Modernism's Mythic Pose: Gender, Genre, Solo Performance

Overview

Modernism's Mythic Pose recovers the tradition of Delsartism, a popular international movement that promoted bodily and vocal solo performances, particularly for women. This strain of classical-antimodernism shaped dance, film, and poetics. Its central figure, the mythic pose, expressed both skepticism and nostalgia and functioned as an ambivalent break from modernity.

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Overview

Modernism's Mythic Pose recovers the tradition of Delsartism, a popular international movement that promoted bodily and vocal solo performances, particularly for women. This strain of classical-antimodernism shaped dance, film, and poetics. Its central figure, the mythic pose, expressed both skepticism and nostalgia and functioned as an ambivalent break from modernity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Clearly written and carefully researched, this study systematically analyzes the semiotics of gesture. Recommended." —CHOICE

"In this carefully researched study, Carrie J. Preston uncovers the myriad influences of French movement visionary François Delsarte on modern dance, film, and literature, and reminds us of the importance of performance history for understanding modernism more generally." —Martin Puchner, author of The Drama of Ideas

"Lucidly written and solidly argued, Modernism's Mythic Pose excavates a fascinating classicist-antimodernist genealogy of modernism. Preston's impressive historical research interrupts the standard gendered dichotomy of antimodernism and avant-gardism and makes an important contribution to reconceiving transatlantic modernism." —Laura Winkiel, author of Modernism, Race, and Manifestos

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Carrie J. Preston has been an Assistant Professor of Womens Studies and English at Boston University.

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Table of Contents

Series Editors' Foreword Acknowledgments Introduction.
I. Modern, Antimodern, and Mythic Posing II. Gendered Identity and Embodiment III. Biblical Typology and Classical Ritual IV. Solo Genres V. Modernist Kinaesthetics

Chapter 1. The Solo's Origins: Monodramas, Attitudes, Dramatic Monologues I. Galatea's Reach: Gestures of the Monodrama II. Veiled Motions: Emma Lyon Hamilton's Attitude III. Goethe's Proserpina and Later Posers IV. Barrett Browning: Naming "Aeschylus" and "The Virgin Mary"
V. Types and Housewives in Christina Rossetti and Augusta Webster

Chapter 2. Posing Modernism: Delsartism in Modern Dance and Silent Film I. Delsarte's Aesthetics of the Attitude II. Disseminating Delsarte III. Performing Delsartism: Genevieve Stebbins and the Early Motions of Modern Dance IV. Performing Delsartism (Take Two): Denishawn and Hollywood V. The Russian Delsarte: Kuleshov and Film Montage

Chapter 3. Positioning Genre: The Dramatic Monologue in Cultures of Recitation I. Expression, Recitation, and Literary Interpretation II. Charlotte Mew: The Magdalene in "Madeleine in Church"
III. T. S. Eliot's "Magus": Impersonality, Objective Correlative, and Mythical Method IV. Chautauquas, "Sextus Propertius," and Ezra Pound's History V. Amy Lowell's Polyphonic Emma Lyon Hamilton

Chapter 4. The Motor in the Soul: Isadora Duncan's Solo Dance I. The Shock of Solo Expression II. The Proto-Motor: Duncan and Delsartean Posing III. The Joints of Modernism: Conjunctures of Materialism and Metaphysics IV. The Multiplied Body of the Motor V. Motorized Propulsion and Modernist Ritual VI. Repetitions of the Motor: Will and Spontaneity VII. The Weight of a Thigh and the New Woman of (Anti)Modernism

Chapter 5. Ritualized Reception: H.D.'s Antimodernist Poetics and Cinematics I. Imagism Unstuck: H.D.'s Dissent and Pound's Revision II. Stepping from Stone: Dramatic Monologues of The God III. The Ritual Chorus and a Soloist's Suspicion in Ion and "The Dancer"
IV. Types of Participation: H.D.'s Film Essays and Reviews V. H.D.'s Attitudes on Film VI. Montage, Technology for the Soul VII. The Soloists of Trilogy

Afterword. Post-Antimodernism

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