This book seriously influences Modernist writers' style and subject matter—it's the text that introduced the world to the idea of the stream of consciousness. Yeah. It's a biggie.
Sigmund Freud's contribution to modern thought is massive, massive, massive. And no, we're not just talking about Freudian slips.
Freud introduced the notion that our conscious minds are only the tip of the mental iceberg, and that beneath the surface, hidden fears and traumas guide our thinking and our behavior. Writers of the period found this idea fertile ground for exploration… and they still do today.
In this famous work, Freud argued that dreams, which had long been viewed as meaningless, were in fact a portal in to the innermost regions of ourselves. Cue a collective Modernist "Woot!" and the sound of countless pens scribbling in countless dream diaries.
No biggie: in these theories Einstein just questions the existence of an absolute of time and space. Yeah, you got that right. In the space of five years, scientists cast doubt upon dreams, the mind, time and space. Is it any wonder that people were feeling a little unhinged?
This may be the most critically acclaimed of her works. And no, it ain't easy reading.
A riot ensues.
... and cockroaches get a whole lot creepier. That same year, Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons appears… and buttons get a whole lot more Avant-garde.
Two groundbreaking works of literature in two years? No pressure, aspiring writers. None at all.
Also, the Bolshevik Revolution breaks out in Russia, putting an end to Russia's Silver Age of Literary and Artistic Modernism, T.S. Eliot publishes "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and W.B. Yeats publishes The Wild Swans at Coole.
This gets the journal's publishers in big trouble: their entire printing of the issues containing these parts of the novel are seized and destroyed by the U.S. Postal Service on the grounds that they contained obscenity. Controversial not only for its famed dirty bits but for its innovative form, the book was first published as a whole in 1922, in Paris.
Oh, and the Spanish Influenza epidemic kills millions worldwide. It is estimated that ten times as many people died of the flu than were killed in WWI. In fact, half of U.S. soldiers who perished in Europe died of the flu.
Although the story had actually been written five years before, it appeared only belatedly, like most of F.K.'s work.
Also, Pound publishes "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley."
Key figures of Irish literature responded strongly to this event, which, on a national level, spawned the Irish Civil War (1922-23).
Also: Wallace Stevens' Harmonium appears and William Carlos William's collection Spring and All is published.
... and millions of artistic Americans immediately start planning their trips to run with the bulls in Pamplona.
Also, Franz Kafka's novel Amerika is released.
Like Joyce's Ulysses, this novel would be called obscene. A complete and uncensored version of the book was not legally published in either England or the United States until after a court in the 1950s declared the book had literary merit, and was therefore not pornography. Also, W. B. Yeats' The Tower is published and Virginia Woolf's gender bending short work of speculative fiction Orlando appears.
Woolf's essay, A Room of One's Own is published. The book is actually made up of material Woolf presented on the subject of Women in Literature.
Hart Crane's book length poem, The Bridge, also appears. And Robert Musil, an Austrian novelist, publishes volume one of three of his novel The Man Without Qualities, reportedly the greatest novel no one has read.