The Great War and the Language of Modernism
Oxford University Press, 10 abr 2003 - 416 páginas
With the expressions "Lost Generation" and "The Men of 1914," the major authors of modernism designated the overwhelming effect the First World War exerted on their era. Literary critics have long employed the same phrases in an attempt to place a radically experimental, specifically modernist writing in its formative, historical setting. What real basis did that Great War provide for the verbal inventiveness of modernist poetry and fiction? Does the literature we bring under this heading respond directly to that provocation, and, if so, what historical memories or revelations can be heard to stir in these words? Vincent Sherry reopens these long unanswered questions by focusing attention on the public culture of the English war. He reads the discourses through which the Liberal party constructed its cause, its Great Campaign. A breakdown in the established language of liberal modernity--the idioms of public reason and civic rationality--marked the sizable crisis this event represents in the mainstream traditions of post-Reformation Europe. If modernist writing characteristically attempts to challenge the standard values of Enlightenment rationalism, this study recovers the historical cultural setting of its most substantial and daring opportunity. And this moment was the occasion for great artistic innovations in the work of Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound. Combining the records of political journalism and popular intellectual culture with abundant visual illustration, Vincent Sherry provides the framework for new interpretations of the major texts of Woolf, Eliot, and Pound. With its relocation of the verbal imagination of modernism in the context of the English war, The Great War and the Language of Modernism restores the historical content and depth of this literature, revealing its most daunting import.
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Página 286 - FEAR no more the heat o' the sun, Nor the furious winter's rages; Thou thy worldly task hast done, Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages. Golden lads and girls all must, As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. Fear no more the frown o...
Página 12 - FOR three years, out of key with his time, He strove to resuscitate the dead art Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime
Página 142 - dulce' non 'et decor' . . . walked eye-deep in hell believing in old men's lies, then unbelieving came home, home to a lie, home to many deceits, home to old lies and new infamy; usury age-old and age-thick and liars in public places.
Página 197 - It is simply a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history.
Página 337 - ... weevil Delay? De Bailhache, Fresca, Mrs. Cammel, whirled Beyond the circuit of the shuddering Bear In fractured atoms. Gull against the wind, in the windy straits Of Belle Isle, or running on the Horn, White feathers in the snow, the Gulf claims, And an old man driven by the Trades To a sleepy corner. Tenants of the house, Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season.
Página 290 - Sir William not only prospered himself but made England prosper, secluded her lunatics, forbade childbirth, penalised despair, made it impossible for the unfit to propagate their views until they, too, shared his sense of proportion — his, if they were men.
Página 126 - LIU CH'E THE rustling of the silk is discontinued, Dust drifts over the court-yard, There is no sound of foot-fall, and the leaves Scurry into heaps and lie still, And she the rejoicer of the heart is beneath them : A wet leaf that clings to the threshold.
Página 59 - All causes shall give way ; I am in blood Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o'er : Strange things I have in head, that will to hand ; Which must be acted, ere they may be scann'd.
Página 126 - In a Station of the Metro": The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals, on a wet, black bough.
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