The Cambridge companion to modernism /

Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: Levenson, Michael H. 1951-
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Series: Cambridge companions to literature.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

A book is particularly useful when its author applies literary theory to a topic without allowing theory to overwhelm the subject. Levenson (Univ. of Virginia) found nine authors who were able to accomplish this task as well as he himself does in his introduction. Michael Bell tackles a monumental topic in "The Metaphysics of Modernism," providing an impressively organized and sophisticated discussion. Lawrence Rainey does likewise in his analysis of modernism's "contempt for popular culture." A chapter each is devoted to the novel, poetry, drama, the visual arts, and film, and in each the author brings coherence to a complex topic, juxtaposing similar yet often independent developments in different countries. Christopher Innes should be singled out for his ability to deal with such a difficult topic as drama, but all the articles are of an equally high quality. Marianne Dekoven's excellent discussion of modernism and gender seems to artificially compartmentalize women's contributions (perhaps necessarily so), and Sara Blair neglects the Soviet appropriation of modernism in her otherwise comprehensive analysis of the political aspects of the movement. A highly successful project. Essential for all academic and large public collections. W. Comins-Richmond Occidental College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.