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By Andrzej Gasiorek

A historical past of Modernist Literature offers a serious evaluation of modernism in England among the past due Nineties and the past due Nineteen Thirties, concentrating on the writers, texts, and activities that have been in particular major within the improvement of modernism in the course of those years.

  • A stimulating and coherent account of literary modernism in England which emphasizes the creative achievements of specific figures and provides distinct readings of key works by means of the main major modernist authors whose paintings reworked early twentieth-century English literary culture
  • Provides in-depth dialogue of highbrow debates, the fabric stipulations of literary creation and dissemination, and the actual destinations within which writers lived and worked
  • The first large-scale e-book to supply a scientific assessment of modernism because it constructed in England from the overdue Eighteen Nineties via to the overdue 1930s

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Trying to imagine what the literature of the future might look like, Flaubert observed that contemporary writers were ‘in a shadowy ­corner, groping in the dark’, while the ground upon which they stood 8 Introduction was ‘slipping under [their] feet’ (GFL 159). 17 In short, modernist engagements with modernity are inextricable from their sustained exploration of its consequences for subjectivity – for what it meant to be an individual faced with the challenge of living in a world whose cultural, economic, political, and social coordinates were being altered almost beyond recognition.

71 These negative readings of modernism’s cultural, political, and social potential are linked to the difficult question of modernism’s relationship with the avant‐garde and with the no less tricky question of how distinct these two tendencies were. Most critics who write on the avant‐garde tend to see it as more politically engaged (however problematically) than modernism, which is then associated with a desire for aesthetic autonomy and a critical vantage point safely above the fray. Calinescu, for example, argues that the artistic avant‐garde insisted ‘on the independently revolutionary potential of art’, a claim that leaves much to be clarified, since the term ‘revolutionary’ can mean many things.

Modernism is inconceivable without these many influences. 50 Modernism, in short, was an international and cosmopolitan ­movement – the product of diverse artistic and intellectual currents. It was also made by men and women who came from a range of ­backgrounds; its internationalism is visible in its personnel no less than in the manifold cultures by which it was influenced. Terry Eagleton pointed out some time ago that several of the most significant late nineteenth‐ and early twentieth‐century writers living and working in England were foreigners.

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