Advanced

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

Thormählen, Marianne LU (2019) In English Studies
Abstract

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... (More)

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.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
in
English Studies
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85060801891
ISSN
0013-838X
DOI
10.1080/0013838X.2018.1555982
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e7c1a9c9-3df7-416a-be18-97cdb6c6e0bd
date added to LUP
2019-02-12 10:45:24
date last changed
2019-03-05 04:32:33
@article{e7c1a9c9-3df7-416a-be18-97cdb6c6e0bd,
  abstract     = {<p>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.</p>},
  author       = {Thormählen, Marianne},
  issn         = {0013-838X},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {English Studies},
  title        = {Reassigning “Modernism” : The Case for Adopting the Concept as a Period Designation in the Study of British Poetry},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0013838X.2018.1555982},
  year         = {2019},
}