but his major works appeared in the s and s and early s. Lawrence 's Lady Chatterley's Lover was published in , while another important landmark for the history of the modern novel came with the publication of William Faulkner 's The Sound and the Fury in Then in James Joyce 's Finnegans Wake appeared.
It was in this year that another Irish modernist, W. Cummings , and Wallace Stevens continued writing from the s until the s. The term late modernism is sometimes applied to modernist works published after Basil Bunting , born in , published his most important modernist poem Briggflatts in Samuel Beckett , who died in , has been described as a "later modernist".
The terms minimalist and post-modernist have also been applied to his later works. More recently the term late modernism has been redefined by at least one critic and used to refer to works written after , rather than With this usage goes the idea that the ideology of modernism was significantly re-shaped by the events of World War II , especially the Holocaust and the dropping of the atom bomb.
The Scottish writer Ali Smith has been considered by many to be a very late Modernist writer. The term Theatre of the Absurd is applied to plays written by primarily European playwrights , that express the belief that human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down.
Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence. Critic Martin Esslin coined the term in his essay, "Theatre of the Absurd. Though the term is applied to a wide range of plays, some characteristics coincide in many of the plays: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Modernist literature. For modern literature, see History of modern literature.
The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article , discuss the issue on the talk page , or create a new article , as appropriate. August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Contemporary French literature Experimental literature Expressionism theatre History of theatre 20th century in literature Twentieth-century English literature.
Retrieved 20 April Spring - Summer, , pp. A Reference Guide , p. The Twentieth Century , ed. Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. The Structure of Obscurity:
Modern writing is defined by what it’s not whereas remaining undefined. It’s not modernist writing, it’s not post-modernist writing.. it’s “NU”-writing. Some argue in favour of this concept of post-postmodernism or metamodernism, but leave it to the postmodernists to go about defining writing with an ‘anything goes’ attitude.
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Nov 21, · Messages: 3, There are two trends that are becoming alarmingly noticeable in modern writing and broadly they can be divided between English and American styles. The overall result is much the same, the books are a lot duller. Typically modern US writers, use short sentences and paragraphs. bonVIVO Writing Desk Massimo, Contemporary Desk Combining Glass and Wood, Modern Desk with Bamboo Legs and White Glazed Shelf, Usable As Computer Desk, Office Desk, Secretary Desk Or Vanity Desk.
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