Reading 1922: A Return to the Scene of the Modern

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Overview

This engaging study returns to a truly remarkable year, the year in which both Ulysses and The Waste Land were published, in which The Great Gatsby was set, and during which the Fascisti took over in Italy, the Irish Free State was born, the Harlem Renaissance reached its peak, Charlie Chaplin's popularity crested, and King Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered. In short, the year which not only in hindsight became the primal scene of literary modernism but which served as the cradle for a host of major political and aesthetic transformations resonating around the globe.

In his previous study, the acclaimed Dialect of Modernism (OUP, 1994), Michael North looked at the racial and linguistic struggles over the English language which gave birth to the many strains of modernism. Here, he expands his vision to encompass the global stage, and tells the story of how books changed the future of the world as we know it in one unforgettable year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Excellent.... Rightly challenges the common critical assertion, most influentially argued by Andreas Huyssen, that there is a deep antipathy between modernism and mass culture.... A nuanced description of 1922 that deepens our understanding of the reception of modernism as a wider cultural movement expressed both in great works of literature and in a diverse set of contemporaneous cultural works."—Christianity and Literature

"Reading 1922 is without a doubt the best book on Modernism to come along in a long time."—Jesse Matz, Comparative Literature Studies

"Well documented, nicely illustrated, and written in up-to-the-minute clinical language, this book is a smooth sail, recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above."—Choice

"Enlightening.... Making innovative use of material from such (apparently) diverse sources as anthropology, linguistics, travel literature and cinema, North's brisk but densely researched book moves engagingly around its central thesis: that later critics have slanted the reception history of modernism to fit into their own ideas of what it represented."—Times Literary Supplement

"It is nevertheless surprising... just how much ground [North] is able to cover (and cover well) in under three hundred pages. The book opens with an excellent analysis of the significance of translation.... We could do worse than staving off the sleep of reason by immersing ourselves in Michael North's excellent—because critical—translation of the twentieth century."—Literary Research

"Free of cant, brimming with insight, this is one fine book."—Modern Philology

"North is inventive when developing the multiple junctures, as he put it, of the 'strategies of marketing' which helped sustain and expand the reading public's awareness of modernists like Eliot, Pound, and Joyce.... North is exuberant to read.... Bravo. Indeed."— ames Joyce Literary Supplement

"For the light it sheds on the culture of modernism and obliquely onto literary modernism itself, Reading 1922 proves itself an excellent contribution to critical work on modernism, on the whole."—Theory and Cultural Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195151633
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor of English at UCLA, Michael North is the author of four books, including The Dialect of Modernism: Race, Language, and Twentieth-Century Literature (OUP 1994). He has written and lectured widely on many aspects of modern culture, including literature, politics, and the arts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Ch. 1 Translation, Mistranslation, and the Tractatus 31
Ch. 2 The Public Unconscious 65
Ch. 3 Tourists in the Age of the World Picture 107
Ch. 4 Across the Great Divide 140
Ch. 5 All Nice Wives Are Like That 173
Conclusion 205
Notes 215
Index 261
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