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T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf were almost exact contemporaries, readers and critics of each others' work, and friends for over twenty years. Their writings, though, are rarely paired. Modernism, Memory, and Desire, first published in 2008, proposes that some striking correspondences exist in Eliot and Woolf's poetic, fictional, critical, and autobiographical texts, particularly in their recurring turn to the language of desire, sensuality, and the body to render memory's processes. The book includes extensive archival research on some mostly unknown bawdy poetry by T. S. Eliot while offering readings of major work by both writers, including The Waste Land, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock', Orlando and To the Lighthouse. McIntire juxtaposes Eliot and Woolf with several major modernist thinkers of memory, including Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson and Walter Benjamin, to offer compelling reconsiderations of the relation between textuality, remembrance and the body in modernist literature.Read more
- Was the first book to compare Woolf and Eliot directly
- Includes major archival research on Eliot's bawdy poems and Woolf's private papers
- Links discussions of sexuality with the importance of memory in modernist writing
Reviews & endorsements
An “absorbing, illuminating analysis of Eliot, Woolf, modernist memory and desire. . . . an “excellent book . . . . [that] deserves a wide audience.”
- Mark Hussey, Editor, Woolf Studies AnnualSee more reviews
“an accomplished and intriguing piece of work [that] shows . . . the newness and vitality of Woolf’s writings. . . . From now on, McIntire’s own study will be part of the past essential to present studies into the temporality of modernism.”
-Charles Armstrong, English Department, University of Bergen, Norway
A “fascinating book. . . . [a] searching inquiry into the erotics of memory.”
-Alec Marsh, Muhlenberg College, and Elisabeth Däumer, Eastern Michigan University
"McIntire's book represents a solid and provocative first step in what one hopes will be a continuing trend in scholarship comparing and contrasting these two important Modernist figures."
Virginia Woolf Miscellany, Elisa Kay Sparks, Clemson University
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- Date Published: January 2012
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521178464
- length: 276 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.41kg
- availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
Table of Contents
1. An unexpected beginning: sex, race, and history in T. S. Eliot's Columbo and Bolo Poems
2. Mixing memory and desire: rereading Eliot and the body of history
3. Eliot, Eros, and desire: 'oh, do not ask, 'what is it?'
4. T. S. Eliot: writing time and blasting memory
5. Virginia Woolf, (auto)biography, and the Eros of memory: reading Orlando
6. Other kinds of autobiographies: sketching the past, forgetting Freud, and reaching the Lighthouse
7. Remembering what has 'almost already been forgotten:' where memory touches history
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