Modern literature  

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"I dare say […] that Byron and de Sade […] have been perhaps the two greatest inspirations of our moderns, one openly and visibly, the other clandestine - though not too clandestine."--Sainte-Beuve, 1843, tr. Geerinck

""Literature was drawn into the firing line of the times. Novels and plays not only became more outspoken, but sentences became more epigrammatic and thoughts more paradoxical. No one could say how the most innocent of sentences might explode in its last word, any more than one could prophesy what somersault one's favourite belief might take in its latest incarnation. Surprises lurked in the most surprising literary places as though to reflect and keep time with the reshuffling of habits and conventions. And just as modern literature has gained in brightness by the experience, so the adventure has familiarised us with the need of variety in personality and of wider margins of freedom for its expression."--The Eighteen Nineties (1913) by Holbrook Jackson

"The 19th century was perhaps the most literary of all centuries, because not only were the forms of novel, short story and magazine serial all in existence side-by-side with theatre and opera, but since film, radio and television did not yet exist, the popularity of the written word and its direct enactment were at their height."--Sholem Stein

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