Bad Modernisms

Bad Modernisms

by Douglas Mao
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822337975

ISBN-13: 9780822337973

Pub. Date: 04/14/2006

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

Modernism is hot again. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, poets and architects, designers and critics, teachers and artists are rediscovering the virtues of the previous century’s most vibrant cultural constellation. Yet this widespread embrace raises questions about modernism’s relation to its own success. Modernism’s “badness”

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Overview

Modernism is hot again. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, poets and architects, designers and critics, teachers and artists are rediscovering the virtues of the previous century’s most vibrant cultural constellation. Yet this widespread embrace raises questions about modernism’s relation to its own success. Modernism’s “badness”—its emphasis on outrageous behavior, its elevation of negativity, its refusal to be condoned—seems essential to its power. But once modernism is accepted as “good” or valuable (as a great deal of modernist art now is), its status as a subversive aesthetic intervention seems undermined. The contributors to Bad Modernisms tease out the contradictions in modernism’s commitment to badness.

Bad Modernisms thus builds on and extends the “new modernist studies,” recent work marked by the application of diverse methods and attention to texts and artists not usually labeled as modernist. In this collection, these developments are exemplified by essays ranging from a reading of dandyism in 1920s Harlem as a performance of a “bad” black modernist imaginary to a consideration of Filipino American modernism in the context of anticolonialism. The contributors reconsider familiar figures—such as Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Josef von Sternberg, Ludwig Wittgenstein, W. H. Auden, and Wyndham Lewis—and bring to light the work of lesser-known artists, including the writer Carlos Bulosan and the experimental filmmaker Len Lye. Examining cultural artifacts ranging from novels to manifestos, from philosophical treatises to movie musicals, and from anthropological essays to advertising campaigns, these essays signal the capaciousness and energy galvanizing the new modernist studies.

Contributors. Lisa Fluet, Laura Frost, Michael LeMahieu, Heather K. Love, Douglas Mao, Jesse Matz, Joshua L. Miller, Monica L. Miller, Sianne Ngai, Martin Puchner, Rebecca L. Walkowitz

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822337973
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
04/14/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 8.75(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Modernisms Bad and New / Douglas Mao and Rebecca L. Walkowitz 1

Forced Exile: Walter Pater’s Queer Modernism / Heather K. Love 19

The Aftershocks of Blast: Manifestos, Satire, and the Rear-Guard of Modernism / Martin Puchner 44

Nonsense Modernism: The Limits of Modernity and the Feelings of Philosophy in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus / Michael LeMahieu 68

The Romance of Cliche: E.M. Hull, D.H. Lawrence, and Interwar Erotic Fiction / Laura Frost 94

Virginia Woolf’s Evasion: Critical Cosmopolitanism and British Modernism / Rebecca L. Walkowitz 119

Black Venus, Blonde Venus / Sianne Ngai 145

The Black Dandy as Bad Modernist / Monica L. Miller 179

A Shaman in Common: Lewis, Auden, and the Queerness of Liberalism / Douglas Mao 206

The Gorgeous Laughter of filipino Modernity: Carlos Bulosan’s The Laughter of My Father / Joshua L. Miller 238

Hit-Man Modernism / Lisa Fluet 269

Cultures of Impression / Jesse Matz 298

Bibliography 331

Notes on Contributors 353

Index 355

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