Palpable and Mute



I should like, for a moment, to return to the origins of Modernism, to an overview of its development, in order to focus upon a curious inconsistency.


Rock Drill Modernist Painting Modernist Pattern Modernist Poetry Verse Writing 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Barbara Novak, American Painting of the Nineteenth Century: realism, idealism, and the American experience (New York, 1979), p. 243.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Quoted in John Tytell, Ezra Pound: the solitary volcano (London, 1987), p. 80.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Frank Lentricchia, Modern Quartet (Cambridge, 1994). T. S. Eliot and Stevens are quoted in Lentricchia without source.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 6.
    This passage and previous extract reprinted in R. W. Flint and A. A. Coppotelli (eds), Marinetti: selected writings (New York, 1972), p. 42.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    E. M. Forster, Howards End (Harmondsworth, 1986), p. 199.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Marinetti joined the Italian Fascist party in 1918, became a favourite of Mussolini and was appointed the party’s parliamentary candidate. Later, Mussolini, courting the Catholic church for support, disowned Marinetti; but the latter, swallowing his pride, rejoined the party and died defending Bellagio in 1944. For further details see Caroline Tisdall and Angelo Bozzolla, Futurism (London, 1989). Pound’s support of fascism requires no documentation.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    See especially Dennis Brown’s stimulating study, Intertextual Dynamics: within the literary group — Joyce, Lewis, Pound, and Eliot (London, 1990), to which I am indebted for a number of references; as well asCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Richard Cork, Vorticism and Abstract Art in the First Machine Age (London, 1976);Google Scholar
  9. Marjorie Perloff, The Futurist Movement: avant garde, avant-guerre, and the language of rupture (Chicago, 1986);Google Scholar
  10. R. W. Dasenbrock, The Literary Vorticism of Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis: towards the condition of poetry (Baltimore, 1985);Google Scholar
  11. Eric Svarny, The Men of 1914: T. S. Eliot and early modernism (Milton Keynes, 1988). For a study sensitive to the origins of this group’s anti-populist and fascist tendencies, seeGoogle Scholar
  12. Vincent Sherry, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, and Radical Modernism (Oxford, 1993). Recent book-length studies by Fredric Jameson, Tom Normand, Sue-Ellen Campbell, Daniel Schenker, David Ayers, Toby Foshay and Scott Klein demonstrate a marked revival of interest in Lewis and in the movements he helped foster.Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    Pound’s comment in supporting Wyndham Lewis’ application for a Guggenheim fellowship; quoted in Noel Stock, The Life of Wyndham Lewis (San Francisco, 1982), pp. 326–7.Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    John Rothenstein, in the foreword to Jane Farrington, Wyndham Lewis: catalogue of the exhibition at the Manchester City Art Galleries (London, 1980), and Brown, Intertextual Dynamics, op. cit., p. 14.Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    This aspect of the computer age is examined in Richard A. Lehan, The Electronic Word: democracy, technology, and the arts (Chicago, 1993), especially pp. 31f.Google Scholar
  16. 13.
    D. H. Lawrence, Women in Love (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961), pp. 126, 477. His response to Futurism is recorded in a letter to Edward Garnett, dated June 1914, in which he approves in principle Marinetti’s statement: ‘It is the solidity of a blade of steel that is interesting by itself, that is, the uncomprehending and inhuman alliance of its molecules in resistance to, let us say, a bullet. The heat of a piece of wood or iron is in fact more passionate, for us, than the laughter or tears of a woman.’Google Scholar
  17. 15.
    There is a discussion of the relationship between Gaudier-Brzeska’s sculpture and Pound’s poetry in Marjorie Perloff, The Dance of the Intellect: studies in the poetry of the Pound tradition (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 33f.Google Scholar
  18. 16.
    Graham Greene, Brighton Rock (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1956), p. 244.Google Scholar
  19. 17.
    Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (Boston, 1945), p. 21.Google Scholar
  20. 18.
    Bernard Bergonzi, in The Listener, 19 September 1963. Rubin Rabinovitz, The Reaction Against Experiment in the Novel, 1950–1960 (New York, 1967) takes a similar view, regarding such fictional conservatism as a failing.Google Scholar
  21. 19.
    Preface to Malcolm Bradbury and David Palmer (eds), The Contemporary English Novel, Stratford-Upon-Avon Studies 18 (New York, 1980).Google Scholar
  22. 21.
    Stephen Spender, The New Realism (London, 1939), p. 8.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cf. Geoffrey Hartman, Beyond Formalism (New Haven, 1970),Google Scholar
  24. Harold Bloom, Yeats (New York, 1970) andGoogle Scholar
  25. Robert Langbaum, The Poetry of Experience (New York, 1963).Google Scholar
  26. 24.
    Joseph Frank, The Widening Gyre: crisis and mastery in modern literature (New Brunswick, 1963), containing his essay ‘Spatial Form in Modern Literature’, originally published in 1945.Google Scholar
  27. 25.
    Stephen Spender, The Struggle of the Modern (Berkeley, 1963), p. 190.Google Scholar
  28. 27.
    Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake, Life with Picasso (London, 1965), p. 70. The second remark, made to Marius de Zayas, is quoted in The Arts, May 1923.Google Scholar
  29. 28.
    Clement Greenberg, ‘Modernist Painting’, Art and Literature, 4 (1965), 193;Google Scholar
  30. Michael Fried, Three American Painters (Boston, 1965), especially pp. 19f.;Google Scholar
  31. Richard Wollheim, On Art and the Mind (Cambridge, Mass., 1973). Modernist artists thereby accentuated a trend already manifesting itself towards the end of the previous century, when Whistler, in The Gentle Art of Making Enemies (London, 1890), p. 128, demanded that the arts should appeal to the sense of eye or ear ‘without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism and the like’.Google Scholar
  32. 30.
    James Joyce, Ulysses (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986), p. 100.Google Scholar
  33. 31.
    Preface to the 1952 edition of Stuart Gilbert, James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’: a study (New York, 1930), a work providing the reader with a guide to such parallels.Google Scholar
  34. 32.
    To Gerald Brenan, in Virginia Woolf, Letters, ed. Nigel Nicholson and Joanne Trautman (New York, 1978) 2:598, dated 25 December 1922.Google Scholar
  35. 34.
    See Terence Diggory, William Carlos Williams and the Ethics of Painting (Princeton, 1991), andCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Peter Halter, The Revolution in the Visual Arts and the Poetry of William Carlos Williams (Cambridge, 1994), both of which examine his involvement in the new art movements and his connection with foreign artists who gathered in New York at that time.Google Scholar
  37. 35.
    William Carlos Williams, ‘Recollections’, Art in America, 51 (1963), 52.Google Scholar
  38. 36.
    Quoted in Bram Dijkstra, Cubism, Stieglitz, and the Early Poetry of William Carlos Williams (Princeton, 1978), p. 75, from a manuscript at Buffalo.Google Scholar
  39. 38.
    Jacob Epstein, Let There Be Sculpture: an autobiography (London, 1940, revised edition 1955), p. 56.Google Scholar
  40. 39.
    Ezra Pound, Gaudier Brzeska: a Memoir (London, 1916).Google Scholar
  41. 40.
    R. H. Wilenski, The Meaning of Modern Sculpture (London, 1932).Google Scholar
  42. 41.
    The Graphic, January 1920. For a number of references in this section I am indebted to Charles Harrison’s fine study of this period, English Art and Modernism (New Haven, 1994).Google Scholar
  43. 46.
    The profound influence exerted by Auden on his contemporaries, including C. Day Lewis, Rex Warner, Stephen Spender and Louis MacNeice, is discussed in Valentine Cunningham, British Writers of the Thirties (Oxford, 1988), pp. 18–21.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Murray Roston 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bar Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael

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