Words At Work In Vanity Fair: Language Shifts In Crucial Times, 1914-1930

Hardcover | October 15, 2011

byMartha Banta

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Noted critic Martha Banta draws on essays in Vanity Fair written by esteemed journalists, literary figures, and cultural critics between The Great War and The Crash. These major writers recognized the potency of vocabularies to affect politics, the arts, relations between nations, and social exchange, whether through the audacious invention of new words or the assault on formerly untested terms. Words at Work in Vanity Fair takes a head-on look at the ways major cultural and historical events in the United States and Britain led to the invention of new words to express the rampant changes within society.

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Noted critic Martha Banta draws on essays in Vanity Fair written by esteemed journalists, literary figures, and cultural critics between The Great War and The Crash. These major writers recognized the potency of vocabularies to affect politics, the arts, relations between nations, and social exchange, whether through the audacious inve...

Martha Banta is a professor emeritus in the Department of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of six books, including Imaging American Women: Idea and Ideals in Cultural History; Taylored Lives: Narrative Productions in the Age of Taylor, Veblen, and Ford; Barbaric Intercourse: Caricature and the Cu...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.72 × 5.67 × 0.8 inPublished:October 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230116973

ISBN - 13:9780230116979

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Table of Contents

Words in Conversation with the Times * Two Editors, Two Projects, One War, 1914-1918 * The Corner Turned; 1919-1920 * Finding Their Focus, 1921 * Power-Brokers, Word-Masters, 1922-1924 * The Huxley Years, 1926-1928 * Between Wars, 1929-1930

Editorial Reviews

"An immediate question is why no one before Banta thought to focus on Vanity Fair as a touchstone for this era, or to concentrate on the ‘occasional’ essays written by writers who would go on to become the leading lights of their generation. But where Banta most succeeds is in taking this insight and developing it into an extended examination of the way important words work in a period, and in working, change the way we think about cultural issues." - Lee Mitchell, Professor of English, Princeton University"With characteristic style and wit, and the dazzling range of cultural reference her readers have come to expect, Banta delivers an engaging ‘capsule biography’ of a key but neglected institutional player in American modernism from the Great War to the Great Depression. Drawing on essays by the startling array of contributors to Vanity Fair’s pages during these years - from Dorothy Parker, Edmund Wilson, Bertrand Russell and Dorothy Richardson to Walter Lippmann, T.S. Eliot, Jean Cocteau and Clare Boothe Brokaw [Luce] - Words at Work in Vanity Fair traces the evolving values and vocabularies of the self-proclaimed ‘magazine for MODERNS’ through the Wall Street Crash. The result is a revealing portrait of the American language in transition, and a tour-de-force of cultural analysis that resonates powerfully with the culture wars and political debates of our own time." - David McWhirter, Texas A&M University