Modernism as a phenomenon is defined differently by different people. One issue involved it its interpretation is that, as a phenomenon, modernism is so entwined with human emotion and perception that by its very nature it evolved over time. Because modernism evolved during the twentieth century, some writers influenced the emergence and development of modernist literary expression while other writers of the century were influenced by the movement. This essay considers the roles of prominent French writers of the twentieth century in relation to the modernist movement.
The modernist movement had its beginnings in the late-nineteenth century however; it was in the early years of the twentieth century when the writing of Marcel Proust set literary form on a new course. The change in form embraced skepticism and uncertainty in the representation of human emotion, experience, and understanding through literary expression:
Tout cela Ttait en rTalitT mort pour moi. Mor a jamais? C’Ttait possible. Il y beacoup de hazard en tout ceci, et un second hazard celui de notre mort, souvent ne nous permet pas d’attenre longtemps les faveurs du premier