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Modernism and the Ordinary - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Modernism and the Ordinary

Liesl Olson


The book overturns conventional accounts of the modernist period as primarily drawn toward the new, the transcendent, and the extraordinary. The book shows how modernist writers were preoccupied, instead, with the unselfconscious actions of everyday life, even in times of political crisis and war. Experiences like walking to work, eating a sandwich, or mending a dress were often resistant to shock, and these daily activities presented a counter-force to the aesthetic of heightened affect with which the period is often associated. The book examines works by Joyce, Woolf, Stein, Stevens, Proust, ... More

Keywords: literary modernism, ordinary, epiphany, war, realism, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Marcel Proust

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195368123
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368123.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Liesl Olson, author
University of Chicago
Author Webpage