Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - Conrad was one of the earliest exponents of what became known as Modernism, demonstrating experimentation in narrative shifts, denseness of prose and ambiguity.
The short stories of Stephen Crane are significant works of another of the first Modernists and a friend of Conrad. The Open Boat shows particular genius.
Sigmund Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams was a defining influence on the Modernists, with his popular turn of the 20th century psychological readings inspiring the 'stream-of-consciousness' methodology of Woolf in Mrs. Dalloway, Joyce in Ulysses and Lawrence in Sons and Lovers among others.
Dubliners by James Joyce - a collection of short stories depicting different stages of life unified by themes such as urban decay and paralysis, and written conceptually around the notion of "epiphanies" or moments of spiritual importance.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce - the defining Modernist autobiography. Joyce reassesses his childhood in Ireland while experimenting with the interior monologue and a successful attempt at matching the style to the age and thoughts of the narrator.
Ulysses by James Joyce - The defining Modernist text, a brilliant experimental work following two Dublin men through a single day using numerous devices to vary the style and type of the book itself (newspaper speak, drama etc.) and crucially the 'stream-of-consciousness'.
The novels of D.H. Lawrence, especially Sons and Lovers, show the Modernist tendency to psychoanalyse characters as they are written with a peculiarly solipsistic and autobiographical fervour.

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