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Waking Giants : The Presence of the Past in Modernism - Herbert N. Schneidau

Waking Giants

The Presence of the Past in Modernism

Hardcover Published: 15th August 1991
ISBN: 9780195068627
Number Of Pages: 304

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This is a study of the most paradoxical aspect of modernism, its obsession with the past. Eliot wrote that the artist must be conscious "not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence." This creed permeated the movement: Modernists believed that the energies of the past could be resurrected in modern works, and that they could be the very force that makes those works modern: the urge of Pound and others to "make it new" stemmed from seeing the past as a source of renewal. Schneidau focuses on separate texts that incorporate these concepts: Joyce's Ulysses, Hardy's poems, Forster's Howards End, Conrad's Secret Agent, Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, and finally Pound's Cantos. In his discussions, many little-noticed connections are examined, including a transatlantic set: Hardy with Pound, Forster with Fitzgerald, Joyce and Lawrence with Anderson.

Industry Reviews

"Schneidau is superb in his understanding of and presentation of Pound's impact on his age, and the present volume does an excellent job of summarizing his influence and contribution to the twentieth-century literary scene....Entertaining, informative."--English Literature in Transition "The major contribution of Waking Giants is in its insightful readings of individual texts and in its fresh comparisons and studies of influence."--Choice "Waking Giants is an important and unconventional study of Modernist atavism. It is often surprising--its reading of Howard's End as an essay in autochthony is wonderfully original--and always illuminating--the chapter on Sherwood Anderson and the writers he influenced is the best thing I have read on both topics. Schneidau has already made important contributions to the study of Modernism and to our understanding of the relations between myth and history; in Waking Giants, he combines these to produce what is surely one of the best critical books of the year."--Walter Benn Michaels, Johns Hopkins University "Waking Giants is a brilliantly inclusive study of the new sense of the past we have inherited from the great modern writers. Professor Schneidau not only shows us what modernism was but what it is today as it continues to transform our understanding of myth and history."--Timothy Materer, University of Missouri-Columbia "An important book that will prove to be essential reading for those seeking a better grasp of [literary Modernism]....Overall, Schneidau's study is pithy, daring, provocative--and always on target. The author's range is truly impressive in that breadth is never achieved at the expense of depth. Moreover, Schneidau provides both close readings and useful contextualizations of key Modernist texts, and treats literature and criticism, British and American works, and fiction and poetry with equal skill....This work will appeal as much to professional scholars as to undergraduates, as much to seasoned devotees of Modernism as to newcomers to the field....I cannot think of a single volume on its subject that is more insightful and edifying than this one."--James Joyce Literary Supplement "A rich, reflective study...from one of our most intellectually independent and adventurous scholar-critics....Swanee Review

Introduction/The Persistence of Memory: Joyce's Regress from Mortmain to Atavismp. 3
The Century's Corpse Outleant: Hardy and Modernismp. 25
Safe as Houses: Forster as Cambridge Anthropologistp. 64
The Primal Scene in The Secret Agent: Sex and Violence in the Nightmare Universep. 103
The Personal Past Recaptured: Anderson and Sonsp. 136
Ezra Pound: The Archaeology of the Immanentp. 202
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195068627
ISBN-10: 0195068629
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 15th August 1991
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.66 x 14.94  x 2.39
Weight (kg): 0.48

Earn 286 Qantas Points
on this Book