As the western world entered the twentieth century, Anglo-American Modernist writers and authors grappled with cultural revolutions that shattered the coherence of nineteenth-century Victorianism: the crisis of world war, the advent of psychoanalysis, and social anxiety resulting from obsolete gender paradigms. The ensuing cultural upheaval disrupted not only the content but the forms of Modernism, resulting in cubist painting, fragmented narrative structures, stream-of-consciousness prose, and extremely erudite writing. Despite offering radically different reactions to these cultural crises, Modernists almost universally maintain that they are self-appointed prophets, even saviors, intent on recovering meaning in a world whose values have been blown apart.
Modernist theories of reading, writing and psychology:
- Pound, Ezra. from Postcript to Remy de Gourmont's The Natural Philosophy of Love (1921)
- Eliot, T. S. from Tradition and the Individual Talent (1920)
- Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own (1929)
- Stein, Gertrude. from Everybody's Autobiography (1937)
- Jung, C. G. "The Shadow" and "The Syzygy: Anima and Animus." Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (1951)
- Eliot, T. S. Hysteria (1917)
- Eliot, T. S. The Waste Land (1922)
- Pound, Ezra. Canto I.
- Pound, Ezra. Canto LXXXI.
- Bloom, Harold. Excerpts from The Anxiety of Influence (1972)
- Gilbert and Gubar. "Infection in the Sentence: The Woman Writer and the Anxiety of Authorship." The Madwoman in the Attic (1979, 2000)