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Title: The making of imagism
Author: Bristow, G.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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Imagism was Anglo-American poetry’s first distinctive contribution to early modernism, a named ‘movement’ to match the avant-garde schools of Europe.  Yet the writing of its history has been rife with debate over Imagism’s achievements, its most significant exponents and whether it even constituted a movement in any meaningful sense. From 1914, when the poets associated with Imagism split over differing interpretations of their project, the historiography of Imagism has involved broader issues about the genesis, ownership and intellectual justification of literary modernism and has corresponded closely with changes in the cultural environment. Moreover, like other retrospective treatments of literary subjects, the historiography has been affected by a lack of methodological rigour among the mostly literary scholars who have written it. This dissertation examines the biases and agendas that have shaped textbook narratives of Imagism and, through them, of modernism. The study is divided into two parts. Part I discusses how Imagism was defined and presented in its contemporary context, examining three key literary magazines – Poetry, The Egoist and The Little Review – and the four anthologies of Imagist poems published in 1914-1917. I describe how accounts of Imagism were shaped by the differing editorial aims and policies of these publications as well as the influence of patronage. Part II of the dissertation examines major themes in subsequent historiography, describing how the writing of Imagist history has been bound up with the reception of three particular authors: T. E. Hulme, Ezra Pound and H. D.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available