Modernism And Style

Paperback | October 15, 2011

byBen Hutchinson

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Tracing the stylistic self-conceptualization of modernism from Schopenhauer and Flaubert in the 1850s, through Nietzsche and the symbolists in the 1880s, to the high modernists of the 1920s, this book explores the far-reaching implications of Roland Barthes' claim that modern literature is "saturated with style." It offers both a broad, comparative survey of European modernism and an inventive re-reading of the major genres of the period, namely poetry, prose, and the manifesto. With reference to a wide range of canonical figures, including Aragon, Baudelaire, Eliot, Rémy de Gourmont, Joyce, Mina Loy, Thomas Mann, Jean Paulhan, Proust, Rilke, Tzara, Valéry, and Virginia Woolf, Hutchinson argues that modernism oscillates between embracing a literature of "pure" style and rejecting a literature that is "purely" style. Between these two poles, style emerges, in the words of John Middleton Murry, not as "an isolable quality of writing, but as writing itself."

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Tracing the stylistic self-conceptualization of modernism from Schopenhauer and Flaubert in the 1850s, through Nietzsche and the symbolists in the 1880s, to the high modernists of the 1920s, this book explores the far-reaching implications of Roland Barthes' claim that modern literature is "saturated with style." It offers both a broad...

BEN HUTCHINSON is Co-Director of the Centre for Modern European Literature and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Kent, UK. He has published widely on modern European literature, including the monographs Rilke's Poetics of Becoming (2006) and W. G. Sebald. Die dialektische Imagination...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 7.92 × 5.03 × 0.69 inPublished:October 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230230970

ISBN - 13:9780230230972

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Philosophical Beginnings
1857: Literary Beginnings
The 'Virus' of Prose: Decadent style and the Modernist Novel
1922: Style and the Modernist Lyric
The 'Alibi' of Style: Modernist Manifestos
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"This book should be compulsory reading for all those who are interested in modernism. Less a polemical 'treatise of style' as Aragon had it, it is both an original mapping of modernism briskly revisited via the history of its successive forms, and a conceptualization of the contradictory concepts of style invoked by its most canonical authors. The scope of reference is broad, with accurate readings of Flaubert, Proust, Joyce, Rilke, Dujardin, Eliot, Pound, Breton, Valery, Marinetti and Mina Loy. This book renders the same service for modernism as Roland Barthes's Writing Degree Zero. While Barthes saw modernity as defined by the end of style, here we learn to recognize the plurality of styles of modernism, and this is an invaluable contribution."--Jean-Michel Rabaté, Vartan Gregorian Professor in the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania