The term modernism was coined in the late 19th century as a reaction to the realism of the first half of that century. James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Franz Kafka are a few of the main proponents of this style, which is characterized by a pessimistic outlook at a crumbling social order. Most modernists ignored the world around them and instead concentrated on creating beautifully disturbing prose and poetry. As a result, much of the modernist canon was read only by intellectuals.