Modernism
in Beginning realism
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Some writers who straddled both periods from the 1880s and 1890s onwards, until the 1920s/1930s, moved away from Realism to modernism. This chapter looks first at George Gissing's The Unclassed which is predominantly in a Realist vein, yet which shows signs of dissatisfaction with Realism and the aesthetic ideas which inform it. It then moves on to an example of modernist fiction which dismantles virtually all of the tenets of Realism. Throughout both discussions we see the legacy of Realism transmute into ways which, even when ostensibly furthering the aims of Realism, amount to a quite strong refutation of it as an aesthetic. Having prepared the ground for the modernist novel, the chapter also looks at an exemplary, well-known production, Virginia Woolf 's Mrs Dalloway. A STOP and THINK section lists some questions for readers to answer themselves and understand the concepts of modernism and the modernist novel.

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