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Thelwell Vs Woolfe Essay

1305 words - 6 pages

Thelwell v. Woolf Modernist art of the 20th century had a great impact on the way we perceive the things around us. With its blurred lines and vague intimations about the world, it forced its audience to expand their minds and reflect on oneself before understanding the creation. There usually is not a total consensus on modernist art. Whether it is poetry, fiction, painting, or drawing, the audience will, without fail, have differing opinions of what the artist's motivation as well as the meaning of the piece. This is the exact point that Thelwell discusses in his piece, "Modernist Fallacies and the Responsibility of the Black Writer": ""¦the emergence and rise of modernism in Europe ...view middle of the document...

Thelwell comments on the responsibility of the artist to their audience in "Modernist Fallacies"¦". Thelwell believes that the author, in the case of writing, has a responsibility to the audience to make a clear engaging argument which includes some sort of commentary that has more benefit than "therapy" as he puts it."I am unable to perceive in that particular thicket (Modernist Writing) much evidence of the shared conventions of meaning, form, purpose, communication, and intention which would make it accessible to rational and productive discussion " ( Thelwell 219).Thelwell seems to believe that the author has a responsibility to maintain an equilibrium of art and engagement. It is merely not enough for the writer to use his empty pages to re-live and conquer their own personal demons.Thelwell believes that modernist writing is much too gaudy and oversteps the boundaries of creative writing. He believes this modernist writing fails to create any positive conversation and never hesitates to call literary allusion "cannibalism" in an as- a ""matter- of- factly way.At first glance, Woolf does seem to meet those qualifications. The reader must search hard in the continuous waves of allusion and freelancing to find much that Thelwell would consider fruitful writing. The novel, from start to end, seems to have a drudgery to it. It comes and goes at its own pace and never seems to fulfill the engagement aspect (which Thelwell maintains is the point of it all in the first place). However, Woolf seems to use the color and tone of the writing as a gray background so that her social statements will clearly be seen. At times it seems as if the storm clears and for a moment, you see what the point of all her writing is about. On page 42 of To the Lighthouse, Woolf writes: "Is the lot of the average human being better now than at the time of the Pharaohs? Is the lot of the average human being, however he asked himself, the criterion by which we judge the measure of civilization? Possibly not. Possible the greatest of good requires a slave class".Here, Woolf is attempting to make a social commentary on the standard of living and the point of asking about the standard of living in the first place. Also on page 49, she writes: "Minta must, they all must marry, since in the world whatever laurels might be tossed to her, or triumphs won by her"¦, there could be no disputing this: an unmarried woman has missed the best of life" Obviously, Woolf is attempting to prompt the reader to react to this message. Woolf uses this comment as...

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