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Algebraic ArtMathematical Formalism and Victorian Culture$
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Andrea Henderson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198809982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198809982.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Coda

Coda

“[T]o bury Euclid deep in the living flesh”

Chapter:
(p.192) Coda
Source:
Algebraic Art
Author(s):

Andrea Henderson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198809982.003.0007

Modernist writers loudly proclaimed their difference from their Victorian forebears, whom they pronounced conventional, moralizing, and sentimental. Yet the formalizing impulse of Victorian art was a crucial precursor to a set of similar tendencies in early modernism. Because, for the moderns, that formalism had a different ethical inflection, it’s easy to overlook the continuing importance of the Victorian notion of form to work in literature and art. That mathematical conception of form continues to matter, especially within literary criticism, and literary critics need to understand the history of this formalism in order to understand the stakes we still attach to it.

Keywords:   Literary modernism, formalism, literary form, Ezra Pound, Clive Bell, Wyndham Lewis, Victorian sentimentality

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