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Deviant modernism

Related: Modernism - deviant

Deviant Modernism: Sexual and Textual Errancy in T.S.Eliot, James Joyce and Marcel Proust (1999) - Colleen Lamos

Deviant Modernism: Sexual and Textual Errancy in T.S.Eliot, James Joyce and Marcel Proust (1999) - Colleen Lamos [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"This is a controversial study recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty." Choice "Yet Deviant Modernism is valuable as a study of that very will to normativity which structures the conventional moral and artistic codes of these three high male modernists, deconstructing the authority os such codes by revealing their defensiveness, circular logic, and disavowed irrationality." James Joyce Literary Supplement "Deviant Modernism is extremely well researched and beautifully written." Modern Philology "...[Lamo's study of modernism] makes such intellectual labor all the more pressing and valuable." --via Amazon.com

Book Description
This original study reevaluates central texts of the modernist canon--Eliot's early poetry including The Waste Land, Joyce's Ulysses and Proust's Remembrance of Things Past--by examining sexual energies and identifications in them that are typically regarded as perverse. Colleen Lamos' analysis of the operations of gender and sexuality in these texts reveals conflicts, concerning the definition of masculine heterosexuality, which cut across the aesthetics of modernism. What emerges is a reconsideration of modernist literature as a whole, gender categories, and the relation between errant sexuality and literary "mistakes."--via Amazon.com

See also: deviant - modernism - James Joyce - Marcel Proust - T.S. Eliot

Sex Drives: Fantasies of Fascism in Literary Modernism (2002) - Laura Catherine Frost

Sex Drives: Fantasies of Fascism in Literary Modernism (2002) - Laura Catherine Frost [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Jung hardly went far enough when he said: "Hitler is the unconscious of every German"; he comes uncomfortably near to being the unconscious of most of us. --W. H. Auden

First Sentence:
Sexualized images of fascism are commonly assumed to be the creation of postwar and postmodern culture: How could anyone who had lived through fascism have such a mistaken understanding of it?

In her genuinely thought-provoking study Laura Frost chooses to examine Modernist writers who failed to succumb to fascist ideology, yet produced "fictions of eroticized fascism." The study is provocative and daring in the sense that there is an almost sheerly thematic link between the chosen authors, apart from the fact that they have all been described as belonging to literary Modernism (some cases are evident in this respect and some are slightly debatable). The "pannational project" places authors such as D. H. Lawrence, Georges Bataille, Hans Bellmer, Vercors (Jean Bruller), Jean Genet, Isherwood, Katherine Burdekin, Woolf, Duras and Plath under one rubric. The author postulates a line of continuity among these authors, which assumption is not always easily tenable, but the book reads coherently as well as thoroughgoing. --http://www.womenwriters.net/winter2003/Sex_Drives.htm [Jun 2006]

Salvador Dalì's autobiography confesses that "Hitler turned me on in the highest," while Sylvia Plath maintains that "every woman adores a Fascist." Susan Sontag's famous observation that art reveals the seamier side of fascism in bondage, discipline, and sexual deviance would certainly appear to be true in modernist and postwar literary texts. How do we account for eroticized representations of fascism in anti-fascist literature, for sexual desire that escapes the bounds of politics?

Laura Frost advances a compelling reading of works by D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Jean Genet, Georges Bataille, Marguerite Duras, and Sylvia Plath, paying special attention to undercurrents of enthrallment with tyrants, uniforms, and domination. She argues that the first generation of writers raised within psychoanalytic discourse found in fascism the libidinal unconscious through which to fantasize acts--including sadomasochism and homosexuality--not permitted in a democratic conception of sexuality without power relations. By delineating democracy's investment in a sexually transgressive fascism, an investment that persists to this day, Frost demonstrates how politics enters into fantasy. This provocative and closely-argued book offers both a fresh contribution to modernist literature and a theorization of fantasy. --http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/cup_detail.taf?ti_id=3715 [Jun 2006]


See also: The Night Porter (1974) - Liliana Cavan - fantasy - modernist literature - fascism - eros - libido

Decadence and the Making of Modernism (1996) - David Weir

Decadence and the Making of Modernism (1996) - David Weir [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
What is Decadence? Most literary reference books don't list it as a movement; at most it's defined by time, place, a loose collection of titles, authors and little magazines, and how it shades into more established movements such as aestheticism, symbolism, naturalism. Weir, a professor of comparative literature and foreign languages, does a splendid job of breaking down the elements of decadence and of synthesizing current thinking on both it and modernism. Before going on to discuss Huysmans's A rebours--perhaps the only unarguably decadent novel--Weir describes the elements of decadence found in Flaubert's Salammbo, the Goncourt brothers' Germinie Lacerteux and, in England 20 years later, Walter Pater's Marius the Epicurean. He then makes convincing arguments for the unmediated influence of decadence on modernist literature. Regarding Joyce, he shows not only that ``the unity of the book is decomposed... to give place to the independence of the word'' (to eviscerate Havelock Ellis), but also the heavy use of cultural references. He demonstrates that there is a deliberate anti-decadence in Gide's L'Immoraliste, which eschews decadent artificiality and sickness for a modernist health and naturalism. While Joyce, Gide, Flaubert, Huysmans are well known, Weir thankfully doesn't assume more than a passing acquaintance with his examples of decadence in decay--Octave Mirbeau's Le Jardin des supplices, Ben Hecht's Fantazius Mallare and James Huneker's Painted Veils. Following decadence from romanticism to his postface on post-structuralism, Weir's study is intriguing, well-written and widely accessible. --via Amazon.com

See also: France - French literature - fin de siècle - France - symbolism (art movement) - decadence (art movement)

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