- Paperback: 1216 pages
- Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (July 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0631204490
- ISBN-13: 978-0631204497
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.9 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Modernism: An Anthology 1st Edition
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"Lawrence Rainey, one of the leading modernist scholars in the world today, has produced an anthology ideally suited for the classroom. The attention to Continental developments as well as central Anglo-American texts distinguishes the volume from others now available to students. The range of writers, the judiciousness of the selection, and the expert introduction should make this the leading text in the field." Professor Michael Levenson, University of Virginia
"He has been marvelously selective. There are no secret traditionalists here, no writers included merely for their prominence in modernism's historical moment or for modern themes alone; all are hardcore, the real thing." James Joyce Quarterly
Modernism is the most comprehensive anthology of Anglo-American modernism ever to be published. The giants of modernist literature-James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Samuel Beckett-are amply represented, along with another 20 Anglo-American writers. In addition, the book features a generous selection of texts by avant-garde thinkers and writers from the Continent. These enable the reader to trace modernism's interaction with the Futurists, the Dadaists, the Surrealists, and the Frankfurt School. Supported by helpful annotations, a "Dictionary of Little Magazines," and a chronology of works and events, this Anthology allows readers to encounter anew the extraordinary revolution in language that utterly transformed the aesthetics of the modern world.
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I am reading this for school and all in all I am very impressed and it is making my class much easier!
So beware. Do not order this book unless you're prepared for really tiny type.
You learn all kinds of amazing stuff like that from this book, because it appears not to have been proofread. More to the point, as an example: Rainey's introduction to the James Joyce section never gets around to explaining the significance of Bloomsday, but at the end it wanders off into a thicket of unnecessary detail about Joyce's cavalier attitude toward other people's money. So I take it that the book wasn't copy-edited either. My students also hate its fine print, and an anthology of modernism really ought to have a picture section.
For the rest, this one is a typical Rainey job: idiosyncratic but learned, with some strange omissions and some wonderful, hard-to-come-by inclusions. Much can be forgiven the book that reprints all of Fenollosa's "The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry," even if the index gets its title wrong.
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
What is especially intriguing about this anthology is the manner in which it is compiled. Four so-called "Continental Interludes" situate theories of Dadaism, Futurism, Surrealism (along with the Frankfurt School cabal) within the Modernist context. The various writers are placed according to the mode of thought they espoused (or rejected). If you choose to read this 1,000 page tome in a linear fashion, you will gain a greater appreciation for the evolution and infrastructure of Modernism. Which doesn't necessarily mean to say you will completely understand Modernism at the end-though I firmly believe this convolution adds to the general appeal.
Whether you are interested in the mythic structures of Yeats, Joyce's utterly idiosyncratic style, Gertrude Stein's avant-garde detachment, or simply Modernism as a whole, this book is quite informative. The amount of cross-referencing and cohesion is astounding: Williams writing about Joyce, Loy writing about Stein. It's all here. Annotations are immensely helpful, as are the (sometimes) extensive biographies. I especially enjoyed the section on Pound and his essay on the linguistic and poetic superiority of Chinese characters. There's something here for everybody.