Modernism, Satire, and the "Men of 1914": Eliot, Joyce, Lewis, and Pound
This dissertation considers the relationship between literary modernism and modern culture. Building from the impetuses of the "new" modernist studies of the past decade and more which has begun to consider the possibilities for a modernism of cultural and social engagement, the present study seeks to explore the ways in which modernism should be seen as a movement that affects its world largely through the impulses and resources of the satirical. The first chapter surveys the history of modernist scholarship, particularly the dominant readings of modernism's ahistoricity and autonomy, in order to provide established views of modernism that are complicated, qualified, and developed by the modernism/satire interface. The second chapter attempts to develop a typology of the modernist period and then to apply those theoretical formulations to two specific examples: James Joyce's Ulysses and Wyndham Lewis' fragment, "Joint." The third chapter is concerned with reconciling modernist poetics with the theory of modernism as satire. It includes a comparative analysis of Robert C. Elliott's theories of satire's origins in magic and ritual with the situation of modernism, along with a consideration of Wyndham Lewis' journal Blast and modernist uses of the term "classicism." The concluding chapter utilizes the satirical theory of Michael Seidel and of George Test and Dustin Griffin to consider modernist form in the terms of ludic satire and crisis rhetoric in four major works of the "Men of 1914": Joyce's Ulysses, Eliot's The Waste Land, Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, and Lewis' The Apes of God.
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