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Poetry, Modernism, and an Imperfect World

Poetry, Modernism, and an Imperfect World

$105.00 (C)

  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107184404

$ 105.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Diverse modernist poems, far from advertising a capacity to prefigure utopia or save society, understand themselves to be complicit in the unhappiness and injustice of an imperfect or fallen world. Combining analysis of technical devices and aesthetic values with broader accounts of contemporary critical debates, social contexts, and political history, this book offers a formalist argument about how these poems understand themselves and their situation, and a historicist argument about the meanings of their forms. The poetry of the canonical modernists T. S. Eliot, Mina Loy, and Wallace Stevens is placed alongside the poetry of Ford Madox Ford, better known for his novels and his criticism, and the poetry of Joseph Macleod, whose work has been largely forgotten. Focusing on the years from 1914 to 1930, the book offers a new account of a crucial moment in the history of British and American modernism.

    • Will appeal to readers who are interested in the historical and political meanings of modernism
    • Engages in detailed textual analyses of poetic techniques and values, as well as offering broader accounts of aesthetic debates, social contexts, and political history
    • Offers detailed readings of forgotten as well as canonical poems
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Poetry, Modernism, and an Imperfect World offers a compelling account of poetic modernism's ambivalent relationship to a fallen modernity through nuanced readings of a spectrum of canonical and lesser-known British and American poets, among them Ford Madox Ford, D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Mina Loy, Edith Sitwell, and Joseph Todd Gordon Macleod. Bookended by his absorbing account of Ford's 'On Heaven' and his recuperation of Macleod's extraordinary esoteric masterpiece, The Ecliptic, Sean Pryor's exploration of 'the incompatibility of poetry and heaven' is a significant intervention in modernist studies.' Lee Jenkins, University College Cork, Ireland

    'Pryor’s account of the poem is subtle and generative, demonstrating that the real strength of his book lies more in its close textual encounters …' Peter Nicholls, Modern Philology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107184404
    • length: 226 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Ford's fall
    3. Eliot's line
    4. Loy's cries
    5. Stevens's accidence
    6. Macleod's signs
    7. Conclusion

  • Author

    Sean Pryor, University of New South Wales
    Sean Pryor is Senior Lecturer in English in the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He works on nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry and poetics. He is the author of W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, and the Poetry of Paradise (2011), and co-editor of Writing, Medium, Machine: Modern Technographies (with David Trotter, not yet published). He also co-edits the journal Affirmations: Of the Modern.

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