Qwiklit’s Comprehensive Guide to Modern Literary Movements


It can be very difficult for some to understand the importance of a certain text without understanding the artistic and cultural movements of the day. While the literature of a certain era may be responding to certain events or books, some movements simply spring out of nowhere. In this exhaustive but surprisingly concise guide to all major literary movements after the year 1800, you will find a brief description of the movement’s purpose, the texts that prompted or contextualized them, as well as a brief selection of some of the period’s greatest works.

Any omittance is not an act of exclusion–for some, I am merely attempting to introduce a more varied and interesting collection. Please comment if you are looking for further recommendations. These movements are also subject to change in the future, as broader or more specific patterns may emerge as further study is done on these historical periods.

RomanticismGothic FictionRealismnaturalismsymbolismsurrealismmodernismExistentialismpostcolonialismBeat litMagic RealismPostmodernismFeminismCyberpunk