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BOOK REVIEWS ity, but she was hardly considered a fashion plate for High Society, as Beardsley's figure is clearly meant to be. All these minor glitches are almost beside the point in relation to the significant overall value of this book. On countless occasions Pease shows herself to be a shrewd, skillful "close reader" of texts—giving us much insight into Swinburne, Beardsley, Joyce, Lawrence, and modernist literary critics—even as she provides unusually strong architectural coherence for her broader argument about the dialectic between the aesthetic and the pornographic in British intellectual history. Throughout her study, she does an excellent job of positioning eighteenth-, nineteenth -, and twentieth-century aesthetic philosophies within the cultural politics of their respective times, as when she shows how greater educational opportunities for the Victorian middle class actually reinforced aristocratic values, or when she explains how Marx's aesthetic theories shared assumptions with both eighteenth-century aesthetics and the burgeoning pornography trade, thus contributing to an intellectual history that would eventually bridge the two. Pease's study is not perfect, but it comes as close as anyone could reasonably expect of a first book and should prove indispensable for anyone interested in the subjects it addresses. Chris Snodgrass University of Florida Ruskin & Modernism Giovanni Cianci and Peter Nicholls, eds.Ruskin and Modernism. London: Palgrave, 2001. xvii + 219 pp. $59.95 RUSKIN AND MODERNISM offers thirteen essays re-examining the impact of John Ruskin on the development and tradition of European and Anglo-American modernism. An international group of scholars interprets Ruskin's influence on the work of a refreshingly wide variety of writers and thinkers from the modern period: the essays examine British, American, Italian, German, and French authors, artists, and theorists of art and architecture. Modern writers generally rejected Ruskin; indeed, a fierce denial of Ruskin in part constitutes the modernist rebellion against Victorian culture. Yet most of the essays in this volume rightly find in Ruskin an incipient modernism, both in his ideas and in his style. They point out also that the intense effort modern writers expended on disavowing Ruskin surely evidences his foundational influence. While modernism renounced certain aspects of Ruskin's 75 ELT 46 : 1 2003 work, such as his retreat from modernity and his nostalgic backward glance at the Gothic, the moderns retained more of their Ruskinian inheritance than they threw away. As Ruskin and Modernism's introduction puts it, "emphatic dismissals of Ruskin did not necessarily prevent his thought from permeating the new aesthetic." With its emphasis on Ruskin's importance for the development of modernism in the late nineteenth century, Ruskin and Modernism will greatly interest readers of ELT It bridges not only the cusp of the century , but also the seeming break between Victorianism and modernism. The book's essays explore the complexity of the modernist writers' reactions to Ruskin, characterized by their odd mix of denial and appropriation . Several essays note an "anxiety of influence" at work; the most famous example comes in Ford Maddox Ford's comment that "to me life was simply not worth living because of the existence of Carlyle, of Mr Ruskin, of Mr Holman Hunt, of Mr Browning or of the gentlemen who built the Crystal palace.... I was perpetually being told that if I could not attain these heights I might as well not cumber the earth. What then was left for me?" Even more common among the moderns is the dismissal of Victorian dogmatism, so that D. H. Lawrence writes, "The deep damnation of self-righteousness ... lies thick all over the Ruskinite, like painted feathers on a skinny peacock." Nevertheless, Ruskin's thought pervades the moderns: Ruskin and Modernism locates the greatest areas of influence on modernism in Ruskin's persistent focus on the connection between aesthetics and ethics, on the importance of myth, on valuing the reader or viewer's ability to make meaning from juxtaposed images, and on the significance of social justice for art and architecture. Finally, as Toni Cerutti points out, many of the moderns continued to admire Ruskin, not only as a thinker, but also as a writer; both Proust and Woolf "fell in love with Ruskin's later style"; Max Saunders...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 75-78
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
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