Volume 61, Issue 4 | December 2000

Author Title
Henry Schwarz Aesthetic Imperialism: Literature and the Conquest of India
Steven Monte Ancients and Moderns in Mrs. Dalloway  
This article explores some ways in which Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, responds to modern and ancient works and in doing so outlines perspectives on literary history. Since its publication in 1925, critics have often compared Mrs. Dalloway to Joyce's Ulysses. There have also been many isolated comparisons between Woolf and almost any nineteenth- or twentieth-century writer one can think of: Mansfield, Pater, Eliot (George and T.S.), Proust, Austen, Tennyson. A few studies take a broader subject of comparison--the Romantics, the Renaissance, the Russians--but there has been little synthesis of this material, and rarely more than passing references to the Greeks. Bringing a wider perspective to bear on Woolf's relations with other writers can help one avoid seeing these relations solely in the light of continuity and revision. Such a perspective moreover has particular relevance for Mrs. Dalloway, whose compositional history shows that Woolf worked out her vision of the modern novel by working through her relations with contemporaries and other writers to whom she viewed herself an heir. Woolf's readings of writers ancient and modern reflect her own concerns, but her aesthetic aims and her manner of pursuing these aims change as a result of her engagement with them.
Stephen Lewis Love and Politics in Wyndham Lewis's Snooty Baronet  
Wyndham Lewis exhibits special concern with nonviolence and love around the time he wrote the novel Snooty Baronet (1932)--a period in which he supported first Italian fascism and Bolshevism, and then Hitlerism. How could these political commitments coincide with such a concern? Lewis struggled to respond artistically to a supposedly behaviorist sociopolitical world with a deep conviction that natural rather than aesthetic stimuli govern human behavior. This he believed had spawned an abiding passion for violence. In Snooty Baronet Lewis rearticulates social relations, especially love, in aesthetic rather than behaviorist terms. He satirizes supposed failures in contemporary efforts by Hemingway, Roy Campbell, and Henry de Montherlant to imagine alternatives to sociopolitical decadence. However, in claiming that such authors celebrate behaviorist violence, Lewis condemns reference to interiority in descriptions of human behavior, thereby signaling a proximity between behaviorist use of language and his own attention to the "surface" of things, advocated in The Art of Being Ruled (1926) as the sole means to neutralize love of violence. Snooty Baronet fights such proximity through radical use of a surface aesthetic to express "indifferent" love, but the counterintuitiveness of such love seriously undermines the effectiveness of the surface aesthetic as a mode of political engagement.
Anita Patterson Jazz, Realism, and the Modernist Lyric: The Poetry of Langston Hughes  
This essay examines Langston Hughes's jazz poetics within the arc of his entire career, and argues two main points. First, I suggest that Hughes's modernist predilection for experimental forms is evident even in his earliest, most documentary, realist poems, and in this respect, he challenges the critical distinction between "realism" and the "avant-garde." Second, I suggest that there are striking, and previously overlooked similarities between Hughes's techniques and those of transatlantic modernists such as Eliot and Pound. Hughes's interest in the analogy between musical and poetic forms; his fascination with cross-cultural identification and exchange; and his experiments with the improvisatory formal freedoms of jazz all show his engagement with questions shared by his high modernist contemporaries.
Author Title
Simon Park Licensing Entertainment: The Elevation of Novel Reading in Britain, 1684-1750 by William B. Warner
Emily Miller Budick Color and Culture: Black Writers and the Making of the Modern Intellectual by Ross Posnock
Neil Lazarus Claiming History: Colonialism, Ethnography, and the Novel by Eleni Coundouriotis
Ranjana Khanna Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Objects by Emily Apter

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