Book Review: Modernist Lives

Dr Anne Reus, Sheffield Hallam University.

Claire Battershill, Modernist Lives: Biography and Autobiography at Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press (London: Bloomsbury, 2018)

Claire Battershill’s Modernist Lives moves the discussion of biography in the 1920s and 30s into the Hogarth Press Archives, not only shedding light on the Press’s commercial operation, but expanding our knowledge of Modernist life-writing and its contexts in the process. Combining literary studies and book history, Battershill presents a literary history of life-writing that challenges our tendencies to equate the Hogarth Press with Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury, and showcases the eclecticness of form that characterizes contemporary life-writing.

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Review: Crone Music by Beatrice Gibson

‘This is the rhythm of my life / My life / Oh yeah / The rhythm of my life’.

Jade Elizabeth French, Queen Mary University of London

Can you help but move to a pure piece of 90s disco? That’s a question that is surprisingly thrown up at the end of Beatrice Gibson’s video piece I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead. On the screen, a woman and masked child stand in a hall of mirrors, throwing their bodies around the room as Corona’s classic plays. As it starts up, a sofa big enough for three begins to wobble with foot tapping and, in my case, full on shoulder rolling. This moment turns what could have been building up to a potentially clichéd art house moment – a woman applying and smearing red lipstick, a masked figure dancing in the dark – into a suddenly playful, poignant and fun ending. Mother and son throw themselves about the mirrored room with such silliness and abandon that the film’s exploration of fear ends with a triumphant kick on the side of life.

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The Modernist Review Issue #7

We begin this editorial anew. With the BAMS’ elections finished our team has expanded, welcoming Polly Hember and Cécile Varry into the fold. Similarly, a sense of freshness pervades this issue of the Modernist Review. Though it is unsurprising to claim that the notion of the ‘new’ acts as the connective tissue that binds together modernist studies, the articles contained within this issue look askance at newness, rhythm and temporality as a means of asking what an altered perspective might offer the field.

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Mrs Dalloway and Time

Kirsty Hewitt, University of Glasgow

Mrs Dalloway (1925) is a brief novel, but one which offers up a plethora of themes for consideration and discussion.  I have previously considered the role of the different female characters in the novel in Gender and Femininity in Mrs Dalloway, published in the Modernist Review.  This piece will continue to delve into Woolf’s fourth novel, but will instead focus upon the use of which she makes of time.  Set over the course of a single day, time is a pivotal and ever-present construct in Mrs Dalloway.  It is worth mentioning that the working title of the novel was The Hours, which endured until August 1924.[1]

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Review: The Music of Dada

Cole Collins

Peter Dayan, The Music of Dada: A Lesson in Intermediality for Our Times (London and New York, NY: Routledge, 2019)

In the beginning there was music. At the heart of Dada’s wild and visually stimulating melee was music and performance, however, as many have noted, reliable evidence of these works have long since been lost. This raises two issues and questions for scholars of Dada music and performance: firstly, what to do when evidence is scant? Secondly, what to do when the evidence is largely based on testimonials? In the twenty-first century, we have become used to (perhaps even reliant on) an over-saturation of documentation; every event can be recorded by anyone who has a smartphone. Alex Potts asks the question of what to do with the undocumented or the uncapturable aspects of art. He writes: 

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BAMS Postgraduate Representative Update.

With the BAMS Elections held in February 2019, we welcome four new and one returning committee members to the team: postgraduate representatives Cécile Varry (Université Paris Diderot) and Polly Hember (Royal Holloway), and board members Claire Warden (Loughborough University), Andrew Frayn (Edinburgh Napier) and Cleo Hanaway-Oakley (University of Bristol). Here, our current postgraduate representatives Séan Richardson (Nottingham Trent) and Gareth Mills (University of Reading) reflect on the last year, while Cécile and Polly look forward to the new projects they hope to put in place.

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The Modernist Podcast: Creating an International Scholarly Conversation for Public Consumption

Sean Richardson, Nottingham Trent University

The podcast is currently experiencing a golden era in popular culture. As of 2017, 112 million Americans have listened to a podcast, with listener rates having experienced an 11% growth since 2016. Overall, 40% of Americans age 12 or older have listened to a podcast, with 67 million Americans listening to podcasts monthly and 42 million Americans listening to podcasts weekly[i]. Continue reading “The Modernist Podcast: Creating an International Scholarly Conversation for Public Consumption”

Review: A Modernist Fantasy: Modernism, Anarchism and the Radical Fantastic by James Gifford

Hailey Maxwell, University of Glasgow

A Modernist Fantasy: Modernism, Anarchism and the Radical Fantastic by James Gifford (ELS Editions 201)

A Modernist Fantasy: Modernism, Anarchism and the Radical Fantastic (2018) is essentially a continuation and expansion of the metacritical project established by Gifford’s previous volume, Personal Modernisms: Anarchist Networks and the Later Avant-Gardes (2014) which takes the blind spots of materialist analyses in New Modernist Studies as its true object. In the present study, Gifford approaches the entanglement of two definitionally unstable domains traditionally forsaken by the dominant Marxist perspective towards late modernism; anti-authoritarianism and mass media genre fantasy. Continue reading “Review: A Modernist Fantasy: Modernism, Anarchism and the Radical Fantastic by James Gifford”

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