A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line. And art itself may be defined as a single-minded attempt to render the highest kind of justice to the visible universe, by bringing to light the truth, manifold and one, underlying its every aspect. It is an attempt to find in its forms, in its colours, in its light, in its shadows, in the aspects of matter, and in the facts of life what of each is fundamental, what is enduring and essential-their one illuminating and convincing quality-the very truth of their existence.
(Joseph Conrad, preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus, 1897)
Unlike the following one, this chapter is in part international in its summary of Modernism's appearance in different genres and art forms. It is important to understand the significance of, for example, French poetry and Scandinavian drama, when considering early-twentieth-century British writing. Like capitalism, art was becoming internationalist, and in many ways writers in Britain were late to acknowledge a Modernist movement embraced far earlier on the Continent. In the arts, despite the efforts of Jacob Epstein, T.S. Eliot, Edith Sitwell, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis and D.H. Lawrence, the force of Modernism would not be