Women, Celebrity, and Literary Culture between the Wars (Literary Modernism)

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In the papal decree Lamentabili Sane Exitu, a collection of sixty-five condemned propositions aimed chiefly at Loisy, and the more general and philosophically grounded encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, condemned the modernists' views. The requirement in that all clerics take the antimodernist oath, known as Sacrorum Antistitum, marked the end of the movement as such, although its spirit persisted and prospered in less rebellious forms.

Riviere, J. Paris, Vidler, A. The Modernist Movement in the Roman Church. Cambridge, U. Bennett and Mrs. Brown" in This change, whether in art, technology, philosophy or human behavior, is generally called Modernism. Modernism like Romanticism, designates the broad literary and cultural movement that spanned all of the arts and even spilled into politics and philosophy. Like Romanticism, Modernism was highly varied in its manifestations between the arts and even within each art.

The dates when Modernism flourished are in dispute, but few scholars identify its genesis as being before and World War II is generally considered to mark an end of the movement's height. Petersburg , and especially Paris; it spread to the cities of the United States and South America after World War I ; by the s, Modernism had thoroughly taken over the American and European academy, where it was challenged by nascent Postmodernism in the s.

Modernism's roots are in the rapidly changing technology of the late nineteenth century and in the theories of such late nineteenth-century thinkers as Freud, Marx, Darwin, and Nietzsche. Modernism influenced painting first Impressionism and Cubism are forms of Modernism , but in the decade before World War I such writers as Ezra Pound, Filippo Marinetti, James Joyce , and Guillaume Apollinaire translated the advances of the visual arts into literature.

Such characteristically modernist techniques as stream-of-consciousness narration and allusiveness, by the late s, spilled into popular writing and became standard. The movement's concerns were with the accelerating pace of society toward destruction and meaninglessness. In the late s many of society's certainties were undermined. Marx demonstrated that social class was created, not inherent; Freud reduced human individuality to an instinctive sex drive; Darwin provided fossil evidence that the Earth was much older than the estimate based on scripture; and Nietzsche argued that even the most deeply held ethical principles were simply constructions.

Modernist writers attempted to come to terms with where humanity stood after its cornerstones had been pulverized. The modernists sifted through the shards of the past looking for what was valuable and what could inspire construction of a new society. Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 26, He attended Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford, studying philosophy and writing a dissertation on the logician F.

While in college, Eliot began writing poetry, but in he discovered French symbolist poetry and his whole attitude toward literature changed. Ezra Pound read some of Eliot's poetry in the s and immediately decided that Eliot would be a member of his own literary circle. Alfred Prufrock" published in that journal in Eliot had settled in London at the same time and married the emotionally unstable Vivian Haigh-Wood.

Eliot struggled to make a living, working as a teacher and later at Lloyd's Bank until In Eliot broke through with his brilliant and successful poem "The Waste Land," although the manuscript of the poem demonstrates that Ezra Pound played a large role in the editing of the poem. In critical essays and his own poetry, he denigrated the romantics and neoclassicists and celebrated Dante and the Elizabethan "metaphysical" poets.

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He argued for the central role of "Tradition" in literature and downplayed the cult of individual genius created by the romantics. For the remainder of his life, Eliot occupied the role of literary elder statesman. He continued to produce poems such as the Four Quartets but was never prolific. He became the model of the conservative, royalist, High Church English gentleman.

He died January 4, , the very embodiment of the literary establishment. He grew up in Oxford, Mississippi, and briefly attended the University of Mississippi before leaving the state to seek his fortune as a writer. Settling briefly in New Orleans , Faulkner came under the tutelage of Sherwood Anderson and published his first book, The Marble Faun , a collection of short stories, in In he published the novel Sartoris , his first work set in the fictional Mississippi county of Yoknapatawpha.

In the s and s, Faulkner received a great deal of critical attention for his works, but he never obtained the kind of financial success that he sought. Attempting to remedy this, he wrote two sensationalistic books Sanctuary and Requiem for aNun and briefly moved to Los Angeles to work as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Faulkner died on July 6, , in Byhalia, Mississippi. James Joyce is the most important writer of the modernist movement.

He produced relatively few works, but these books included poetry, drama, short stories, and the novel that the Modern Library publishing imprint named the most important novel of the twentieth century. His life, too, became the embodiment of many of Modernism's most central themes: exile, the presence of the past in one's life, familiarity with a broad range of cultures and historical periods, and self-destruction.

Joyce was born in Dublin, Ireland, on February 2, , to a lower middle-class Catholic family. His father died when Joyce was young. During his youth and college years he struggled with the rigid structures of Catholic school and Irish nationalism. In Joyce left Dublin for Paris, but was called back to Ireland when his mother fell ill. He left Dublin again in , bringing with him his companion Nora Barnacle, an uneducated but vivacious young woman who became his longtime companion and then married him in For many years Joyce struggled to make a living and to provide for his growing family.

Settling first in Trieste and then in Zurich, he taught literature and enjoyed an occasional monetary grant. Dubliners , his collection of stories, was published in and immediately obtained the notice of the Anglo-American avant-garde and the disapproval of the Irish literary establishment. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was just that, a stream-of-consciousness narrative of Joyce's own life barely fictionalized as protagonist Stephen Dedalus up to the point that he left Ireland. In Joyce published his masterpiece and the single greatest work of Modernism, Ulysses.

This retelling of the Odysseus myth through the persona of a Jewish advertising salesman in Dublin is a triumph on every level. The book was immediately banned in England and the United States for blasphemy and obscenity; it was not until that it became legal in the United States.


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After Ulysses , Joyce began work on another long novel, which was simply called Work in Progress during its composition. Joyce, by now the leading modernist writer, was living in Paris and had the worshipful admiration of the Lost Generation Americans as well as the more established writers of the city.

Women, Celebrity, and Literary Culture between the Wars

Celebrations of Work in Progress appeared even before any of the work appeared in print. When it finally was published as Finnegans Wake in , it shocked readers with its incessant wordplay. It is a very difficult novel, barely recognizable as English in many places, but its intricate structure and brilliant use of all of the English language 's possibilities ensure that readers will attempt to decipher it for decades to come. Joyce died in Zurich on January 13, , following surgery for a perforated ulcer. In many ways, Ezra Pound was the father of literary Modernism.

If nothing else, he almost single-handedly brought the techniques of Modernism to U. Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho, on October 30, , but soon after his birth his family moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia.

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He grew up in that area and attended the University of Pennsylvania where he met William Carlos Williams and another important American modernist poet, Hilda Doolittle and Hamilton College. After a short stint teaching at a small college in Indiana, Pound grew tired of what he saw to be American small-mindedness and moved to Venice, Italy. In Venice, Pound resolved to become a poet. He published a book there, but soon relocated to London. In the decade he spent in London, Pound, through the strength of his own will, created movements and forced himself into the center of those movements.

Probably the most important of those movements was Imagism, a school of poetry that explicitly rejected Victorian models of verse by simply presenting images without authorial commentary. In Pound left London for Paris, where he spent a few years before becoming frustrated by the dominance of Gertrude Stein in the avant-garde scene there. In he moved to Rapallo, Italy, where he developed a strong affinity for Mussolini and Italian fascism.

At this time he also began working in earnest on The Cantos , the epic poem that would become his life's work. Pound stayed in Italy for more than twenty years. Found mentally unfit to defend himself, Pound was incarcerated in St. Because of the intercession of such luminaries as T. Eliot, Robert Frost , and Ernest Hemingway , in Pound was released from his incarceration and allowed to return to Italy. Settling in Venice, he published a few more books but by the mids he fell into a silence.

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He died in Venice, Italy, on November 1, Gertrude Stein was born February 3, , in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. She studied philosophy and psychology at Radcliffe College and then medicine at Johns Hopkins University but left to live in Paris in before earning her M. Many of the painters whose work they collected became part of the Stein salon, a social gathering for artists and intellectuals.

Stein met Alice B. Toklas in ; in , Toklas moved in with Leo and Stein and became Stein's lifelong partner. Leo and Stein had an irreconcilable split in , whereupon they divided their collection and he moved to Italy. Stein's first published novel is Three Lives , but she found international fame in with the publication of The Autobiography of Alice B.

Toklas which is actually her own autobiography. She is credited with coining the term "Lost Generation" to describe the American expatriate writers and artists who began gathering at her house after World War I. Stein died on July 27, , from cancer, having survived two world wars and the Holocaust despite being Jewish, homosexual, and living in Europe for most of her adult life. Wallace Stevens was born October 2, , in Reading, Pennsylvania. He lived a dual life as an insurance lawyer working out of New York City and Hartford, Connecticut, and as a modernist poet.

Stevens married Elsie Kachel in , and they had a daughter, Holly, in His first book of poetry Harmonium was published in While ill from terminal cancer, Steven converted to Catholicism; he died several months later on August 2, Although he was a successful poet during his life, his intellectual poetry became even more well known after his death, influencing poets such as Donald Justice and John Ashbery.

In she moved to the Blooms-bury district of London, a neighborhood that gave its name to Woolf's literary and intellectual circle. She married the journalist Leonard Woolf, and in she and her husband founded the Hogarth Press, an important literary and cultural publishing firm that published the first English-language editions of Freud's work and T. Eliot's early collection Poems Beginning in the late s, Woolf began to write. She quickly internalized the discoveries of Freud and the literary advances of the modernists and produced a number of novels striking in their sophistication: Jacob's Room , Mrs.

Dalloway , and To the Lighthouse Her novels brought the stream-of-consciousness style a new depth and possibility. In addition to her activity in the literary world, she brought her feminist orientation and bisexual lifestyle to the forefront of her writing. However, her own life was not entirely happy. During the s she grew increasingly fearful that she was suffering from a mental illness and would become a burden on her husband and friends.

Perhaps the most notable example of Joycean prose in American literature is this novel, written in by Henry Roth, the son of Jewish immigrants to New York.

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The novel tells the story of David Schearl, an immigrant boy in New York. Using the stream-of-consciousness technique perfected by Joyce in his A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man , the novel articulates the interior voice of this boy as he grows up poor, watches his parents fight, and struggles with persecution from neighborhood bullies. The novel gained critical acclaim upon publication but was quickly forgotten until its paperback republication in By this time Roth had given up writing and moved to New Mexico. In the early s, near the end of his long life, Roth returned to writing, producing four sequels to his masterwork.

If Ulysses is the most successful and greatest work of the modernist movement, Ezra Pound's. Its composition and contents mirror the ideas of the modernists. It is composed of fragments, of different voices from different times and places. It attempts to diagnose the ills of the modern world, comes up with an ultimately failed solution, and imagines a better world that existed once and could exist in fragmentary form again.

Pound began writing his "poem including history," as he called it, in , when he published early versions of three of the cantos in a literary magazine. He began working in earnest on the poem in the s after he moved to Italy, and continued working on it, eventually publishing eight installments, until the late s. The poem is an epic, attempting to tell "the tale of the tribe" civilized humanity from ancient to modern times.

Structured to mirror and include characters from two of history's great epics Homer's Odyssey and Dante's Divine Comedy , the poem was originally planned to include cantos, or shorter chapters. There is no plot per se, but the poem broadly moves from hell literally but also in the sense of an utterly fallen civilization to purgatory, where historical figures such as Confucius, Sigismondo Malatesta, Thomas Jefferson , John Adams , and Mussolini are introduced.

Pound wanted to highlight moments in history when a just and aesthetically appreciative society existed or could have existed. The poem veered sharply back to Pound's own life during the s, when Pound found himself working for the Fascists and ultimately was incarcerated in a mental hospital in the United States. As Pound neared the end of his life and of the poem, he discovered and recorded glimpses of paradise on earth.

Public opinion of the work varies dramatically. Many readers can make no sense of the poem; others find that it contains some of the most remarkable passages in English-language poetry. Critics have been similarly divided. Although the poem is solidly in the canon of American literature and is considered one of the central works of modernist literature, many scholars and academics dismiss it as a failed, obscure, and ultimately fascist poem.

Ernest Hemingway published A Farewell to Arms in He was already famous for his portrait of dissolute youth in Paris, The Sun Also Rises , but this novel was a great step forward in terms of sophistication and importance. It tells of Hemingway's own experiences as an ambulance driver during the last days of World War I; his wounding and convalescence and affair with a nurse.

More important, though, was Hemingway's revolutionary technique. His prose was terse and journalistic, stripped of adjectives and any construction that might call attention to itself. Such narration achieved a numbness that reflected the mental brutalization the war visited upon the hero—and the author. Hemingway eschews abstract concepts such as glory, duty, and honor because, like his hero's, his own experience during the war showed him that these were weapons used by people in power to manipulate ordinary people.

After the popular and critical success of this novel, Hemingway became an international celebrity with literary credibility. He continued to write for much of the rest of his life and produced at least two great novels For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea before committing suicide in The popularity of the work of poet and insurance lawyer Wallace Stevens has continued to grow even as the work of other modernists has fallen in favor.

Stevens's first book of poetry was Harmonium , published by Alfred A. Knopf in While modernist poetry written by Pound and Eliot was allusive, drenched in the fragments of previous cultures and other languages, and overwhelmed by an almost angry melancholy, Stevens's work was light and lyrical. In Harmonium , Stevens exhibited a verbal dandyism, delighting in the sounds of words and in Elizabethan definitions.

He was a direct descendant of Keats and Marvell, whereas other modernists saw Browning, Shakespeare, and Dante as their ancestors. But Stevens cannot be dismissed as a writer of light verse. His poems exhibit the characteristic modernist fear of nihilism while entertaining the fear that the entire world is simply a projection of his mind.

In "The Snow Man," for instance, Stevens listens to "nothing that is not there and the nothing that is," and in "Tea at the Palaz of Hoon" the narrator questions whether "I was the world in which I walked. William Faulkner, a Mississippian, began his career as a writer heavily influenced by the regionalist Sherwood Anderson , with whom he worked in New Orleans in the s, the home of American Bohemianism. But Faulkner quickly outdid his teacher. He created an entire fictional world in which almost all of his fiction was set: Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. In this world the past always impinges upon the present, and Faulkner's fiction is full of narrative devices intended to outflank language's need to be based in time.

His The Sound and the Fury contains Faulkner's most successful experiments with time. The novel is the story of the fall of the Compson family that culminates in the suicide of son Quentin. Told by a series of narrators, the stories in the book provide different perspectives on the same events and the reader must compare all of the different versions in order to understand what "really" happened. Most difficult is the narration of Benjy, a retarded boy who has no conception of time.

In his narration there is no differentiation between what happened years ago, what happened yesterday, and what is happening now. Gertrude Stein's second book was a collection of poetry, Tender Buttons , published in Her poems are avant-garde word clusters wherein Stein seeks to rename objects whose original names have lost their meaning.

She relied on prosody, or rhythm and intonation, to discover these new names. The book is divided in three sections, Objects, Food, and Rooms and does not conform to conventional poetics but instead reads like lyrical prose in short paragraphs. Its literary significance is hidden in the book's subtle references to homosexuality and its expression of Stein's cubist influences. Virginia Woolf perfected the stream-of-consciousness or interior monologue style in her novels of the s. Her novel To the Lighthouse depicts the Ramsay family, who is spending the summer in a vacation house on the Isle of Skye.

Assorted guests, including the painter Lily Briscoe a character many readers feel is a stand-in for Woolf herself , also come and go. The novel moves from a focus solely on the personal level of the family to a wider focus; the impending world war appears as a dark cloud on the horizon.

Modernism Is the Literature of Celebrity

The novel then shifts time to ten years later as the family deals with the death of one of its members. Woolf's novel delicately and insightfully pulls apart memory, family relationships, and the effects of death. In a movement such as Modernism, generally so focused on the big picture often to the exclusion of the personal, To the Lighthouse stands out as an example of how modernist technique can be applied to the examination of emotion. James Joyce's novel Ulysses , first published in , is the single greatest work of modernist literature and is considered by many to be the finest novel ever written.

Joyce spent ten years writing this book, a meticulously detailed day in the life of three Dubliners. The main characters are Leopold Bloom, a Jewish advertising salesman; Molly Bloom, Leopold's wife, a singer who is planning to cheat on her husband; and Stephen Dedalus, a dissipated young intellectual. The story parallels Homer's Odyssey but translates that epic journey of ten years to eighteen hours and one city. Upon its publication—and even before, when fragments were published in magazines—the book was immediately hailed as a work of genius.

Joyce's boundless erudition, his command of languages and literature and history, his love and intimate knowledge of one small place at one specific time, are all on display in this book. More than just an intellectual enterprise and a small gem of engineering, though, Ulysses is a genuinely moving story of conjugal and parental love. Because of its frank treatment of sex and its, at times, insulting portraits of religion and Irish nationalism, the book was banned in Ireland and the United States. It took twelve years for the book to be allowed in the United States; until then, travelers to Paris would have to hide the book in their luggage from customs inspectors who were warned to look for its characteristic blue-green binding.

Eliot's "The Waste Land," published in , is the single most important modernist poem. Essentially plotless, the poem instead attempts to capture historical development to the present day by use of allusion. Characters such as Tiresias, the Smyrna merchant, and an East London housewife, wander through the poem. London, the "Unreal City" in the fog, becomes the synecdoche for the fallen world as a whole.

The poem moves from Elizabethan times to the ancient world to the present and ends, finally, with a small failing voice speaking Sanskrit. Interestingly, in its original version the poem was six times as long and titled "He Do The Police in Different Voices. Eliot showed the poem to Ezra Pound, asking for his advice. Pound performed what he called a "Caesarean operation" on Eliot's manuscript, telling him to cut the links between the vignettes so that the poem appeared as a series of fragments.

Eliot never called attention to Pound's central role in creating "The Waste Land" and it was not until the s, when the original manuscript was found, that Pound's true role became publicly known. Most critics have seen the poem as expressing a fundamental despair at the sense that, with the loss of all certainties, the world was nothing but "fragments" that are "shored against [our] ruin.

In very real terms, the entire world and the way that humans understood that world changed between when the modernist period is generally understood to have begun and In the idea of traveling at a mile a minute was but a dream, as was the notion of flight for human beings. The photograph was new; moving pictures, much less moving pictures that talked, were only fantasies.

Electrical signals being sent through wires was a possible dream, but the idea that voices could be transmitted was fantastic. The idea that voices could be transmitted without wires, through the air, was utterly preposterous. In the world was a different place. Machines allowed people to see moving, talking pictures; to travel at more than one hundred miles an hour; to fly through the air; to transmit both voices and images without wires; to talk, in real time, with someone at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Humans relied on machines to a much greater extent than they ever had. It is hard today to conceive of a world without powered machines, but in many people in the United States lived their entire lives without ever encountering a powered machine.


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  • By the s machines had made it possible to communicate or travel—or destroy—with much greater speed and efficiency than anyone had ever dreamed in The modernist writers, almost as a rule, feared the new technology and left it out of their writing. Joyce set his masterpiece Ulysses in , before motorcars had become widespread. Eliot and Pound move easily between historical periods but rarely mention the technological advances that had permeated all aspects of urban life by. Rather, they look back to the classical or medieval or Renaissance periods, fearing that dependence upon machines will cloud their minds, make them less able to understand what is truly important about being human.

    The only modernist writer who really engaged with technology, in fact, is the Italian futurist writer Filippo Marinetti. Marinetti was a Milanese who came to London to perform spoken-word pieces that celebrated machines. The glory of airplanes, cars, factories, and machine guns was always the subject of Marinetti's verse. Blinded by his fascination with the clean efficiency of machines, Marinetti ended up advocating the violence of World War I and, in the mids, became an apologist for Mussolini. Modernist novelists had no more important influence than the Viennese psychiatrist Sigmund Freud.

    Although he did not actually invent the discipline, Freud is considered the father of psychoanalysis. His writings propose a three-part model of the psyche consisting of the id or the primitive drives , the ego the sense of the self , and the superego or the moral lessons and codes of behavior people internalize. Freud believed that human behavior and neuroses have causes of which people are unaware, causes that stem from childhood experiences or from the thwarting of certain basic urges. Psychoanalysis was predicated on the idea that an analyst could pick out certain ideas and reactions in a patient that would indicate the real problem.

    Such writers as Woolf and Joyce took this idea and turned it into the basis for fiction. They were reacting against realist writers, who sought to simply record the unadorned facts of the world around. Doing so was impossible, the modernists believed; the psyche of the narrator will always be affected by unknown forces and thus is never able to capture reality without any kind of bias or alteration.

    Rather, people should attempt simply to record thoughts, for by this the reader can understand things about the narrator that the narrator him- or herself does not. Joyce's first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man , records the thoughts of Stephen Dedalus from the time he is a "nicens little boy" to the time he is a college student. In her short story "The Mark on the Wall," Virginia Woolf captures a moment in time as a woman looks at a mark on the wall.

    The narration follows her mind as she extrapolates all of the possibilities of what the mark could be and follows all of the subconscious connections her mind makes with seemingly unrelated topics. Modern-ist writers felt that the "interior monologue" or the stream-of-consciousness technique gave readers access to the character's subconscious.

    Modernism was the first literary movement to take urban life as a given, as a form of experience that was categorically different from any other kind of life. The French symbolist poet Charles Baudelaire was fascinated by the "flaneur," the man who strolls the city aimlessly as a way of life. The anonymity of the city, its darkness, its mechanization, its vast power, all inspired the modernists; it attracted and repelled them in equal measure.

    Modernist writers most of them, interestingly enough, from suburbs or small cities gravitated to London and Paris, St. Petersburg and New York, where they found each other, formed movements, drank and fought together, and broke apart. London was the first home of Anglo-American Modernism, but the city's essentially commercial character eventually sent most of the writers elsewhere. By the s, Paris was the home of one of the greatest concentration of artists in history. In the s, with war looming in Europe, the artistic energy moved west to New York. But no matter what city, the city was almost always the subject of modernist literature.

    Although he could not stay there and moved between Paris, Trieste, and Zurich during his "exile," everything James Joyce ever wrote was about the vibrant urban life of Dublin.

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    The poet Hart Crane composed his epic poem "The Bridge" about the Brooklyn Bridge , the monument of engineering and architectural beauty that made New York City the center of American urban life. Eliot's melancholy poems point out the loneliness and lack of meaning city-dwellers often feel. The city, where technology and masses of people and anonymity come together, became the master trope of Modernism itself. Alienation is defined as the sense of being alien, or of not belonging, to one's own milieu.

    It can also mean separation from something. If the city is the master trope or image of Modernism, alienation is its master theme. Almost all modernist writing deals with alienation in some form. The primary kind of alienation that Modernism depicts is the alienation of one sensitive person from the world. The stream-of-consciousness technique of narration is particularly well suited for this because readers can see the inner feelings of a person and witness his or her essential self along with the actions of the world outside.

    Stephen Dedalus, Joyce's protagonist and stand-in, is alienated from his family, his friends, his religion, and his country because of devotion to art and his certainty that nobody can understand and accept him. Woolf's heroines are doubly alienated from the world because of their status as women; because of their sex, they are not allowed to participate in the world of politics, education, or economics. Alfred Prufrock" are confronted by a world that is just broken shards of a discarded whole; everyone else seems to walk through the world calmly but they cannot.

    And for Ezra Pound, it is the world itself that has been alienated, by the forces of greed, from what should truly be historical heritage. Surrounded by the debris of all of the smashed certainties of the past, modernist writers looked at the contemporary world as a directionless place, without center or certainty. These past certainties, although oppressive and constructed on specious values, were at least some kind of foundation for the world. The modernist age set out to break apart these certainties; World War I then finished the job and horrified the world by demonstrating what humanity was capable of.

    Writers in the modernist age often felt that they were at the end of history. Because of this, modernist poems and novels often incorporate and mix together huge swaths of history. Allusion—brief references to people, places, things, or even languages and literatures—was the characteristic modernist technique for including history. Partly because of their profound uneasiness in the modern world, modernist writers alluded constantly to the past. This is not to say that the modernists were uncritical admirers of the past.

    In his poem "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley," Ezra Pound wrote that World War I's vast slaughter was ultimately for the purpose of defending "an old [b——] gone in the teeth But both of these writers' works are filled with allusions to the past. And almost all of the important modernist writers, as well, incorporate in their work the belief that the past exists in the present. Pound, for instance, called his The Cantos "a poem including history" and the list of allusions in that poem has over ten thousand entries.

    Modernism sought to accurately portray the world not as it is but as humans actually experience it. Modernist literature, then, relied especially on advances in narrative technique, for narration a voice speaking is an essential way to convey the perceived or experienced world. Interestingly, the narrative techniques in modernist poetry and modernist fiction illustrate the same ideas about experience, but they do so in very different ways. Modernist fiction tends to rely on the stream-of-consciousness or "interior monologue" techniques.

    This kind of narration purports to record the thoughts as they pass through a narrator's head. The unpredictable connections that people make between ideas demonstrate something about them, as do the things they try to avoid thinking about. In Ulysses , Leopold Bloom attempts not to dwell on his knowledge that his wife will cheat on him as he wanders the city, so thoughts of his wife, of Blazes Boylan her lover , or of sex make him veer quickly in another mental direction.

    She also reassesses the relationship between celebrity culture and literary culture, demonstrating how the commercial success of these writers caused literary elites to denigrate their writing as "middlebrow," despite the fact that their work often challenged middle-class ideals of marriage, home, and family and complicated class categories and lines of social discrimination. The first comparative study of North American and British literary celebrity, Women, Celebrity, and Literary Culture between the Wars offers a nuanced appreciation of the middlebrow in relation to modernism and popular culture.

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