Reassigning “Modernism”: The Case for Adopting the Concept as a Period Designation in the Study of British Poetry

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Reassigning “Modernism” : The Case for Adopting the Concept as a Period Designation in the Study of British Poetry. / Thormählen, Marianne.

I: English Studies, Vol. 100, Nr. 2, 2019, s. 189-205.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Reassigning “Modernism”

T2 - English Studies

AU - Thormählen, Marianne

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - In academic work on modern British poetry, there is a tacit assumption that any poet belonging to the first rank must needs be a “Modernist”. Consequently, scholars and critics are keen to have poets they admire fit in under the “Modernism” umbrella. That desire has led to an extension of the concept–always notoriously hard to define–to the point of meaninglessness. Proceeding from a conviction that modernity affected every poet in the early twentieth century, and that no tenable line of demarcation between different “schools” survives careful scrutiny of what people actually wrote, Marianne Thormählen proposes that “Modernism” in the context of British poetry be employed as a designation for the period from 1910 to 1939. Used as a chronological term, the concept would no longer carry a presumption of quality (or a lack of it). Hitherto neglected good poetry from the period would stand to gain the attention it deserves, as academics abandon the literary quarrels of a bygone age in order to focus on why and how poetry matters.

AB - In academic work on modern British poetry, there is a tacit assumption that any poet belonging to the first rank must needs be a “Modernist”. Consequently, scholars and critics are keen to have poets they admire fit in under the “Modernism” umbrella. That desire has led to an extension of the concept–always notoriously hard to define–to the point of meaninglessness. Proceeding from a conviction that modernity affected every poet in the early twentieth century, and that no tenable line of demarcation between different “schools” survives careful scrutiny of what people actually wrote, Marianne Thormählen proposes that “Modernism” in the context of British poetry be employed as a designation for the period from 1910 to 1939. Used as a chronological term, the concept would no longer carry a presumption of quality (or a lack of it). Hitherto neglected good poetry from the period would stand to gain the attention it deserves, as academics abandon the literary quarrels of a bygone age in order to focus on why and how poetry matters.

U2 - 10.1080/0013838X.2018.1555982

DO - 10.1080/0013838X.2018.1555982

M3 - Article

VL - 100

SP - 189

EP - 205

JO - English Studies

JF - English Studies

SN - 1744-4217

IS - 2

ER -