The basic impression I get of most 20th Century Literature is that they are complex in simple words; an unceasing stream of consciousness (if one uses James Joyce as a yardstick) or culturally-conscious Hispanic/Negro/Asian girl who struggles to discover her identity.
Sounds like prejudice speaking? I kid you not:
Writers who identified as “modernists” reflected this new sense of isolation and displacement in their works. The entire Western world was also deeply affected by the devastation of World Wars I and II, and writers responded by evaluating humanity’s seemingly boundless inhumanity. Women and minority voices became more prominent in the 1930s and beyond, further expanding the canon. -eNotes.com (Source)
In other words, they have been carefully cast into these categories in my
brilliant literary mind. Of course, stereotypes should never be issued to 20th Century writers, lest one invokes the sacrilegious wrath of catharsis-ism.
On a more serious note, I have never taken a liking to 20th Century Literature. No doubt, I appreciate the literary value of these books. Personally, I find them bordering on, oh what is the appropriate epithet, “whiny”. Of course, their disenchantment has a certain glamour that readers are attracted to.
Thus, starting with such prejudiced sentiments, you can imagine that I am unable to bring myself to truly read 20th Century texts for their literary value but for my preconceived notions of them. The excess of 20th Century novels with similar themes, however, also show the same underlying theme that human kind is dissatisfied with their existence. It reflects the human condition of a race discontent with life and its offerings.
What does ye think?