Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, and the Year That Changed Literature
Author: Bill Goldstein
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Category: Literary Criticism
A Lambda Literary Awards Finalist Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR's Book Concierge A revelatory narrative of the intersecting lives and works of revered authors Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and D. H. Lawrence during 1922, the birth year of modernism The World Broke in Two tells the fascinating story of the intellectual and personal journeys four legendary writers, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, and D. H. Lawrence, make over the course of one pivotal year. As 1922 begins, all four are literally at a loss for words, confronting an uncertain creative future despite success in the past. The literary ground is shifting, as Ulysses is published in February and Proust’s In Search of Lost Time begins to be published in England in the autumn. Yet, dismal as their prospects seemed in January, by the end of the year Woolf has started Mrs. Dalloway, Forster has, for the first time in nearly a decade, returned to work on the novel that will become A Passage to India, Lawrence has written Kangaroo, his unjustly neglected and most autobiographical novel, and Eliot has finished—and published to acclaim—“The Waste Land." As Willa Cather put it, “The world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts,” and what these writers were struggling with that year was in fact the invention of modernism. Based on original research, Bill Goldstein's The World Broke in Two captures both the literary breakthroughs and the intense personal dramas of these beloved writers as they strive for greatness.
This comprehensive history of America in the 1920s presents the decade's most compelling controversies as precursors to today's culture wars. • Offers a compelling historical overview of American culture in a popular decade • Insightfully argues for moving the starting point of contemporary cultural conflicts back to the 1920s • Provides relevant political information on red states and blue states, immigration reform, the war on drugs and mass incarceration, the politics of women's bodies, and the Religious Right • Includes an epilogue that makes clear connections between the culture wars of the 1920s and issues we continue to debate today
This engaging study returns to a truly remarkable year, the year in which both Ulysses and The Waste Land were published, in which The Great Gatsby was set, and during which the Fascisti took over in Italy, the Irish Free State was born, the Harlem Renaissance reached its peak, Charlie Chaplin's popularity crested, and King Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered. In short, the year which not only in hindsight became the primal scene of literary modernism but which served as the cradle for a host of major political and aesthetic transformations resonating around the globe. In his previous study, the acclaimed Dialect of Modernism (OUP, 1994), Michael North looked at the racial and linguistic struggles over the English language which gave birth to the many strains of modernism. Here, he expands his vision to encompass the global stage, and tells the story of how books changed the future of the world as we know it in one unforgettable year.
She was "the most peculiar common denominator that society, literature, art and radical revolutionaries ever found in New York and Europe." So claimed a Chicago newspaper reporter in the 1920s of Mabel Dodge Luhan, who attracted leading literary and intellectual figures to her circle for over four decades. Not only was she mistress of a grand salon, an American Madame de Stael, she was also a leading symbol of the New Woman: sexually emancipated, self-determining, and in control of her destiny. In many ways, her life is the story of America's emergence from the Victorian age. Lois Rudnick has written a unique and definitive biography that examines all aspects of Mabel Dodge Luhan's real and imagined lives, drawing on fictional portraits of Mabel, including those by D. H. Lawrence, Carl Van Vechten, and Gertrude Stein, as well as on Mabel's own voluminous memoirs, letters, and fiction. Rudnick not only assesses Mabel as muse to men of genius but also considers her seriously as a writer, activist, and spirit of the age. This biography will appeal not just to cultural historians but to any woman who has loved and lived with men who are artists and rebels. Both as a liberated woman and as a legend, Mabel Dodge Luhan embodies the cultural forces that shaped modern America.
In ten original essays, American Cinema of the 1920s examines the film industry's continued growth and prosperity while focusing on important themes of the era that witnessed the birth of the star system that supported the meteoric rise and celebrity status of actors, including Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, and Rudolph Valentino, while black performers (relegated to "race films") appeared infrequently in mainstream movies.
"In this, her first book, scholar Demaree C. Peck assigns Willa Cather her rightful place in our literary history. Challenging the assumption that women writers must draw their inspiration from a lineage of female predecessors, Peck portrays Willa Cather as a woman who self-consciously set out to write within a male literary tradition that she identified as Emersonian. Peck explores the psychological underpinnings of Cather's aesthetics to show that her theory of stylistic economy and simplicity was motivated by a desire to reorganize the elements of the artistic stage exclusively around her own romantic ego - that "inexplicable presence of the thing not named."" "Although Cather's protagonists appear in various disguises, clad as pioneers, lawyers, or priests, they are all incarnations of the artist who appropriates people and places as parts of consciousness. Cather's imaginative claimants seek to assimilate the world as a reflection of the self, in the way that their prototype, Emerson's poet-landlord, enjoys a figurative ownership of the landscape in reward for his integrating vision. The novels offer a series of ingenious masquerades beneath whose plots lurk variations of a single story impelled by the artist's quest to take imaginative possession of the world in order to recover the dominion of her soul. Unlike critics who have discussed Cather's novels as a series of discrete experiments, Peck charts the pursuit for imaginative possession as a continuous theme, thereby suggesting a coherence for Cather's art and career as a whole." "Offering original interpretations of eight of Cather's novels in the light of previously undiscussed letters and other biographical materials, Peck explores the relation between Cather's life and art to suggest that she created her central characters as surrogates whose imaginative accumulations could compensate her for various dispossessing experiences in her own life. Cather's novels operate according to the psychological laws of wish fulfillment. While Cather's romanticism has its historical origin in American transcendentalism, its psychological origin derives from the mythic domain of childhood. Cather's "kingdom of art" sanctions the dream projected upon childhood of an original omnipotence that could cheat fate and remain unsoiled by experience. Her novels enact a fantasy of return to primal wholeness. Peck suggests that the novels serve a restorative function not only for their author, but for Cather's readers as well. Cather's fiction is significant, Peck argues, because it performs an important psychological work for its audience."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
They Voyage Perilousis the first extended interpretation of Willa Cather's writing within the literary tradition of romanticism. Although she partook of the familiar subjects and themes of the Wordsworthian school of romanticism, Cather was not nearly so concerned with what we see as how we see. Her intensely individual perspective, more creatively romantic than has been previously recognized, gave her work its own kind of elegant form. ø Susan J. Rosowski argues that Willa Cather early took up the romantic challenge to vindicate imaginative thought in a world threatened by materialism, then pursued it with remarkable consistency throughout her career. The early essays and stories set out the terms of this life-long commitment. In the early novels Cather celebrates imaginative possibilities; in the middle ones she present increasingly desperate circumstances, asking what is left when the imagination is eclipsed by commercial values; in the late novels she writes in a Gothic mode, the dark counterspirit to optimistic romanticism. ø The book is organized chronologically, with a chapter devoted to each novel. The chapters can be read independently or as part of a unified argument providing a larger picture.
Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and the Fiction of Mobilization
Author: Keith Gandal
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner stand as the American voice of the Great War. But was it warfare that drove them to write? Not according to Keith Gandal, who argues that the authors' famous postwar novels were motivated not by their experiences of the horrors of war but rather by their failure to have those experiences. These 'quintessential' male American novelists of the 1920s were all, for different reasons, deemed unsuitable as candidates for full military service or command. As a result, Gandal contends, they felt themselves emasculated--not, as the usual story goes, due to their encounters with trench warfare, but because they got nowhere near the real action. Bringing to light previously unexamined Army records, including new information about the intelligence tests, The Gun and the Pen demonstrates that the authors' frustrated military ambitions took place in the forgotten context of the unprecedented U.S. mobilization for the Great War, a radical effort to transform the Army into a meritocratic institution, indifferent to ethnic and class difference (though not to racial difference). For these Lost Generation writers, the humiliating failure vis-?-vis the Army meant an embarrassment before women and an inability to compete successfully in a rising social order, against a new set of people. The Gun and the Pen restores these seminal novels to their proper historical context and offers a major revision of our understanding of America's postwar literature.