American Literature in Transition, 1910-1920 offers provocative new readings of authors whose innovations are recognized as inaugurating Modernism in US letters, including Robert Frost, Willa Cather, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, H. D., and Marianne Moore. Gathering the voices of both new and established scholars, the volume also reflects the diversity and contradictions of US literature of the 1910s. 'Literature' itself is construed variously, leading to explorations of jazz, the movies, and political writing as well as little magazines, lantern slides, and sports reportage. One section of thematic essays cuts across genre boundaries. Another section oriented to formats drills deeply into the workings of specific media, genres, or forms. Essays on institutions conclude the collection, although a critical mass of contributors throughout explore long-term literary and cultural trends - where political repression, race prejudice, war, and counterrevolution are no less prominent than experimentation, progress, and egalitarianism.
About the Author
Mark W. Van Wienen is Professor of English at Northern Illinois University. He has published extensively on American literature and culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, including essays appearing in American Literature, American Quarterly, American Literary History, and Modern Fiction Studies. His previous books are Partisans and Poets: The Political Work of American Poetry in the Great War (Cambridge, 1997), Rendezvous with Death: American Poems of the Great War (editor, 2002), and American Socialist Triptych: The Literary-Political Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Upton Sinclair, and W. E. B. Du Bois (2012).
Table of Contents
Chronology: 1910-1920; Introduction: revolution, progress, and reaction in the first decade of American modernism Mark W. Van Wienen; Part I. Themes: 1. The city: modern poetics and metropolitan life John Timberman Newcomb; 2. The country: myth and reality, affirmation and reform Janet Galligani Casey; 3. Indian country: between native claims and modernist desires Beth H. Piatote; 4. Labor: the Lawrence strike in poetry and public opinion John Marsh; 5. The color line: racial inequality in the literary field Michael Nowlin; 6. The new woman: narrating the histor(ies) of the feminist movement Francesca Sawaya; 7. Eugenics: bad blood and better babies Beth Widmaier Capo; 8. Bohemians: Greenwich Village and 'the masses' Joanna Levin; 9. Americanism: assimilation and the 'immigrant question' Cathy J. Schlund-Vials; 10. Masculinity: regenerative primitivism as cultural compensation Jonathan Vincent; 11. Revolution: imagining a counternarrative Laura Hapke; Part II. Formats: 12. Modernist poetry: or, the growing taste for the lower kinds of poetry Robin G. Schulze; 13. Modernist fiction: women's writing and cultural emergence Guy Reynolds; 14. Realist drama: from the little theatre to Broadway Brenda Murphy; 15. Realist fiction: a resilient mode Robin Peel; 16. Roots and popular music: literary encounters with jazz and blues Tim A. Ryan; 17. Popular verse: poetry in motion Mike Chasar; 18. Sports writing: a foundational decade Scott D. Emmert; 19. Manifestos: anti-foundationalism in avant-garde, feminist, and African-American modernisms Laura Ann Winkiel; Part III. Institutions: 20. Little magazines: aesthetics and dissent Jayne E. Marek; 21. The movies: the transitional era Charlie Keil; 22. The academy: potential and constraint Cary Nelson; 23. The presidency: Woodrow Wilson and the reinvention of executive power Sean McCann; 24. The war: event and institution Mark W. Van Wienen; Works cited; Index.