Skip to main content



A History of Modernist Literature

Andrzej Gasiorek

ISBN: 978-1-405-17716-0 June 2015 Wiley-Blackwell 624 Pages


A History of Modernist Literature offers a critical overview of modernism in England between the late 1890s and the late 1930s, focusing on the writers, texts, and movements that were especially significant in the development of modernism during these years.

  • A stimulating and coherent account of literary modernism in England which emphasizes the artistic achievements of particular figures and offers detailed readings of key works by the most significant modernist authors whose work transformed early twentieth-century English literary culture
  • Provides in-depth discussion of intellectual debates, the material conditions of literary production and dissemination, and the physical locations in which writers lived and worked
  • The first large-scale book to provide a systematic overview of modernism as it developed in England from the late 1890s through to the late 1930s

Preface ix

Abbreviations xiv

Introduction: Locating Modernism 1

1 Early Modernism 44

The New Woman 44

Literary Impressionism 54

Debating Imperialism 70

Early Modernist Drama 91

Edward Gordon Craig and W. B. Yeats 100

The Modern Metropolis 107

Ford Madox Ford and The English Review 118

2 ‘One Big Bloodless Brawl’: Modernist Literature, 1910–1914 136

Introduction 136

Exploring the Machine Age 141

Poetry and the Renovation of Language 157

Imagism 166

Ford, Flint, and Eliot 176

Dubliners 184

Suffragettes, Feminists, and Egoists 189

Blast and Vorticism 203

3 Modernism During Wartime 231

Introduction 231

Pacifism, Nationalism, and Community 234

Propaganda and Ideology 250

The Good Soldier 271

Portraits of the Male Artist 278

The Politics of Gender 292

4 ‘ A Haughty and Proud Generation’: Modernist Literature, 1918–1930 332

Introduction 332

The Backwashes of War 342

Ulysses 363

The Waste Land 381

Remaking the Novel 395

A Future for the Avant]Garde? 412

5 Modernism in the 1930s 432

Introduction 432

Modernity and Its Discontents 444

The Situation of Poetry 469

Modernism, Race, and Colonialism 479

The Festival Theatre and Group Theatre 492

Surrealism 504

Pound/Joyce 522

6 Coda: Modernism’s Afterlives 554

Index 570