“A Modern March” Reading Event

Modernist_Lit_ButtonI’ve been waiting for this!  Allie (A Literary Odyssey) is hosting a Modernist Literature event this March, and I’ve been saving two books specifically for it.  Now, the announcement post is up and I can officially “plan” my reading.  I will absolutely get through these two texts, but hopefully I’ll manage to get through one or two extra.  Spring Break is in March, but I have papers and presentations due for class that month, too, so who knows?

Important Note: This is for Modernist Literature / Literature of the Modernist Period.  It is not for contemporary fiction, what some might call “modern” or “current.” 

ANYHOO! The books I plan to read are:

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West

If I have time, I might also tried to read some poetry, perhaps The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot.

Allie says of Modernism:

If you have no idea what constitutes a piece of “Modern” literature (and whenever I say Modern, I don’t mean contemporary lit), it generally refers to literature written between the very late 19th century and the halfway point of the 20th century. In general, Modernist writers experimented with style, form, and theme. They broke away from the traditional viewpoints found in literature until that point and strove to focus on the darker and more unpleasant sides of life. This is also the time period where stream-of-consciousness made its roaring appearance.

I would also add, some things to look for are the lack of religion in these works (conspicuous, given the fact that much of the literature in periods before Modernism were rife with religion & religious morality) and also the fascination with “the new.” 

Thanks to Allie for hosting – I’m ready to go!

10 Comments on ““A Modern March” Reading Event

  1. Hey Adam,
    Thanks so much for sharing this! I think I already have a book in mind, but I’m not sure if it qualifies. Would The House of Seven Gables work (1948)?
    Thanks for your help! I so wanna sign up!


    • Actually, Hawthorne is a Realist/Naturalist (and Transcendentalist) much moreso than a Modernist. That particular novel was writen in 1851, not 1948 (that might be a re-print year or a film adaptation date?) and is actually considered by most to be a work of Gothic fiction.

      Some authors to consider: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, E.M. Forster, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Anne Porter, William Carlos Williams, e.e. cummings, Joseph Conrad, William Fualkner, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Dylan Thomas, among others. 🙂


      • Oh, my! I feel so embarrassed. Thanks so much though, Adam. I will look into it. I do have a Hemingway book I have not completed. Maybe I will consider it. Enjoy your day.


  2. Nice choices! I haven’t read any Woolf before, but A Room of One’s Own brings back fond memories of Jillian’s old blog. Enjoy!


    • I’ve read To the Lighthouse, which I hated, and Orlando, which I loved. I’m reading alot of feminist theory lately, so I’m eager to get her take on women and women writers.


  3. thanks for mentioning Mrs. Lonelyhearts – I’ve been meaning to read it so now I get a chance with Allie’s event – Enjoy your reading!


  4. I’m excited for this too. Thanks to your review I’m reading Garden of Eden. Do you think Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof be considered “Modern” lit?


  5. I’m interested to see what you think about Miss Lonelyhearts. I read The Day of the Locust at uni and found it, well, eye opening. I’m aiming for some Hemingway and Faulker but I have added A Rooms of One’s Own to the pile too, just in case I feel the need for some more Woolf in my life. Enjoy your reading!


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