Modernisms: a literary guide

Nicholls, Peter (1995) Modernisms: a literary guide. Palgrave Macmillan/University of California Press, London/Berkeley & Los Angeles, vii 375. ISBN 9780333407387

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Abstract

`Nicholls' astonishing linguistic and cultural range allows him to see, as have few critics, how various and complex the modernisms really were...to my mind, the very best single study of its subject currently available.' - Marjorie G. Perloff, Sadie Dernham Pater Professor of Humanities, Stanford University `Peter Nicholls has written a `guide' in the richest sense, providing a variousness of direction, rather than a singular closure of definition. Sophisticated, agile and wonderfully accessible, this `baedecker to a continent' is inescapably necessary reading - an adventure in fresh and revitalising explorations.' `New maps sweep clean: Modernisms sets the record-straight by looking aslant, restoring `tangents' to the main stage of a play that continues to inform most of our present-day literary imaginings.' - Charles Bernstein, David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters, State University of New York at Buffalo The recent enthusiasm for things postmodern has often produced a caricature of modernism as monolithic and reactionary. In a lively and wide-ranging discussion, Peter Nicholls argues that the distinctive feature of Modernism is its diversity. Providing original analytic accounts of each of the main movements, he explores the ways in which the new stylistic developments were closely bound up with a shifting politics of gender and authority. Modernisms introduces the reader to a wealth of literary experiment, beginning in the nineteenth century world of Baudelaire and Mallarme and moving forward into the recognisably modern one of the first avant-gardes. Close readings of key texts monitor the explosive histories of Futurism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dada and Surrealist - histories which allow the familiar terrain of Anglo-American Modernism to be seen in a strikingly different light. Modernisms invites us to rethink our habits of reading seminal works of twentieth-century British and American literature, transforming one thing into many, and evoking the richness and diversity of a cultural moment which continues to shape our own.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: Italian translation: la forma e le scritture: una lettura critica del modernismo. Rome: Armando Editore 2000. Transl. Simona Mambarini intro. Paolo Proietti 432pp.
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Depositing User: Peter Alan Nicholls
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:55
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2012 08:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23043
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