Modernism and the Ordinary

Modernism and the Ordinary

3.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

Modernism and the Ordinary overturns conventional accounts of the modernist period as primarily drawn toward the new, the transcendent, and the extraordinary. Liesl Olson shows how modernist writers were preoccupied, instead, with the unselfconscious actions of everyday life, even in times of political crisis and war. Experiences like walking to work, eating a sandwich, or mending a dress were often resistant to shock, and these daily activities presented a counter-force to the aesthetic of heightened affect with which the period is often associated. With attentive readings, Modernism and the Ordinary examines works by Joyce, Woolf, Stein, Stevens, Proust, Beckett, and Auden alongside the ideas of philosophers such as Henri Bergson and William James. With attentive and sensitive readings, Modernism and the Ordinary examines works by Joyce, Woolf, Stein, Stevens, Proust, Beckett, and Auden alongside the ideas of philosophers such as Henri Bergson and William James. In doing so, the book reveals the non-transformative power of the ordinary as one of modernism's most compelling attributes: day-to-day experience comes to stand not as an impediment to the creative life, but as a satisfaction with the material rather than the spiritual, the local rather than the exotic, the constant rather than the unknown, and the democratic rather than the privileged. The book intervenes in new debates about object theory, daily life, and the accurate definition of literary modernism.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 160.02 x 238.76 x 25.4mm | 362.87g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195368126
  • 9780195368123
  • 2,045,867

Review quote

In this masterful study, Liesl Olson shows that modernist writers' attention to the everyday entailed a complex struggle to retain the ordinariness of the ordinary-to resist literary representation's drift toward the epiphanic, the momentous, the teleological. Olson's clear-eyed, elegant readings recast in wonderfully unexpected ways twentieth-century art's relation to the mundane life that furnished its most vital, yet most exacting, material. * Douglas Mao, Johns Hopkins University * Modernism and the Ordinary is exceptionally well-written, elegantly organized, and compelling in its argument that critical accounts of literary modernism have failed to recognize in the major works of that period the centrality of ordinary experience and everyday life. * Rebecca Walkowitz, Rutgers University *show more

About Liesl Olson

Liesl Olson teaches at the University of Chicago where she is a Harper-Schmidt Fellow and Assistant Professor in the Humanities Division. In addition to her book Modernism and the Ordinary, she has published essays on the work of Henry James, W.H. Auden, and the contemporary poet Robert Hass.show more

Table of contents

ABBREVIATIONS; INTRODUCTION; NOTES; BIBLIOGRAPHYshow more

Rating details

2 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 50% (1)
3 50% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X