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Blasphemous Modernism – The 20th-Century Word Made Flesh - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Blasphemous Modernism: The 20th-Century Word Made Flesh

Steve Pinkerton


In his 1934 book After Strange Gods, T. S. Eliot declared blasphemy “obsolescent” as a viable literary or artistic mode. There could be no blasphemy worth the name, he reasoned, in a world that had lost its faith in God: a verdict that has gone curiously uncontested by literary scholarship. For while critics have long described modernism as “heretical” or “iconoclastic,” little attention has been paid to the profound ways in which modernism was shaped by blasphemy in the fully religious sense of that term. Far from obsolete, such blasphemy flourished in the writings of Eliot’s contemporaries a ... More

Keywords: modernism, blasphemy, religion in literature, the body, literary aesthetics, US literature, British literature, modernity, secularization, profanation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190627560
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190627560.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steve Pinkerton, author
Case Western Reserve University

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