Modernism - an Introduction to the Semester - (7/9)
Early 20th Century Modernism
- In the 1920s two British critics, Clive Bell and Roger Fry, introduced Formalism the theory driving artistic Modernism.
- the viewer must ignore as irrelevant
- the artist's intentions in making a work of art
- any social or ideological function the artist may have wanted the work to have
- all that matters is "significant form"
- how the work is put together
- this method allows a crosscultural interpretation and evaluation of any art from any place or any time
- form is all there is
- everything else is a mere distraction
- subject matter
- narrative content
- in the 1930s T.S. Eliot, I.A. Richards and other writers developed "New Criticism"
- New Criticism is a Formalist approach to literature
- emphasis is placed on the work itself
- literature is to be analyzed only according to its use of language, imagery and metaphor.