By David Bradshaw, Kevin J. H. Dettmar

The Companion combines a extensive grounding within the crucial texts and contexts of the modernist stream with the original insights of students whose careers were dedicated to the research of modernism.

  • An crucial source for college kids and academics of modernist literature and culture
  • Broad in scope and accomplished in coverage
  • Includes greater than 60 contributions from probably the most distinctive modernist students on either side of the Atlantic
  • Brings jointly entries on components of modernist tradition, modern highbrow and aesthetic hobbies, and all of the genres of modernist writing and art
  • Features 25 essays at the sign texts of modernist literature, from James Joyce’s Ulysses to Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes have been staring at God
  • Pays shut awareness to either British and American modernism

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On the extreme poles of the political spectrum, modernism’s legacy could be contemporaneously denounced by Nazi art politicians as an instance of racial degeneracy and by Stalinist art politicians as the vehicle of formalism, fascism, and ruling-class decadence. Even in pluralistic, democratic contexts, however, modernism’s political meaning has been the subject of widely divergent opinions. Most critics have seen modernist art and literature as closely linked to twentieth-century politics but, beyond this general association, there has been little consensus on how precisely this might be so.

A modernity tainted by nihilism completes the course of a Christianized morality. By claiming that “God is dead,” Nietzsche means that the power to create should remain a purely human faculty: humans either create god or create like a god. But this god must be understood as a “completely thoughtless and amoral artist-god, who wishes to experience the same pleasure and self-satisfaction in building as in destroying, in good as in bad” (Nietzsche 2000: 8). The insights gained in a confrontation with tragedy, the supreme art form because it embodies suffering and cruelty, were to be generalized sixteen years later and encompass all creative gestures.

Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America. Barnes, Djuna (1961). Nightwood. New York: New Directions. Barth, Karl (1933). The Epistle to the Romans, trans. Edwyn C. Hoskyns. London: Oxford University Press. Original work published 1918. Bryden, Mary (1998). Samuel Beckett and the Idea of God. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Buckler, William E. (1958). Prose of the Victorian Period. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Chadwick, Owen (1975). The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century.

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