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Modernism, Feminism, and Jewishness explores the aesthetic and political roles performed by Jewish characters in women's fiction between the World Wars. Focusing mainly on British modernism, it argues that female authors enlist a multifaceted vision of Jewishness to help them shape fictions that are thematically daring and formally experimental. Maren Linett analyzes the meanings and motifs that Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Dorothy Richardson, and Djuna Barnes associate with Jewishness. The writers' simultaneous identification with and distancing from Jews produced complex portrayals in which Jews serve at times as models for the authors' art, and at times as foils against which their writing is defined. By examining the political and literary power of Semitic discourse for these key women authors, Linett fills a significant gap in the account of the cultural and literary forces that shaped modernism.Read more
- A fascinating argument about the role representations of Jewishness played in the works of female modernists
- Thoughtful treatment of important novelists such as Virginia Woolf
- An important study within the fields of modernism, feminism and Jewish studies
Reviews & endorsements
"This is a well-written, lucid, and imaginatively structured account of how Anglo-American women novelists of the twentieth century deployed figures of Jewishness to achieve their own aesthetic objectives...Maren Tova Linett’s book both fills in gaps and breaks new ground in the unfolding account of Jewishness and modernism."
-Maeera Y. Shreiber, University of Utah, Modern PhilologySee more reviews
"While this study does not make happy reading, that is not the fault of its author, who has looked with a clear, analytic, and unjaundiced eye at the works of these major figures of the Modernist movement."
-Andrew Vogel Ettin,Wake Forest University
"...I am confident that Modernism, Feminism, and Jewishness will have a significant impact on literary and cultural studies. Its innovative readings of the novels, impressive archival work, and often breathtaking connections are sure to attract a broad academic readership and to contribute to the rapidly expanding field of Jewish literary studies."
-Aviva Briefel,Bowdoin College
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- Date Published: February 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521184274
- length: 242 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
- weight: 0.3kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: Imagined Jews and the shape of feminist modernism
1. 'Strip each statement of its money motive': Jews and the ideal of disinterested art in Warner, Rhys, and Woolf
2. Transformations of supersessionism in Woolf and Richardson
3. Adding bathrooms, fomenting revolutions: modernity and Jewishness in Woolf and Warner
4. The race must go on: gender, Jewishness, and racial continuity in Richardson and Barnes
5. The 'No time region': time, trauma, and Jewishness in Barnes and Rhys
6. Metatextual Jewishness: shaping feminist modernism
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