Twentieth-Century British and Anglophone Literature

Some basic definitions:
Symbolism - Arising out of nineteenth-century French poets (Mallarme, Verlaine, Rimbaud), characterized by a focus on abstract, often metaphorical language to represent interior consciousness. This was supposed to free literature of its expository and narrative based forms in order to better represent the authentic experience of inner lives. For modernist poets who drew from symbolist backgrounds, word harmonies and patterns of images became more important to the overall unity of a work. The highly personalized usage of metaphors and images was supposed to hint at inexpressible realities. (In Forster's Howards End, Margaret and Helen talk about their "inner life" in addition to material realities which figures like Mr. Wilcox embody). 

Impressionism - Depicting scenes, emotions, or characters through vivid detail in order to convey the experience of subjective, sensory impressions. Stream of consciousness is considered to be a kind of impressionistic writing.

Modernism -Alternative mode of representation which focuses on the experience of human subjectivity, supposedly a more authentic mode of accounting for "modern" life characterized by the fragmentation owing to such factors as increasing internationalism, technological advancements in communications and transport (radio, cars), the development of mass markets, and of course war. This necessitated a break in literary form. In poetry, free verse and symbolism became more common than basic lines of verse like rhymed iambic pentameter. The focus on individual consciousness, perception, and meaning-making was seen to be a more authentic depiction of lived life than something like realism which seeks to account for the individual's place in the social networks to which he belongs. Novelistic techniques of modernism include stream of consciousness, fragmentation, and defamiliarization.

Postmodernism - Frederic Jameson defines "schizophrenia" and "pastiche" as two key features of postmodern style. Postmodernism also tends to blur/deconstruct distinctions between "high" and "low" culture, coterie and mass culture.  In relation to individual perception, postmodernity questions the uniqueness of the individual autonomous self; relatedly, various categories of identification such as race, gender, nationality, occupation, and social class are shown to be social constructions and therefore unstable signifiers of identity. There is a strong sense that the world is made up of words(signifiers) that are loosened or even completely detached from their previously material referents in the empirical world.

Jed Esty, A Shrinking Island
-Is there an English Modernism at all?
-Forster, Woolf, and Eliot having an Anglocentric turn in the 1930s-1940s
-Between the Acts and Four Quartets as turns to English particularism
-Late imperial dialectic of lost universalism and recuperation of wholeness through English particularism
-Autoethnographic discourse (post anthropological turn)
-Universalist nationalism borrowed from Ireland

Lawrence Rainey, Institutions of Modernism
-Modernist writers didn't scorn the marketplace
-economic circuit of patronage, collection, speculation, investment
-reads Ulysses collector's deluxe editions
-modernism is linked to commodity culture a lot more than has generally thought

Michael North, Reading 1922