The Great War and the Language of Modernism

The Great War and the Language of Modernism

3.22 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Vincent Sherry reopens long unanswered questions regarding the influence of the 1914 war on the verbal experiments of modernist poetry and fiction. Sherry recovers the political discourses of the British campaign and establishes the language to which literary modernism responds with its boldest initiatives. In its wholly new reading of Woolf, Eliot, and Pound, this book restores the historical content and depth of this literature and reveal its most daring import.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 410 pages
  • 165.6 x 238.8 x 29.2mm | 716.69g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195101766
  • 9780195101768

About Vincent B. Sherry

Vincent Sherry is Professor of English at Villanova University. He is the author of The Uncommon Tongue: The Poetry and Criticism of Geoffrey Hill, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, and Radical Modernism, and James Joyce: Ulysses.show more

Review quote

[Sherry's] literary criticism is often illuminating. Dominic Hibberd, Times Literary Supplement Sherry makes a dazzling case ... It is still all too rare for critics to read Modernist literature in the context of its historical period, and Sherry's work in that direction is to be warmly welcomed. Dominic Hibberd, Times Literary Supplement 'Armed force,' notes Vincent Sherry at the beginning of his powerful and learned revisionist study, 'appears in Liberal tradition as the chief type of unreason.' Yet in 1914, the Liberal Establishment in England found a way of justifying World War I as nothing short of an ethical enterprise--the defense of 'civilization' itself against the forces of irrationalism, anarchy, and decay. Indeed, Sherry argues, once we understand the Great War as inherently the War of Liberal Rationalism, literary modernism can be understood as the reaction to that Rationalism, especially to the rationalist, mentalist conception of language. In a series of daring and sometimes controversial readings, especially of Eliot, Pound, and Woolf, Sherry shows how this process worked itself out in the Modernist masterpieces of the period. His is a sobering account and one that has startling implications for our own historical moment. Marjorie Perloff, Stanford Universityshow more

Rating details

9 ratings
3.22 out of 5 stars
5 11% (1)
4 22% (2)
3 44% (4)
2 22% (2)
1 0% (0)
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