Unlike the following one, this chapter is in part international in its summary of Modernism’s appearance in different genres and art forms. It is important to understand the significance of, for example, French poetry and Scandinavian drama, when considering early twentieth-century British writing. Like capitalism, art was becoming internationalist, and in many ways writers in Britain were late to acknowledge a Modernist movement embraced far earlier on the Continent. In the arts, despite the efforts of Jacob Epstein, T. S. Eliot,
Edith Sitwell, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis and D. H. Lawrence, the force of Modernism would not be greatly felt in Britain until after the war. Yet, it had long been felt across Europe, and, as many critics have noted, a large number of the pioneering Modernists writing in English were not from the British mainland: Pound, Conrad, Eliot, James, Yeats and Joyce. Therefore, I want in this chapter to give a background to the various changes, thematic and formal, that were wrought upon Western aesthetics, while noting that the sketches of aspects to Modernism here are by no means exhaustive (movements and developments in architecture and music, for example, cannot be divorced from those in literature) and should serve as platforms for further reading.