Book Review: Transatlantic Modernism and the US Lecture Tour

8th November 2021

Francesca Mancino, Case Western Reserve University

Robert Volpicelli, Transatlantic Modernism and the US Lecture Tour (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021)

In his study of the transatlantic lecture circuits of Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, Rabindranath Tagore, Gertrude Stein, and W. H. Auden, Robert Volpicelli explores the difficulty of balancing one’s role as a writer with that of a lecturer. In spite of divergences in personalities and lecture topics, this juxtaposition is attributed to how one adjusts to their wavering sense of ‘personal dislocation’ (2). Volpicelli suggests that this sense of dislocation is particularly personal and spatial, seen in his description of Auden as a ‘poet-turned-projectile’ (2). Aside from the evident physical aspect of transatlantic travel, this ‘projectile’-like movement is applicable to self-dislocation and the transition from writer-to-lecturer. 

Continue reading “Book Review: Transatlantic Modernism and the US Lecture Tour”

Book Review: The Fictions of Arthur Cravan: Poetry, Boxing and Revolution

1 September 2021

Aaron Eames, Loughborough University 

Dafydd Jones, The Fictions of Arthur Cravan: Poetry, Boxing and Revolution (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019)

Arthur Cravan (1887-1918) was a sailor in the Pacific, muleteer, orange-picker in California, snake charmer, hotel thief, logger in the great forests, former French boxing champion, grandson to the Queen’s Chancellor, Berlin automobile chauffeur, gentleman thief, and much else besides – or so he claimed. Provocateur, poet and poser, we know for certain that Cravan mingled with the pre-war Parisian avantgarde, was knocked out in an exhibition match by Jack Johnson, and was the nephew of Oscar Wilde. He is, at first glance, a biographer’s dream but, when one considers all the misinformation, mystique, and mythology surrounding (and generated by) this remarkable man, he quickly becomes an impossible subject. In The Fictions of Arthur Cravan, Dafydd W. Jones manages to get to grips with this simultaneously effusive and elusive figure and place his impressive list of epithets in their proper context. Giving due acknowledgement to Maria Lluïsa Borràs’s Arthur Cravan: une stratégie du scandale (1996), this book provides anglophone audiences with the first comprehensive biographical study of this ‘twentieth century man of mystery’.[1]

Continue reading “Book Review: The Fictions of Arthur Cravan: Poetry, Boxing and Revolution”

Blog at

Up ↑

Create your website with
Get started