Alain Robbe-Grillet was born in Brest, France to a family of engineers and scientists and was himself trained as an agricultural engineer. During World War 2 he participated in compulsory labor, which was when Germany occupied France and forced French citizens to work for the German war effort. However he had a good amount of free time considering he was forced to work in factories and was allowed to go the theatres and opera, which sparked his interest in literature. Robbe-Grillet's first novel Les Gommes was published in 1953, after this he became a fulltime author His early work was praised by critics and he soon became the editor of Les Editions de Minuit from 1955 – 1985. Robbe-Grillet in 1961 worked with French film director Alain Resnais and wrote the script for Last Year at Marienbad. From 1966 to 1968, he was a member of the High Committee for the Defense and Expansion of French and also led the Centre for Sociology of Literature at the University of Bruxelles from 1980 to 1988. From 1971-1995, Robbe-Grillet was a professor in New York University lecturing on his own novels. In 2004 Robbe-Grillet was elected to the Académie française. Grillet died on February 18, 2008 in Caan, France. His writing style has been described as a “realist”, which he used repetitive descriptions to reveal the psychology and interiority of the character. Robbe- Grillet's works are noted for having an odd attention to detail which can change the meaning of the story allowing many different interpretations. Robbe-Grillet's emphasis on realism is what made him so successful he believed that the physical world is the only true reality.
Modernism is a way to describe literature in the 1860s to 1945 that belonged to contemporary style of literature that rejected traditional spiritual ideas focusing more on logic. Modernism that developed in literature in the late 20th century can be characterized by the combination of techniques with the highly conscious use of themes.Modernism's break from tradition also included breaks from established religious, political, and social views. Modernism believed that only high culture deserves to be studied, analyzed and that lower cultures were not important. Modernists also viewed text as having an ultimate meaning that was not open to interpretation to the reader.
During the 1970s Modernism soon gave way to postmodernism. Postmodernism is a term that has been used in a broad way to describe any of a number of trends or movements in the arts and literature developed post World War II and becoming popular around 1970. Postmodernism formed as a reaction to or rejection of the principles, or practices of established modernism. Postmodernism also became more spiritual rather than scientific and emphasized not everything in the world could be explained. Postmodernism usually describes a certain type of literature that has no ultimate meaning and is up to the reader to decide for themselves. Most of the types of literature that are considered post modernistic tend to reemphasize elements of metaphors and symbols and are created in unorthodox ways. Postmodernism tries to blur the distinctions between high and low culture, and as a whole to challenge a wide variety of traditional cultural values and to emphasize everything has an importance.
The Modernism movement was the idea of using rational, scientific, logical means to know how the world worked. Post-Modernism is a reaction against rationalism, science, or the goals of modernism. Post-Modernism is described by many keywords such as cynical, spiritual, and democratic and many others. Modernism is described by a completely opposite set of keywords such as optimistic, logical, and authoritarian. Modernism is generally more serious and earnest in its message where as Postmodernism is ironic, challenges seriousness, and is not earnest. The two are contrasts of one another in the form of reaching similar goals which is to how to understand the world and its workings.
Modernism began developing in the late nineteenth century as society began moving away from spirituality and religious ideals instead focusing more on logic and science. Modernism soon caught on and was at its peak during the 1930s. However after two world wars there was a change that began in literature and other arts people began to question the optimism of modernism and meaning of life. Soon society began to digress from modernism into postmodernism and became more spiritual and started to believe that the world is not something that is easily understandable and something that is open to interpretation.
Dadaism or Dada is a post-World War I cultural movement in visual art as well as literature (mainly poetry). The movement was a protest against World War 1 its works were characterized by a deliberate irrationality and the rejection of standard art. It influenced later movements including Surrealism. The artists of the Dada had become disillusioned by the world. Many of them were veterans of World War I and had grown cynical society after seeing what atrocities humans were capable of during times of war.
Dadaists were attracted to a nihilistic view of the world which was that nothing is worthwhile in the world and society is evil and corrupt. This created art in which chance and randomness formed the basis of creation. When World War I tore the world apart Dada was a way to express the confusion that was felt by many people as their world was turned upside down. Although Dadaism was viewed as an art movement Dadaists believed it was a protest against art a sort of anti art.
Dadaism is in many ways was a precursor to Postmodernism. For example Dadaism like Postmodernism developed after a major war and both of them criticized modernism and formed an unconventional ways of expressing ideas. Dada also like postmodernism encompassed cynical views and anarchy towards traditions. However they are also somewhat dissimilar, Dadaism was more of a radical revolt against modernism during the 1920s and all art for that matter. However postmodernism was a lighter approach that didn't completely go against art but simply went in a different way of exemplifying messages.
The postmodernism movement was home to many influential artists such as writers, film makers. Jean-Luc Godard is a French film maker who was a founding member of Nouvelle Vague, or "French New Wave"(which was a movement of French film makers to experiment with their film making). Godard's films challenge traditional Hollywood cinema and is often considered the most extreme or radical of the new wave filmmakers. His films express his political ideologies as well as his knowledge of film history. À bout de souffle (1960) expressed the new wave style and used innovative filming techniques. Vivre sa vie (1962) this film was another experimental film that liberated the film industry in France allowed for more innovation. Bertolt Brecht was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director and an influential theatre practitioner. Who revolutionized theatre and hoped to change the theatre to a new social use. Bertolt wanted theatre to become an exhilarating experience to the audiences, some of Bertolt's famous plays include The Threepenny Opera and Life of Galileo.
Modernism, Postmodernism, and Dadaism were very influential in many ways. Modernism allowed people to try to understand the world for what it was and to learn about society and to improve our own intellectuality. Dadaism is important because it created its own radical way of displaying themes of the world which influenced Postmodernism. Postmodernism is important because it allowed people to try and figure out the world for themselves and have an individual idea. Postmodernism also allowed people to become innovative and experimental in expressing themselves.
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