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Modernism's Other Work

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Table of Contents

Introduction ; Theorizing Art and Punctuation: Gertrude Stein's Breathless Poetry ; Satirizing Frameless Art: Wyndham Lewis's Defense of Representation ; Breaking Glass to Save the Frame: William Carlos Williams and Company ; Challenging Kitsch Equality: William Gaddis's and Elizabeth Bishop's "Neo" Rear-Garde Art ; Administering Poetic Breath for the People: Charles Olson and Amiri Baraka ; Coda: Universal Breath

About the Author

Lisa Siraganian is Associate Professor of English at Southern Methodist University.


Modernism's Other Work represents a real advance in how we read some major writers, and in how we understand their own views of their art. Lisa Siraganian argues that important modernists pursued a vision of art at odds with our assumptions about what they believed. She is a fine guide to artists like Marcel Duchamp, Gertrude Stein, Wyndham Lewis, Elizabeth Bishop, Charles Olson, William Carlos Williams, and others. Anyone interested in what modernists did, in what modernists thought, in what their successors can do, about writing and bodies and visual art, will surely learn much from Siraganian's good book." * Stephen Burt, author of Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry * In moving nimbly between modernism and postmodernism, accounting for a politics of aesthetics, and negotiating multiple media, this is modernist criticism at its athletic best. Siraganian's stringent argument for meaning's autonomy not only makes for provocative groupings but can change the way we understand autonomy and what it bequeaths. Moreover, Siraganian writes like the best prosecuting attorney you could hope for-or fear. * Jessica Burstein, University of Washington *

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