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Abstract: Modernism provides many of the major works that continue to define what literature and painting are. Understanding Modernism (between about 1870 and 1939) is essential for understanding modern literature. Can only gifted students understand Modernism? Can only gifted students understand modern literature and art? The focus here is on classics of prose, poetry and painting that are interesting in themselves and help to make sense of the period of cultural crisis that defined abstraction, fragmentation, pastiche, tricks of perspective and surrealism in modern literature and painting: T.S.

Eliot The Waste Land (Part 1), W. B. Yeats ‘The Second Coming’, Gertrude Stein Picasso (selections) and paintings by Picasso and Dali. Discussion includes the teaching advantages of the new iPad The Waste Land application and a range of easier novels.Modernism (about 1880 – 1939) is a cultural period defined in response to political revolution, international war, and world wide revolutionary changes in understanding the cosmos and human identity which encouraged a way of thinking in terms of a world, global perspective and a sense that the old world order was at an end: political events such as the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the extension of the right to vote to women (in Australia 1894-1908, in England 1918-21); scientific developments such as Einstein’s theory of relativity (1905-1917); industrial developments such as Ford’s mass production of the motor car (1913) and the rise of twentieth century global consumerism; medical developments such as Freud’s theory of psychosexual identity and psychoanalysis in The Interpretation of Dreams (1899); philosophical developments such as Nietzsche’s post-Christian theory of heroic existential survival in an abyss of modern disillusion and lack of traditional sanctions for values, as in Beyond Good and Evil (1886).

The culture of Modernism is concerned with radical transformations of traditional high…

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