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Modernist Nowheres
 
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Modernist Nowheres
Politics and Utopia in Early Modernist Writing, 1900-1920
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
24 Jul 2012
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£53.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230278998
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Modernist Nowheres explores connections in the Anglo-American sphere between early literary modernist cultures, politics, and utopia between 1900 and 1920. Foregrounding such writers as Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, D. H. Lawrence, and Wyndham Lewis, among others, the book presents a new reading of early modernism in which utopianism plays a defining role prior to, during, and immediately after the First World War. Modernist Nowheres breaks new ground by: rejecting claims that literary modernist cultures prior to the First World War were indifferent to politics and utopian questions; grounding early modernist accounts of utopia in such essential concepts as meliorism and perfectibility; embracing links between modernist discourse and Edwardian 'materialist' literatures; reading formally experimental modernist texts alongside the conservative inscriptions such as satires in which early modernist writers often dabbled; and linking early modernist accounts of politics and utopia to specific historical contexts such as the garden city movement, late-Victorian and Edwardian theories of labour; and pre-war artistic avant-gardism.


Description

Modernist Nowheres explores connections in the Anglo-American sphere between early literary modernist cultures, politics, and utopia between 1900 and 1920. Foregrounding such writers as Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, D. H. Lawrence, and Wyndham Lewis, among others, the book presents a new reading of early modernism in which utopianism plays a defining role prior to, during, and immediately after the First World War. Modernist Nowheres breaks new ground by: rejecting claims that literary modernist cultures prior to the First World War were indifferent to politics and utopian questions; grounding early modernist accounts of utopia in such essential concepts as meliorism and perfectibility; embracing links between modernist discourse and Edwardian 'materialist' literatures; reading formally experimental modernist texts alongside the conservative inscriptions such as satires in which early modernist writers often dabbled; and linking early modernist accounts of politics and utopia to specific historical contexts such as the garden city movement, late-Victorian and Edwardian theories of labour; and pre-war artistic avant-gardism.


Reviews

"Modernist Nowheres addresses an enduring and wide-ranging set of canonical modernist writers in Conrad, Lewis, Lawrence, Wells and Ford, and delves into the archives to mobilize less well-known material to support the argument. It is an engaging and provocative contribution to this burgeoning branch of modernist studies." - Andrew Frayn, Ford Madox Ford Society newsletter


Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Maps Worth Glancing At
Meliorism and Edwardian Modernity
Questions of Perfectibility
Forlorn Hopes and The English Review
Magnetic Cities and Simple Lives
Individualism, Happiness, and Labour
Vorticism and the Limits of BLAST
Satire, Impressionism, and War
Idealisms and Contingencies
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index


Authors

NATHAN WADDELL is a Teaching Fellow at The University of Birmingham, England, UK. He is the author of Modern John Buchan: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge Scholars, 2009); co-editor of Wyndham Lewis and the Cultures of Modernity (Ashgate, 2011); and the author of articles and chapters on literary modernist coteries and communities, Buchan, Lewis, Ford Madox Ford, Joseph Conrad, and Lewis and Evelyn Waugh.