The Great War and the Language of Modernism

TitleThe Great War and the Language of Modernism
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsSherry, Vincent B.
Number of Pages395
PublisherOxford University Press

With the expressions "Lost Generation" and "The Men of 1914," the major authors of the literature style of modernism designated the overwhelming effect the First World War exerted on their era. Literary critics have long employed the same phrases in an attempt to place a radically experimental, specifically modernist writing in its formative, historical setting. What real basis did that Great War provide for the verbal inventiveness of modernist poetry and fiction? Does the literature we bring under this heading respond directly to that provocation, and, if so, what historical memories or revelations can be heard to stir in these words? The author of this book reopens these long unanswered questions by focusing attention on the public culture of the English war experience and literature. His analysis focusses on the artistic innovations in the work of Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound. With his relocation of the verbal imagination of modernism in the context of the English war literature, this volume restores the historical content and depth of this literature, revealing its most daunting import.

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