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Institutions of Modernism Literary Elites and Public Culture

by Lawrence Rainey

  • ISBN: 9780300070507
  • ISBN10: 0300070500

Institutions of Modernism Literary Elites and Public Culture

by Lawrence Rainey

  • List Price: $48.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 01/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780300070507
  • ISBN10: 0300070500
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Description: This book provides a radical and revisionary account of modernism, its man), contradictions, and its troubled place in our public culture. Lawrencc Rainey, widely known for his contributions to the debates on modernism, looks beyond the well-examined themes and innovative forms of the movement, asking instead where modernism was produced and how it was transmitted to particular audiences. Delving into previously unexamined primary materials, the author tells new and startling stories about five major modernist figures -- James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, H.D., and F. T. Marinetti -- whose individual tales offer fresh perspectives on the larger story of modernism itself.

The book ranges in time from the formation of Imagism in 1912 to the slow dissolution of modernism during the late 1930s. Rainey explores such diverse sources as the recently opened archives of the Dial, full sales records for Ulysses (including buyers' names and addresses), and Pound's letters detailing his fascination with Fascism. Literary modernism, the author argues, was marked by a withdrawal from the sphere of common culture into a sequestered new world in which the public no longer played a significant part, a world dominated by the patronage of"little magazines" and the collecting of deluxe editions. As literary modernism became hostage to the dealers, collectors, and patrons who underwrote it, its cultural status became increasingly troubled, thereby altering public attitudes toward literary and intellectual elites in profound and enduring ways.

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