Portable Modernisms: The Art of Travelling Light

A wide-ranging study of the rise of a new culture of portability and its impact on modernist approaches to fictionLuggage is an overlooked detail in the stock sketch of the expatriated modernist writer from the valise-fashioned desks of both James Joyce and Vladimir Nabokov to the lost manuscript-laden cases of Ernest Hemingway and Walter Benjamin. While the trope of modernist exile has long been spotlighted, little attention has been given to the material meaning of this condition. What things and objects do modernism’s exiles and migrs carry with them and how does the act of carriage enter into the modernist picture more broadly? What are the implications and historical resonances of a portable outlook, particularly from the angles of gender, wartime conflict and character conception? Above all, how far does such an outlook impact upon artistic vision? Portability represents the simultaneous transportation and repudiation of domesticity and the home, those key frames of reference in the nineteenth-century novel. This book examines the multifarious ways in which the emergence of a modern culture of portability prompts a radical, if often problematic, departure from Victorian architectural conceptions of fiction towards more movable understandings of form and character.
A wide-ranging study of the rise of a new culture of portability and its impact on modernist approaches to fiction

Luggage is an overlooked detail in the stock sketch of the expatriated modernist writer from the valise-fashioned desks of both James Joyce and Vladimir Nabokov to the lost manuscript-laden cases of Ernest Hemingway and Walter Benjamin. While the trope of modernist exile has long been spotlighted, little attention has been given to the material meaning of this condition. What things and objects do modernism’s exiles and émigrés carry with them and how does the act of carriage enter into the modernist picture more broadly? What are the implications and historical resonances of a portable outlook, particularly from the angles of gender, wartime conflict and character conception? Above all, how far does such an outlook impact upon artistic vision? Portability represents the simultaneous transportation and repudiation of domesticity and the home, those key frames of reference in the nineteenth-century novel. This book examines the multifarious ways in which the emergence of a modern culture of portability prompts a radical, if often problematic, departure from Victorian architectural conceptions of fiction towards more movable understandings of form and character.

Key Features

  • Presents the first full-length formulation of portable models for fiction and, as such, opens up a new field of enquiry
  • Sheds fresh light on our understanding of the history of the novel through one long-obscured metaphor for narrative form
  • Constructively integrates recent discussions of material culture and mobility in modernism within a single monograph and links these discussions to more formal questions
  • Includes archival research on the material culture of movement and travel during the period
Title: Portable Modernisms The Art of Traveling Light
Author:
ISBN: 1474419593,9781474419598
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Genre: Literary Criticism / American / General
Date Published:
Pages: 211
Preview Link: Google Preview Link

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