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Title: Wyndham Lewis and Djuna Barnes : modernist writers and German expressionism
Author: Armond, Kate
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 112X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis considers the impact of German Expressionism on Anglo-American writers by focusing on the work of Wyndham Lewis and Djuna Barnes. Chapter One analyses Wassily Kandinsky's play Yellow Sound, and his theories of art, alongside Wyndham Lewis' Vorticist drama Enemy of the Stars. I trace similarities between the techniques used by both writers to develop awareness of spatial composition and non- representational form. Chapter Two rejoins Lewis in 1919 as he approaches the topic of art's potential to rehabilitate a war-torn society, and I argue that an examination of the work of Expressionist architects such as Bruno Taut and Paul Scheerbart allows insights into a particularly unusual moment in Lewis's career. By analysing the intellectual and ideological context of an architectural project with similar concerns, prejudices and goals, it is possible to see Lewis' pamphlet as an exceptional phase in his writing in which he teeters on the brink of approving political engagement for the arts and echoes many of the ideas promoted by Germany's Activist programme. These images of a revolutionary utopian architecture can be traced to Lewis' construction of the Magnetic City in The Human Age. Chapters Three and Four explore Djuna Barnes' novel Nightwood in the context of Waiter Benjamin's The Origin of German Tragic Drama, acknowledging connections between seventeenth-century and Expressionist aesthetic forms at the time of Barnes' arrival in Berlin. Chapter Five considers the details of the Weimar stage and Schrei performance techniques and their particular significance for Barnes' portrayal of Dr. O'Connor and Robin Vote. The study concludes by reappraising the connections discovered between modernism and Expressionism in the context of Georg Lukacs' critique of the movment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available