To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Chapter Six considers the modernist sculptor Eric Gill’s highly unconventional family life, his interest in Indian art, and his connections with Decadent queer Catholicism in relationship to his preoccupation with the family as a site of divine eroticism. While Gill is often thought of as a “distinctly heterosexual” figure with a highly provincial vision, during the 1910s he affiliated himself with a authors and artists, including Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper (“Michael Field”), whose nonnormative sexual identities were intertwined with their Catholic religious identity, and he exhibited a thirst for information about global artistic practices, writing frequently to the Ceylonese art historian Ananda Coomaraswamy and engaging extensively with Indian art. He found in Bradley and Cooper, who converted to Catholicism and wrote religious verse concerning their union, a model for conceiving of incestuous desire in divine terms. In his correspondence with Coomaraswamy concerning the treatment of eroticism in Hindu temple sculpture, he found models for the successful integration of faith and sensuality. This network of influences resulted in one of his most well-known works, They (or Ecstasy, 1910-11), an attempt to hallow incestuous desire and transform an extreme form of sexual dissidence into an expression of divine love.
This chapter traces key moments and motifs in the history of the translation of Greek texts primarily into English. It highlights how Greek translation becomes paradigmatic for translation tout court, informing both translation rhetoric and practice, and then tackles the model cases of Homer and Sappho, the former diachronically, the latter synchronically through several case studies from the first half of the twentieth century. It homes in on modernist writers’ particular understanding of translation as poised between critical scholarship and creative practice in order to argue that poets such as H.D. or Ezra Pound evade or even subvert existing modes of conceptualizing both ‘Greece’ and translation, thus opening the way for the plethora of approaches that characterize Greek translation today. The chapter concludes with a cautionary note as it examines the programmatic resistance to Greek translation displayed by Virginia Woolf and Yorgos Seferis.
Earle’s chapter considers the implications of the early appearance of Joyce’s writings in pulp fiction outlets. Building on his previous work, Recovering Modernism: Pulps, Paperbacks, and the Prejudice of Form (2009), the chapter considers the significance of the after-life of Joycean texts, circulating as pulp fiction in the popular sphere, reflecting on the broader stakes of modernism as an organizational or conceptual category. The dispute over the “high” or “low” nature of Joyce’s oeuvre allows us to examine not just the vexed relationship between modernism and mass culture but also the nature of popular outlets. What does their publication of Joyce tell us about the values underpinning pulp magazines? The chapter considers how criticism tends to “cherry pick” Joyce, and how his work lends itself to this type of piecemeal exploration (for better or worse). In other words, the manifestations of popular Joyce consisted of very specific pieces of writing, and the dynamics that made them available for such remediation were definitely not true of other pieces. This observation points to the importance of celebrating the fragmentary nature of modernism, illustrating a new modernist studies that resists cohesive understandings of modernism.
From the 1920s onward, James Joyce and Latin American literature have been inextricably connected. Anglo-American criticism has traditionally seen this connection as a case of influence radiating from an iconic figure of European Modernism to the periphery. However, a close analysis of how prominent writers from Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar to Gustavo Sainz and Ricardo Piglia received and engaged with Joyce’s work reveals a less centralizing literary map. In their critical and creative writings, Joyce appears not as a model to be emulated but as an irreverent Irish writer that occupied an eccentric position within the Western literary tradition. Responding to changing political and social landscapes and diverse national contexts, these Latin American authors have marshalled and refashioned Joyce’s eccentricity to express their local conditions and cultural specificity in a cosmopolitan literary style.
Vike Martina Plock’s chapter examines the interplay between medical science and humanist learning in Joyce’s writing. It is well known that Joyce had a life-long interest in medicine. His works resonate with descriptions of bodies in various stages of (ill-)health, and in recent years critics such as John Gordon, Vike Martina Plock, and Martin Bock have shown his responsiveness to a number of medical theories and interventions crucial to his time. As these studies illustrate, Joyce is often extremely critical of modern medicine’s merits, seeing it as yet another regulatory system that has the potential to organize and coerce. This chapter proposes to use debates and theories that have emerged in recent years in the Medical Humanities to investigate how Joyce’s texts reject the proposal to narrativize patients’ case histories. Critics such as Angela Woods have particularly challenged the role of realism in contemporary accounts of health and illness. Joyce, as this chapter argues, deliberately uses experimental narrative techniques to defy medicine’s urge to classify individuals according to pre-existing pathological labels. The representation of bodies in Joyce’s texts offer new ways of understanding cultures of medicine, disability studies, communities in crisis, bioethics, and public health.
Using Joyce’s oeuvre as a sample case, Robert Spoo’s chapterenvisions a new global commons.From James Joyce’s lawsuit against Samuel Roth in 1927 to the decisions in the case between Carol Schloss and the Joyce Estate in 2000s, Joyce has served as the exemplar of issues around copyright in modernist literature. Following his recent history of American protectionist copyright law and public domain, Spoo first maps out the new possibilities for critical readings and publication following the passage of Joyce’s works into the public domain, following the expiration of copyright in most European Union countries on January 1, 2012. He will then sketch the recently emerged contradictions of international public domain. In response to this situation, which he calls “tragedy of the uncoordinated global commons,” Spoo will follow the precedent of Ezra Pound’s 1918 proposed statute to reform US copyright law, which combined perpetual, exclusive copyright with expansive compulsory licenses that required fixed royalties on sales, and offer a proposal for the global circulation of literature based on a reworked notion of the earlier US practice of “trade courtesy.” The chapter closes by arguing that a fertile public domain, in which creative resources are made accessible through cooperation and sharing, is essential to the future of modernism and of modernism scholarship.
Latin America’s Black newspapers and magazines were sites for both dissemination and extensive discussion of literature and the arts. Culture was no less important to Black editors and writers than politics or social commentary. The papers published numerous stories, poems, and serializations of novels. They included profiles of important Black artists, writers, and musicians and debated the quality of their work. Their efforts to alert readers to the existence and the achievements of Black cultural creators simultaneously created space for the development of Black cultural theory and arts criticism. This chapter includes several creative works, an extended review of a long-form poem, reporting on the lives and deaths of individual authors, and an account of a female cook whose aspirations to become a writer were never realized. Other articles provide probing reflections on the relationship of Blackness to artistic expression, and on what it meant to be a Black artist.
The first half of this chapter explores three ways in which modernist writers responded to the economics of their period. It explores modernism’s engagement with the economic horizons of writing and publication; modernism’s understanding of economic thought, ranging across of the ideas of figures such as John Maynard Keynes, Georg Simmel, Marcel Mauss, and Georges Bataille; and modernism’s responses to shifts in the money form itself, particularly changing attitudes towards the gold standard. The second half of the chapter explores the ways in which these issues were navigated in the work of modernist woman writers, including Jean Rhys, Zora Neale Hurston, Katherine Mansfield, Edith Wharton, and Virginia Woolf. In revealing and rewriting the relationship between metaphors of femininity and metaphors of money, these writers were able to explore and reimagine the relationship between their own sexual identities and consumer culture; the meanings of race, paternity, and inheritance; and the possibilities of exchange, translation, and a new international order.
In terms of artifice, Telemann’s “musical idyll” Der May (ca. 1760), to a text by Karl Wilhelm Ramler, ranks far behind the composer’s other works from this time. Most aspects of the music are entirely regular, and they are embedded in harmonic progressions that hardly exceed simple cadential relations. In this sense, Der May reflects aesthetic discussions among German writers in the 1750s and 1760s about widely disseminated and translated poetry such as Salomon Gessner’s “Idyllen” of 1756. Among contemporary theorists, Johann Abraham Sulzer and Johann Christoph Gottsched describe the distance separating literary idylls and social reality as one of the genre’s constitutive features. Idylls can thus serve as a tool of self-assurance in an increasingly complex modernity where acceleration, secularization, and scientification lead to a widely experienced dichotomy between complexity and simplicity. In applying the concept of “othering” to analyze the multiple modernities of the 1760s, I ask whether Telemann’s Der May can be regarded as an alternative to the modernity of its time; that is, as a conceptually “postmodern” work.
The essay focuses on the uses and significance of the trope of passing, as both theme and literary strategy, in African American fiction from the 19th to the 21st century. Passing as a theme pushed the boundaries of arbitrary, but operative, racial dichotomies, while passing as a literary strategy enabled radical experimentation with novelistic conventions. African American writers revised the tragic mulatta and mulatto characters by articulating a black-centered racial imaginary that infused the trope of passing with profound political and literary relevance. Deploying the high visibility of all-but-white characters as a screen to introduce new figures in American literature, they advanced a far from monolithic understanding of blackness that foregrounded its intraracial diversification and intersection with gender and class. African American writers adopted the trope of passing in order to expose the sociopolitical construction of “race,” unsettle prevailing racial epistemologies of blackness, popularize a more complex racial imaginary, and teach self-consciously critical modes of reading literature and, by extension, reality. Through a diachronic approach, the essay shows how the trope of passing was repurposed in different literary-historical periods and how it retains its relevance as a malleable literary strategy of cultural and political intervention.
The introduction sets down the blueprint and specifies how the argument builds upon existing understandings of the novel. Taking as my starting point the critical reluctance to acknowledge Defoe as the first English novelist, I trace the interdependence of Enlightenment thought, accounting practices, and literary realism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I also offer an overview of how theories of the novel have depended on the conceptual scaffolding of the antinomy. Long deployed by philosophers to structure unwieldy abstractions, the antinomy functioned also as tool to grasp the most diffuse of literary forms. Hence theorists as various as Erich Auerbach, Georg Lukács, Michael McKeon, and Frederic Jameson all posit that the novel is built in the tense field opened between opposing forces. By contrast, Adorno’s model of the Leibnizian monad asserts that art is always already tainted by the outside world, partly constituted by empirical logic. Over the more popular antinomic construction, I follow Adorno’s conception of art as absorptive monad . I further explain the book’s focus on select Anglophone writers and the three prerequisites for aspiring to speak for the world.
Don DeLillo's work is frequently described as postmodern, even as his stated influences are modernists. This chapter discusses both terms in relation to DeLillo's work, toward an understanding that neither label necessarily brings readers towards a clearer understanding.
Julia Kristeva, who coined the term “intertextuality,” argues that because “any text is the absorption and transformation of another … poetic language is read as at least double.” DeLillo’s entire oeuvre is a lesson in dialogue, as his novels talk to each other, replaying critical themes and motifs; they converse with the culture. While the forms of his novels have spanned a panoply of genres, they focus on similar themes: fear of death, the dangers of consumerism and mass media, the vagaries of language and communication, the attraction of transcendence and the salvation of the ordinary, the tensions between the individual and the crowd, terrorists and artists, words and images, mind and body. A catalogue so extensive requires a conversation with philosophy, science, technology, religion, art, politics, literature, historiography, film, music, and finance, to name a few subjects. The noisy cacophony of intertextuality is both unsettling and productive, offering a permeability in the text that invites readers to participate in the creation of meaning and reminds us that history is constructed and ripe for reconsideration.
Focusing on the decades between 1887 and 1936, this article examines the relationship between the Parsi-Iranian network of the printed text—often sustained by abundant visual evidence—and the built environment that then returned onto the published pages of printed books and periodicals. It examines several seminal Parsi and Iranian texts, all of which were published in the Bombay-based Parsi press, containing images of outstanding architectural edifices erected in Iran with Parsi financing to map the broader political discourse on modern reform through the strategy of an artistic revival. The piece foregrounds the codependence of Parsi patronage of print and built architecture. Architecture itself is treated as a text that aimed to ground the instability of language and identity in solid foundations. This codependent relation helped support a modernist discourse on Iranian nationalist rebirth.
The first generation of Ethiopian filmmakers produced significant fictional and documentary films inside Ethiopia from the 1960s to 1990s, but access to these films has been limited. Drawing on interviews with filmmakers, Kassahun and Thomas analyze this early production in its cultural context and compare it with Haile Gerima’s internationally celebrated Harvest: 3000 Years (1975), produced in the United States, to complicate the meta-narrative of Ethiopia’s film history. In the context of debates by intellectuals about art and politics, early Ethiopian filmmakers participated in an internationally conscious Ethiopian modernism across the political revolutions of 1974 and 1991.
For the Elmhirsts, the arts offered a source of unity in an age of division and fragmentation, and they initiated diverse programmes at Dartington in drama, dance, music, arts education, film, crafts and the visual arts to further their unitive vision. The tensions that arose in the course of these activities echoed wider debates about the role of creativity in society: between modernist ‘formalist’ art – eschewing any social or historical meanings – and avant-garde ‘functionalism’ that worked to restore the integration of art and life; between the craftsman-controlled, unified production process and more commercially-oriented notions of the relation between art and industry; and over what type of community art was intended to unify – the local ‘folk’, the nation, or a harmonious, global society. The difficulty in finding a coherent policy for the arts meant that the Elmhirsts gradually gravitated away from making the estate itself a replicable model for how the arts should unite society, and towards it contributing to government-led initiatives instead.
In 1924, a wealthy New York philanthropist, Dorothy Straight (née Elmhirst), married a Yorkshire-born agricultural economist, Leonard Elmhirst. The First World War had made both of them question the self-oriented, market-driven doctrine of laissez-faire liberalism that underpinned the Western world. ‘I found that the bottom of life had dropped out,’ Leonard Elmhirst wrote, ‘and that the old beliefs could not stand the test’. Both wanted to dedicate themselves to creating a community apart from mainstream society, where a better mode of holistically integrated, democratic living could be pioneered. In 1925 they bought a run-down estate in South Devon, Dartington Hall, and began a social, cultural and education experiment that they hoped would ‘set the pace’ for Britain and the rest of the world. They devoted the rest of their lives to this project, which became one of the best-known and most influential of the many small-scale interwar utopian experiments.
In contrast with the distorted and romanticized images reproduced by far-right narratives, we argue in this study that the constructive ideals of “nation” held by Italy’s Giuseppe Mazzini and Turkey’s Ziya Gökalp, from two later examples of European nationalism, could fit into what might be called a “proto-modernism” within nationalism theories. It is proposed that both Mazzini and Gökalp went through ideological transformations that made them firm opponents of German Romanticism and ardent believers of the Enlightenment, as shown in their non-exclusionary approaches to nationalism. They both rejected essentialist (religious, ethnic, racial, etc.) rationales for the backwardness of their respective countries and maintained the necessity of constructing nations that would initially provide civic equality among citizens and then aim at normative equality among nations at the civilizational level. In that sense, our analysis finds four fundamental similarities between Mazzini and Gökalp with regard to their national ideals: loyalty to the principles of the Enlightenment, national self-determination, civic-legal equality among citizens, and normative equality among all nations.
Dartington Hall was a social experiment of kaleidoscopic vitality, set up in Devon in 1925 by a fabulously wealthy American heiress, Dorothy Elmhirst (née Whitney), and her Yorkshire-born husband, Leonard. It quickly achieved international fame with its progressive school, craft production and wide-ranging artistic endeavours. Dartington was a residential community of students, teachers, farmers, artists and craftsmen committed to revivifying life in the countryside. It was also a socio-cultural laboratory, where many of the most brilliant interwar minds came to test out their ideas about art, society, spirituality and rural regeneration. To this day, Dartington Hall remains a symbol of countercultural experimentation and a centre for arts, ecology and social justice. Practical Utopia presents a compelling portrait of a group of people trying to live out their ideals, set within an international framework, and demonstrates Dartington's tangled affinities with other unity-seeking projects across Britain and in India and America.
This chapter considers how the powerfully controversial modernist novelist Joseph Conrad acquired his reputation as the first truly ‘global’ writer. A trilingual Polish expatriate, Conrad’s transnational identity was shaped by – and in turn helped shape our understandings of – a new sense of global interconnectedness in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In texts such as Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Nostromo, his engagement with what we would now call globalization is bedevilled by paradox and ambivalence. His writing scorns European globetrotters even as it beholds the world via a privileged Western gaze. His innocent fascination with maps is haunted by a guilty awareness of their political and ideological functions. Under no illusions about the vicious impact of European imperialism on non-European cultures, he often represents those cultures as voiceless, one-dimensional and exotically unknowable. Finally, his idealization of the sea as a bracingly pure alternative to the sordid political world of terra firma is steadily undercut by his sense that maritime space has long since been colonized by capitalist modernity.