By Tyrus Miller
In the post-World warfare I reconstruction and the global difficulty that undefined, Miller argues, new technological media and the social forces of mass politics opened fault strains in person and collective event, undermining the cultural bases of the modernist flow. He indicates how overdue modernists tried to find methods of occupying this new and infrequently risky cultural area. In doing in order that they laid naked the damage of the modernist aesthetic even as they transcended its limits.
In his wide-ranging theoretical and historic dialogue, Miller relates advancements in literary tradition to trends within the visible arts, cultural and political feedback, mass tradition, and social background. He excavates Wyndham Lewis's hidden borrowings from Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer; situates Djuna Barnes among the imagery of haute couture and the intellectualism of Duchamp; uncovers Beckett's affinities with Giacometti's surrealist sculptures and the Bolshevik clowns Bim-Bom; and considers Mina Loy as either visionary author and dressmaker of ornamental lampshades. Miller's full of life and fascinating readings of tradition during this turbulent interval display its excellent anticipation of our personal postmodernity.
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Extra resources for Late Modernism: Politics, Fiction, and the Arts between the World Wars
Through a variety of satiric and parodic strategies, they weakened the formal cohesion of the modernist novel and sought to deflate its symbolic resources, reducing literary figures at points to a bald literalness or assimilating them to the degraded forms of extraliterary discourse. They represent a world in free fall, offering vertiginously deranged commentary as word, body, and thing fly apart with a ridiculous lack of grace. " The delicious confession because of the exciting crudity of words thrills him, it has the sanctity of a pact that a kiss alone could properly seal and he pauses in confusion; then big burning Gretchen he yodels on putting into clumsy brazen words all the sentimental secrecies coveted by the Fausts with jammy and milky appetites in the dark ages of simplicity.
Improved Out of All Knowledge: Samuel Beckett 169 Epilogue 6. More or Less Silent: Mina Loy's Novel Insel 207 Notes 223 Index 257 Page ix ILLUSTRATIONS 1. André Breton, Poème-Objet 37 2. Yves Tanguy, Vie de l'objet 38 3. Wyndham Lewis, Illustration from The Apes of God 73 4. Wyndham Lewis, Page from Enemy of the Stars (1914) 89 5. Wyndham Lewis, 1932 Advertisement for Enemy of the Stars 90 6. Curtain design for Edith Sitwell's Façade 103 7. Djuna Barnes, Page from Ladies Almanack 141 8. Djuna Barnes, Page from Ladies Almanack 145 9.
Alberto Giacometti, Suspended Ball 198 13. "Prize Lamp Shades from Nina [sic] Loy of Paris," 1927 214 Page xi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am indebted to many people for their advice, help, and support from the inception of this book to its present form, and I am delighted to be able to express my gratitude to them here. In the course of my project, I have been the beneficiary of several grants, which offered both funding and intellectual community for my work: a Stanford Humanities Center grant, a Fulbright Scholarship in Austria, a Whiting Fellowship, a Stanford Post-Doctoral Scholarship in English, and Griswold Fund support from Yale University.