Modernism and Cultural Conflict, 1880-1922

Overview

In Modernism and Cultural Conflict, Ann Ardis questions commonly held views of the radical nature of literary modernism. She positions the coterie of writers centered around Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and James Joyce among a number of groups in Britain intent on redefining the cultural work of literature at the turn of the twentieth century. Ardis emphasizes the ways in which these modernists secured their cultural centrality, by documenting their support of mainstream attitudes toward science, their retreat from a...
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Overview

In Modernism and Cultural Conflict, Ann Ardis questions commonly held views of the radical nature of literary modernism. She positions the coterie of writers centered around Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and James Joyce among a number of groups in Britain intent on redefining the cultural work of literature at the turn of the twentieth century. Ardis emphasizes the ways in which these modernists secured their cultural centrality, by documenting their support of mainstream attitudes toward science, their retreat from a supposed valuing of scandalous sexuality in the wake of Oscar Wilde's trials in 1895, and the conservative cultural and sexual politics masked by their radical formalist poetics. Recovering key instances of opposition to modernist self-fashioning in British socialism and feminism of the period, Ardis considers how literary modernism's rise to aesthetic prominence paved the way for the institutionalization of English studies through the devaluation of other aesthetic practices.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Ardis has … written a provocative and illuminating book that should be read by all cultural and social historians hoping to gain a sense of the new versions of modernism being explored today.' Cultural and Social History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521052559
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/11/2008
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann L. Ardis is Associate Professor of English and Director of the University Honors Program at the University of Delaware. She is the author of New Women, New Novels: Feminism and Early Modernism (1990) and co-editor (with Bonnie Kime Scott) of Virginia Woolf Turning the Centuries: Selected Papers from the Ninth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf (2000) and (with Leslie Lewis) of Women's Experience of Modernity, 1875–1945 (2002).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: rethinking modernism, remapping the turn of the twentieth century 1
1 Beatrice Webb and the "serious" artist 15
2 Inventing literary tradition, ghosting Oscar Wilde and the Victorian fin de siecle 45
3 The Lost Girl, Tarr, and the "moment" of modernism 78
4 Mapping the middlebrow in Edwardian England 114
5 "Life is not composed of watertight compartments": the New Age's critique of modernist literary specialization 143
Conclusion: modernism and English studies in history 173
Select bibliography 177
Index 183
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