Abstract

Building on recent scholarly recoveries of The Good Soldier's engagement with emergent modernism, "'A Frank Expression of Personality'?" reads Ford's novel not simply as modernist in technique, but further, as itself an intervention in pre-War debates in modernist aesthetics. But whereas Jeffrey Mathes McCarthy has argued that Ford's text represents a vindication of Vorticism and its Hulmean underpinnings against the competing modernism of Bloomsbury, I contend that Ford's novel instead executes a critique of just that Imagist/Vorticist strain of modernism with which he was so familiar, and to which he so often pledged his literary allegiance. Targeting such modernism's animus towards sentiment and its calls for impersonality, The Good Soldier reveals this aesthetic to be both destructive of the empathetic imagination necessary to humane relations and successful art, and emulative of the culture of "good people," that very Edwardian cultural elite that the moderns so longed to displace.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 101-123
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-10
Open Access
No
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