Swinburne, Algernon Charles, 1837-1909 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Though Swinburne achieved an instant notoriety in his early published work, Ruskin and Henry Adams accurately forecast the cultural resistance that his writing would provoke. The reasons were both technical and ideological. Nonetheless, the emergence of many forms of "radical artifice" after 1960 brought a recovery of some essential and neglected
resources of the Modernist revolution. In the context of our "late Modernism," Swinburne's brilliant and highly innovative work may begin to come into focus again.
McKay, Claude, 1890-1948 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Rhys, Jean -- Criticism and interpretation.
Sex in literature.
Focusing on the representation of artists and their models in the work of Jean Rhys and Claude McKay, I argue that during the interwar years, Caribbean artists produced a modernism that critiqued European modernist aesthetics as complicit in the bourgeois projects of nation and empire. Caribbean artists criticized the merging and sexualizing of black and female identities in European modernism by redefining modernist conceptions of the prostitute and the primitive. Asserting alternative conceptions of the primitive, of sexuality, and of community, they produced aesthetics and politics that challenged European modernism and modernity as well as the anglophone Caribbean nationalisms emerging in the 1930s.
This article argues for an alternative modernism, which I call "pragmatic modernism" and define through its affinities with the discursive and philosophical preoccupations of American pragmatism. While histories of modernism have tended to emphasize the "oppositional" legacy of the avant-garde, pragmatic modernism favors recontextualization over revolution, the everyday over the spectacular, and institutions over insurrections. Through the concept of habit, I link the pragmatism of William James and John Dewey to the literary experiments of Gertrude Stein. I argue that gradualism, accretion, continuity, and recontextualization define both Stein's work and pragmatic modernism more generally, and that such an approach suggests both an alternative modernism and an alternative model for contemporary criticism.
Special Section: Modernism and Mass Communications
This essay asserts that American radio acted as a powerful formal influence on Gertrude Stein's late writing. The radio provides a suggestive new means of connecting Stein's early aural experimentalism with her later, more popular, idiom. Through the 1930s and 1940s Stein wrestles with the idea of radio as a kind of public sphere--a forum in which self, other, and community can be constituted through talk and listening. Hearing the radio in Stein's late work is an important step toward recognizing the radio's distinct thematic and stylistic contributions to mid-century modernism.
Riefenstahl, Leni -- Criticism and interpretation.
Fascist aesthetics -- Germany.
This essay discusses one aspect of Susan Sontag's "fascist choreography"--the alternation of movement and stasis in Riefenstahl's films. It positions aspects of their visual style within a matrix of related cultural and aesthetic practices--including the baroque tragic drama, sculpture and dance, and photography--and reads these against a psychosexual scenario associated with Nazism.
American poetry -- 20th century -- Russian influences.
Motion pictures -- Soviet Union -- Editing.
Early Soviet film developed documentary modes of presentation--particularly that of the worker testimonial--that came to appeal strongly to U.S. poets. Louis Zukofsky and William Carlos Williams, when they were beginning their epics, "A" and Paterson in the 1930s and 1940s, were especially attentive to the films of Eisenstein and Vertov. The quick, choppy cuts in Soviet film were known generally as "Russian montage," and derived from material shortages of film stock in the U.S.S.R. Vertov's approach to documentary materials showed Objectivist poets how to extend the naïve referentiality of Imagism into an account of historical events; Soviet film helped establish history as a fitting subject matter for modernist poetry. Particularly the long montage poems of Zukofsky and Williams owe a debt to Soviet filmmakers, and the forms these poems share indirectly express the utopian spirit of the early Soviet experiment.