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Modernist Review #43: Introduction

4 November 2022

Dr Beci Carver, University of Exeter

Take an innocent seeming word like ‘wicked.’ When in 1922, T. S. Eliot used this adjective in The Waste Land to introduce Madam Sosostris’s ‘wicked pack of cards’, he meant, according to Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue, ‘Excellent, splendid, remarkable.’[1] This American and distinctively modern meaning, dated to 1920 by the Oxford English Dictionary,[2] is in-keeping with our familiar idea of Eliot as an out-of-place American abroad. But if you flip the word on its back, acknowledging the positive primary sense while recognising too that nothing in The Waste Land is quite what it seems, you will see it wriggle with other possibilities. For the word stems from ‘wretch’, meaning, originally, ‘outcast’,[3] an etymological association that now underlies the dominant meaning of ‘evil’ or ‘mischievous’ like a causal explanation. The word also stands out in the history of the English language in having been confined throughout its early formation to Middle English and Scottish, making no contact with Latin, Greek, Old Norse, Old French, Old German, or any of the usual suspects for linguistic influence. ‘Wicked’ was incubated in the UK for the whole of its life until, in the early 1920s, it was let out to America and promptly positivised. If we read Eliot’s ‘wicked pack of cards’ in English as well as an American way at once, we find ourselves in the company of a highly unpredictable creature. Continue reading “Modernist Review #43: Introduction”

Food Innovations: The Conditions of ‘Cookery’ in Good Housekeeping

4 November 2022

Loren Evangelista Agaloos, University of the Philippines, Diliman

This paper explores the intersection of food studies and modernism by considering the women’s periodical in the early twentieth century, particularly Good Housekeeping (GH) and its Department of Cookery pages. My focus is on the American edition of GH from the year 1922, whose digitised volumes are available on the Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition, History (HEARTH), which is found within Cornell University Library’s open-access collections.[1] Continue reading “Food Innovations: The Conditions of ‘Cookery’ in Good Housekeeping”

The RUSI Journal in 1922

4 November 2022

Jacqui Grainger, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) and University of Westminster

The RUSI Journal is the journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).[1] It has been in continuous publication since 1857 and provided a semi-authorised voice on the military and geopolitical concerns of Whitehall and Westminster until the 1980s. As its funding landscape has changed, the institute and its journal have transformed to provide independent research and analysis.

The content of the RUSI Journal throughout 1922 is mainly concerned with analysis of World War One with articles that focus on the campaigns and actions of 1917-1918. These articles are interspersed with discussions of more recent events and by late 1922 feature the genocide of Greek communities in Anatolia during the Greco-Turkish War and the final months of the Ottoman Empire. From the contents of the RUSI Journal for 1922 five key topics emerge:

Continue reading “The RUSI Journal in 1922”

The Modernist Bookshops of Charing Cross Road

4 November 2022

Matthew Chambers, University of Warsaw

Today, bookshops like Foyle’s and Any Amount of Books on Charing Cross Road or the cluster of booksellers on the adjoining Cecil Court Road operate as reminders of the heyday of bookselling in this area of London in the early-to-mid twentieth century. In 1934, for example, there were twenty-six booksellers on these two streets, and several were active in the publishing and distribution of modernist literature. Charing Cross Road was opened in the late 1880’s to improve travel between Charing Cross and Tottenham Court Road and Bloomsbury.[i] Booksellers began opening shops in the earliest years following the road’s opening and has long since been associated with bookselling.[ii] There was an immense variety in the types, commercial success, and longevity of the bookshops. Amongst these booksellers were some for whom the current trends in writing and the arts held the most fascination, and they actively sought to not only sell but also publish and support these authors. Continue reading “The Modernist Bookshops of Charing Cross Road”

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