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Material Modernism: The Politics of the Page

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Overview

Material Modernism draws on editorial theory, cultural studies and the history of the book to argue for a freshly historicized reading of modernism. Instead of taking texts as consisting of disembodied words, Bornstein considers their physical bodies as themselves semantically important. He argues that current constructions of literary modernism - like those that regard its achievements and attitudes as favoring the anti-historical over the historical, or product over process - are derived from the fixed, current, material forms of its texts. By studying modernism in its original sites of production and in the continually shifting physicality of its transmissions, an alternative construction emerges that emphasizes historical contingency, multiple versions, and the material features of the text itself. Bornstein recontextualizes works by a range of British, Irish, and American authors, including W. B. Yeats, Emma Lazarus, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, James Joyce, and writers of the Harlem Renaissance, among others.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Bornstein continually stresses both the fluidity and hybridity of culture and the necessity of creating a critical approach alive to its flux. That is perhaps the book's greatest strength, the impetus and equipment it gives readers to ignore shopworn interpretations and explore the evidence for themselves.' Publishers Weekly

'An engaging and clearly written work of scholarship.' Michigan Alumnus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521024853
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

George Bornstein is C.A. Patrides Professor of Literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. How to read a page: modernism and material textuality; 2. The once and future text of modernist poetry; 3. Yeats and textual reincarnation: 'When you are old' and 'September 1913'; 4. Building Yeat's tower/building modernism; 5. Pressing women: Marianne Moore and networks of Modernism; 6. Joyce and the colonial archive: constructing alterity in Ulysses; 7. Afro-Celtic connections: hybridity and the material text; Notes; Index.

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