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Title: In London, around 1914
Author: Snajdr, Rosie
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
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This approximation to a year study considers London, 1914 as a site of early modernism’s emergence. It focuses on the cultural interactions between experimental and popular artists, aesthetics, and institutions that were an impetus for, and influence on the development of early modernism. Chapter one discusses the complexity of early modernism’s relationship with popular literary sphere. Two staged public events that happened in January are compared—G. K. Chesterton’s trial of a Dickens character and Ezra Pound’s dinner in honour of the poetic accomplishments of an old man who insisted he was not a poet. Both involved bids for literary autonomy and attempts at public self-fashioning. Neither included attempts to enact a separation of experimental and popular culture. Chapter two concerns the strategies by which the Egoist advertised its resistance to the commercialisation of literature. Attempts were made to shame profitable cultural arbiters, battles were waged against censorship in protection of the artist’s right to autonomy, and attacks were made upon the purveyors of jingoistic war poetry. Rather than being evidence of vehement anti-commercialism, these resistances are shown to operate in the commercial interests of the little magazine. Chapter three considers the competition between rival experimentalisms, charting the way in which the compositors of BLAST appropriated notions of heroism from a new breed of adventure story—mechanical war fiction—to distinguish their talk of machines from that of the Futurists. By interacting with popular culture the Vorticists embraced an avant-garde aesthetic, even as they resisted certain kinds of avant-garde activity that they perceived to have been cheapened by their success and ubiquity. Chapter four re/visits three poets—formative Georgian Poetry contributor W. H. Davies, anthology abstainer Rose Macaulay, and one-poem-Imagiste Skipwith Cannell—to demonstrate the ways in which appearances in anthologies have distorted and deleted parts of the poetic record.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available