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  • Acknowledgments vii

    Introduction: Modernisms Bad and New / Douglas Mao and Rebecca L. Walkowitz 1

    Forced Exile: Walter Pater’s Queer Modernism / Heather K. Love 19

    The Aftershocks of Blast: Manifestos, Satire, and the Rear-Guard of Modernism / Martin Puchner 44

    Nonsense Modernism: The Limits of Modernity and the Feelings of Philosophy in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus / Michael LeMahieu 68

    The Romance of Cliche: E.M. Hull, D.H. Lawrence, and Interwar Erotic Fiction / Laura Frost 94

    Virginia Woolf’s Evasion: Critical Cosmopolitanism and British Modernism / Rebecca L. Walkowitz 119

    Black Venus, Blonde Venus / Sianne Ngai 145

    The Black Dandy as Bad Modernist / Monica L. Miller 179

    A Shaman in Common: Lewis, Auden, and the Queerness of Liberalism / Douglas Mao 206

    The Gorgeous Laughter of filipino Modernity: Carlos Bulosan’s The Laughter of My Father / Joshua L. Miller 238

    Hit-Man Modernism / Lisa Fluet 269

    Cultures of Impression / Jesse Matz 298

    Bibliography 331

    Notes on Contributors 353

    Index 355
  • Douglas Mao

    Heather K. Love

    Martin Puchner

    Michael LeMahieu

    Laura Frost

    Sianne Ngai

    Monica L. Miller

    Joshua Miller

    Lisa Fluet

    Jesse Matz

    Rebecca L. Walkowitz

  • “Bright, disquieting, and energetic, these essays bring back to life the complex political and artistic provocations of their modernisms. Badly needed.”—Rachel Bowlby, author of Carried Away: The Invention of Modern Shopping — N/A

    “I envision Bad Modernisms as a linchpin in the ‘new modernist studies.’ This sprightly, compelling volume gives us a map for that conversation; offers a guide to the tangled pathways of history, criticism, and cultural practice that converge in modernist studies; and reveals the astonishingly ample, indeed global, playing field of the discourse of modernism.”—Jennifer Wicke, author of Advertising Fictions: Literature, Advertisement, and Social Reading — N/A

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  • Description

    Modernism is hot again. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, poets and architects, designers and critics, teachers and artists are rediscovering the virtues of the previous century’s most vibrant cultural constellation. Yet this widespread embrace raises questions about modernism’s relation to its own success. Modernism’s “badness”—its emphasis on outrageous behavior, its elevation of negativity, its refusal to be condoned—seems essential to its power. But once modernism is accepted as “good” or valuable (as a great deal of modernist art now is), its status as a subversive aesthetic intervention seems undermined. The contributors to Bad Modernisms tease out the contradictions in modernism’s commitment to badness.

    Bad Modernisms thus builds on and extends the “new modernist studies,” recent work marked by the application of diverse methods and attention to texts and artists not usually labeled as modernist. In this collection, these developments are exemplified by essays ranging from a reading of dandyism in 1920s Harlem as a performance of a “bad” black modernist imaginary to a consideration of Filipino American modernism in the context of anticolonialism. The contributors reconsider familiar figures—such as Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Josef von Sternberg, Ludwig Wittgenstein, W. H. Auden, and Wyndham Lewis—and bring to light the work of lesser-known artists, including the writer Carlos Bulosan and the experimental filmmaker Len Lye. Examining cultural artifacts ranging from novels to manifestos, from philosophical treatises to movie musicals, and from anthropological essays to advertising campaigns, these essays signal the capaciousness and energy galvanizing the new modernist studies.

    Contributors. Lisa Fluet, Laura Frost, Michael LeMahieu, Heather K. Love, Douglas Mao, Jesse Matz, Joshua L. Miller, Monica L. Miller, Sianne Ngai, Martin Puchner, Rebecca L. Walkowitz

    About The Author(s)

    Douglas Mao is Associate Professor of English at Cornell University. He is the author of Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production.

    Rebecca L. Walkowitz is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation and a coeditor of several books, including The Turn to Ethics.

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