Modernism and the Ideology of History: Literature, Politics, and the Past

Modernism and the Ideology of History: Literature, Politics, and the Past

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Louise Blakeney Williams
Cambridge University Press, 7/4/2002
EAN 9780521814997, ISBN10: 0521814995

Hardcover, 276 pages, 23.7 x 16.1 x 2.1 cm
Language: English

Louise Williams explores the nature of historical memory in the work of five major Modernists: Yeats, Pound, Hulme, Ford and Lawrence. These Modernists, Williams argues, started their careers with historical assumptions derived from the nineteenth century. But their views on the universal structure of history, on the abandonment of progress and the adoption of a cyclical sense of the past, were the result of important conflicts and changes within the Modernist period. Williams focuses on the period immediately before World War I, and shows in detail how Modernism developed and why it is considered a unique intellectual movement. She also revisits the theory that the Edwardian age was a difficult period of transition to the modern world. Finally, she illuminates the contribution of non-Western culture to the literature and thought of the period. This wide-ranging and inter-disciplinary study is essential reading for literary and cultural historians of the modernist period.

1. 'Immaterial pleasure houses'
the initial aesthetic dilemma
2. 'A more dream-heavy hour'
medievalist and progressive beginnings
3. 'Pedantry and hysteria'
contemporary political problems
4. 'A certain discipline'
radical conservative solutions
5. 'A particularly lively wheel'
cyclic views emerge
6. 'Our own image'
the example of Asian and non-Western cultures
7. In 'the grip of the … vortex'
the proof of Post-Impressionist art
8. The 'cycle dance'
cyclic history arrives
9. 'The nightmare' and beyond
World War I and mature cyclic theories

"...Williams offers an attractive thesis constructed around masses of primary materials that make for fascinating reading." English Literature in Transition 1880-1920

"Modernisn and the Ideology of History is a valuable contribution to modernist studies and to British literary history." Journal of Midwest Modern Language Association