Afterlives of Modernism: Liberalism, Transnationalism, and by John Carlos Rowe

By John Carlos Rowe

In occasions of liberal depression it is helping to have a person like John Carlos Rowe positioned issues into standpoint, for that reason, with a suite of essays that asks the query, “Must we throw out liberalism’s successes with the neoliberal bathwater?” Rowe first lays out a family tree of early twentieth-century modernists, equivalent to Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and Ralph Ellison, with a watch towards stressing their transnationally engaged liberalism and their efforts to introduce into the literary avant-garde the troubles of politically marginalized teams, even if outlined by means of race, type, or gender. the second one a part of the amount comprises essays at the works of Harper Lee, Thomas Berger, Louise Erdrich, and Philip Roth, emphasizing the continuity of efforts to symbolize family political and social issues. whereas severe of the more and more conservative tone of the neoliberalism of the earlier quarter-century, Rowe rescues the worth of liberalism’s sympathetic and socially engaged purpose, whilst he criticizes smooth liberalism’s lack of ability to paintings transnationally.

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At the end of Dos Passos’s Manhattan Transfer, Jimmy Herf divorces Ellen, quits journalism, and leaves Manhattan, symbolically reversing the path of Whitman’s “Brooklyn Ferry,” suggesting his ambition to discover a new “Nature” for modern America, reinventing Whitman’s nineteenth-century ideal in Leaves of Grass, perhaps emblematized more in the textuality of Dos Passos’s novel than in any more transcendental Nature. Dos Passos’s cosmopolitanism remains firmly rooted in the United States, even if his techniques in Manhattan Transfer rely upon international modernism, including European cubism and Russian film ­montage, [ 16 ] afterlives of modernism and would in turn have profound influences on such international modernists as Jean-Paul Sartre.

17 The art-dealer Vollard “said of course ordinarily a portrait of a woman always is more expensive than a portrait of a man but, said he looking at the picture very carefully, I suppose with Cézanne it does not make any difference” (ABT, 38). This portrait occupies a singular place in what would become Stein’s significant collection of modern art. In the many photographs of Stein in her Paris residence at 27 rue de ­Fleurus, notably those taken by Man Ray, the portrait often figures prominently, hanging just above Stein seated in her chair by the fire or above Stein at her long worktable in her study.

21 Lisa Ruddick has traced the influence of Stein’s teacher William James on Three Lives, especially with respect to Stein’s use of the term wander­ ing. 23 Dr. ” 26 [ 38 ] afterlives of modernism Stein’s deliberate vulgarization of her own identification with a racial alter ego is typical of many white moderns’ desires for the adventure of “passing” and the identification of their own avant-gardism with nonEuropean figures and experiences. Michael North points out: “Like her friend [Carl] Van Vechten, who began passing for black as an undergradu­ ate, Stein had toyed with such notions from the time of her days at Radcliffe.

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