Making Love Modern

Making Love Modern : The Intimate Public Worlds of New York's Literary Women

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In the teens and twenties, New York was home to a rich variety of literary subcultures. Within these intermingled worlds, gender lines and other boundaries were crossed in ways hardly imaginable in previous decades. Among the bohemians of Greenwich Village, the sophisticates of the Algonquin Round Table and the literati of the Harlem Renaissance, certain women found fresh, powerful voices through which to speak and write. Edna St. Vincent Millay and Dorothy Parker are now best remembered for their colourful lives; Genevieve Taggard, Gwendolyn Bennett, and Helene Johnson are hardly remembered at all. Yet each made a serious literary contribution to the meaning of modern femininity, relationship, and selfhood. Making Love Modern uncovers the deep historical sensitivity and interest of these women's love poetry. Placing their work in the context of subcultures nested within national culture, Nina Miller explores the tensions that make this literature so rewarding for contemporary readers. A poetry of intimate expression, it also functioned powerfully as public assertion. The writers themselves were high-profile embodiments of femininity, the local representatives of New Womanhood within their male-centred subcultural worlds. Making Love Modern captures the literary lives of these women as well as the complex subcultures they inhabited--Harlem, the Village, and glamorous Midtown. In the end, the book is a much a study of modernist New York as of women's love poetry during modernism.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 153.4 x 232.2 x 19.8mm | 430.38g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195116054
  • 9780195116052

Review quote

Interweaving close textual analysis with discussions of contemporary sexual politics and biographical material, Miller has produced a highly original and thought-provoking discussion of modern love poetry. * Years Work in English Studies * A provocative contribution to feminist studies of modernism and modernity ... This is a cultural studies project whose primary mode and strength are subtle close reading, and key for Miller are the ways this poetry responds and testifies to the forces of publicity. * The Journal of American History *show more

About Nina Miller

Nina Miller, Associate Professor of English, teaches American literature, African American literature, and Women's Studies at Iowa State University. She is currently at work on a book about the lost history of Anarchism in US education.show more

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