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This collection of essays by renowned literary scholars offers a sustained and comprehensive account of the relation of British and Irish literary modernism to colonialism. Bringing postcolonial studies into dialogue with modernist studies, the contributors move beyond depoliticized appreciations of modernist aesthetics as well as the dismissal of literary modernism as irredeemably complicit in the evils of colonialism. They demonstrate that the modernists were not unapologetic supporters of empire. Many were avowedly and vociferously opposed to colonialism, and all of the writers considered in this volume were concerned with the political and cultural significance of colonialism, including its negative consequences for both the colonizer and the colonized.

Ranging over poetry, fiction, and criticism, the essays provide fresh appraisals of Joseph Conrad, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, E. M. Forster, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Hugh MacDiarmid, and Evelyn Waugh, as well as Robert Louis Stevenson and H. Rider Haggard. The essays that bookend the collection connect the modernists to their Victorian precursors, to postwar literary critics, and to postcolonial poets. The rest treat major works written or published between 1899 and 1939, the boom years of literary modernism and the period during which the British empire reached its greatest geographic expanse. Among the essays are explorations of how primitivism figured in the fiction of Lawrence and Lewis; how, in Ulysses, Joyce used modernist techniques toward anticolonial ends; and how British imperialism inspired Conrad, Woolf, and Eliot to seek new aesthetic forms appropriate to the sense of dislocation they associated with empire.

Contributors. Nicholas Allen, Rita Barnard, Richard Begam, Nicholas Daly, Maria DiBattista, Ian Duncan, Jed Esty, Andrzej Gasiorek, Declan Kiberd, Brian May, Michael Valdez Moses, Jahan Ramazani, Vincent Sherry

Modernism and colonialism - Richard Begam

9780822340386
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Title
Modernism and colonialism - British and Irish literature, 1899-1939
Author
Richard Begam
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Duke University Press
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20071215

This collection of essays by renowned literary scholars offers a sustained and comprehensive account of the relation of British and Irish literary modernism to colonialism. Bringing postcolonial studies into dialogue with modernist studies, the contributors move beyond depoliticized appreciations of modernist aesthetics as well as the dismissal of literary modernism as irredeemably complicit in the evils of colonialism. They demonstrate that the modernists were not unapologetic supporters of empire. Many were avowedly and vociferously opposed to colonialism, and all of the writers considered in this volume were concerned with the political and cultural significance of colonialism, including its negative consequences for both the colonizer and the colonized.

Ranging over poetry, fiction, and criticism, the essays provide fresh appraisals of Joseph Conrad, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, E. M. Forster, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Hugh MacDiarmid, and Evelyn Waugh, as well as Robert Louis Stevenson and H. Rider Haggard. The essays that bookend the collection connect the modernists to their Victorian precursors, to postwar literary critics, and to postcolonial poets. The rest treat major works written or published between 1899 and 1939, the boom years of literary modernism and the period during which the British empire reached its greatest geographic expanse. Among the essays are explorations of how primitivism figured in the fiction of Lawrence and Lewis; how, in Ulysses, Joyce used modernist techniques toward anticolonial ends; and how British imperialism inspired Conrad, Woolf, and Eliot to seek new aesthetic forms appropriate to the sense of dislocation they associated with empire.

Contributors. Nicholas Allen, Rita Barnard, Richard Begam, Nicholas Daly, Maria DiBattista, Ian Duncan, Jed Esty, Andrzej Gasiorek, Declan Kiberd, Brian May, Michael Valdez Moses, Jahan Ramazani, Vincent Sherry

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Richard Begam is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author of Samuel Beckett and the End of Modernity.


Michael Valdez Moses is Associate Professor of English at Duke University. He is the author of The Novel and the Globalization of Culture.


"Modernism and Colonialism is a terrific book-timely, intelligent, capacious, and a pleasure to read."-Douglas Mao, coeditor of Bad Modernisms


"Modernism and Colonialism will have a real impact on the fields of postcolonial studies and British modernism. It succeeds in treating colonialism as a condition of possibility for a vibrant British-transnational modernism."-Simon During, author of Modern Enchantments: The Cultural Power of Secular Magic


"The subject of this collection-the relation between modernism, understood especially in terms of formal innovation and self-reflexivity, and the historical phenomenon of British colonialism and of resistance to colonialism-is an important and timely one that has received remarkably little attention."-Derek Attridge, author of The Singularity of Literature


"The editors are to be commended not only for persuading such an exciting and well-regarded group of scholars to contribute to this collection but also for structuring the collection so wisely. The essays range widely enough among topics of study to underscore the diverse ways in which modernists and modernist texts engaged with colonial questions, but a genuine, seemingly effortless dialogue unfolds among the essays."

Journal of British Studies - Paige Reynolds

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Modernism (Literature) - Great Britain.|English literature - 20th century - History and criticism.|English literature - Irish authors - History and criticism.|Politics and literature - Great Britain - History - 20th century.|Imperialism in literature.
Country of Publication
North Carolina
Number of Pages
344

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