The decades between the end of the Nineteenth century and Twentieth century in the Western hemisphere have been years of conflict and ambiguities. The political frame has witnessed the rise and fall of a new social actor, the bourgeoisie; meanwhile the weaknesses of so called democratic systems have led to the madness of Totalitarianism. The very same confusion defines the cultural paradigm where old literary parameters seem no longer valid to describe the new sensibility. Revolutionary artistic methodology will soon appear (Joyce, Proust, Woolf), the aim is not only to change the external shape of reality but the whole content. This article doesn’t want to reconstruct the past century, task well far from my ability, but rather reconsidering its meaning, as to say through the reading of some of the classic of modernity layout an alternative point of view where salvation is a free zone between destruction and art. I will try to emphasize that after a moment of obvious confusion due to the loss of shared certainty, of redefinition of values, artist have been able to look upon a reality not any longer as chaos but recognizing in it regularities and so being able to find again the role of singular individual in it.
Keywords: Realism, Modernism, Post-modernism, Absurd