Consuming Traditions: Modernity, Modernism, and the Commodified Authentic

Paperback | July 4, 2012

byElizabeth Outka

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In an unprecedented phenomenon that swept across Britain at the turn of the nineteenth century, writers, advertisers, and architects began to create and sell images of an authentic cultural realm paradoxically considered outside the marketplace. Such images were located in nostalgic picturesof an idyllic, pre-industrial past, in supposedly original objects not derived from previous traditions, and in the ideal of a purified aesthetic that might be separated from the mass market. Presenting a lively, unique study of what she terms the "commodified authentic," Elizabeth Outka exploresthis crucial but overlooked development in the history of modernity with a piercing look at consumer culture and the marketing of authenticity in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain. The book brings together a wide range of cultural sources, from the model towns of Bournville, Port Sunlight, and Letchworth; to the architecture of Edwin Lutyens and Selfridges department store; to work by authors such as Bernard Shaw, E. M. Forster, Henry James, D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, andVirginia Woolf.

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In an unprecedented phenomenon that swept across Britain at the turn of the nineteenth century, writers, advertisers, and architects began to create and sell images of an authentic cultural realm paradoxically considered outside the marketplace. Such images were located in nostalgic picturesof an idyllic, pre-industrial past, in suppos...

Elizabeth Outka is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Richmond. She has published essays on modernism and British culture in Modernism/modernity, NOVEL and other publications.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:July 4, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199921849

ISBN - 13:9780199921843

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Selling AuthenticityPart One: Commodified Nostalgia and the Country Aesthetic2. The Past is a Present Country: Model Towns and Commercial Utopias3. Buying Time: E. M. Forster and the Neo-Nostalgic HomePart Two: Urban Authenticities4. The Vanishing Act of Commercialism: Selfridges, Modernity, and the Purified Marketplace5. "Lustrous Behind Glass": Woolf, Window Shopping, and Authentic DisplayConclusion: Modernist Excursions