Modernism: A Very Short Introduction examines how and why modernism began, what it is, how it has gradually informed all aspects of 20th and 21st century life. Modernism expressed a new way of thinking of the self, subjectivity, irrationalism, people and machines, and politics. Is a tower block, an unmade bed, a lavatory basin, or the bicycle chained to a gate a work of art? Why should a novel have a beginning, a middle, and an end; or even a story? Whether we recognise it or not, virtually every aspect of our life today has been influenced in part by the aesthetic legacy of modernism. What does modernism mean today?