Modernism and Colonialism: British and Irish Literature, 1899–1939

Modernism and Colonialism: British and Irish Literature, 1899–1939

by Richard Begam
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822340380

ISBN-13: 9780822340386

Pub. Date: 10/15/2007

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

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

Overview

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 Gąsiorek, Declan Kiberd, Brian May, Michael Valdez Moses, Jahan Ramazani, Vincent Sherry

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822340386
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
10/15/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction / Richard Begam and Michael Valdez Moses 1

Part 1: Victorian Backgrounds

1. Colonialism and Popular Literature at the Fin de Siecle / Nicholas Daly 19

Part 2: Modern British Literature

2. Disorientalism: Conrad and the Imperial Origins of Modernist Aesthetics / Michael Valdez Moses 43

3. Virginia Woolf’s Colony and the Adolescence of Modernist Fiction / Jed Esty 70

4. War, “Primitivism,” and the Future of “the West”: Reflections on D.H. Lawrence and Wyndham Lewis / Andrzej Agsiorek 91

5. T.S. Eliot, Late Empire, and Decadence / Vincent Sherry 111

6. Romancing the Stump: Modernism and Colonialism to Forster’s A Passage to India / Brian May 136

7. “A tangle of modernism and barbarity”: Evelyn Waugh’s Black Mischief / Rita Barnard 162

Part 3: Ireland and Scotland

8. Joyce’s Trojan Horse: Ulysses and the Aesthetics of Decolonization / Richard Begam 185

9. Yeats, Spengler, and A Vision after Empire / Nicholas Allen 209

10. Elizabeth Bowen’s Troubled Modernism / Maria DiBattista 226

11. “Upon the thistle they’re impaled”: Hugh MacDiarmid’s Modernist Nationalism / Ian Duncan 246

Part 4: Toward the Postcolonial

12. Postcolonial Modernism? / Declan Kiberd 269

13. Modernist Bricolage, Postcolonial Hybridity / Jahan Ramazani 288

Contributors 315

Index 319

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