Modernist literature and the everyday

Randall, B. (2010) Modernist literature and the everyday. Literature Compass, 7(9), pp. 824-835. (doi:10.1111/j.1741-4113.2010.00742.x)

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This article begins by considering modernist literary criticism's engagement with the everyday. It surveys a wide range of critical works which have in some way addressed the everyday in modernist literature, including work on the city, transport, the cinema, technology, and advertising, and concludes this opening section with an invitation to consider in more depth the paradoxes of the term ‘everyay’. The next section observes the connection between the emergence of what we now call modernism in the late nineteenth century and early everyday life studies, namely in the work of Georg Simmel, Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer. The final section offers some further readings of the everyday in modernist literature, specifically in the work of Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Dorothy Richardson, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore and Wallace Stevens. Observing that some recent work on modernism and the everyday has refocused attention on temporality and formal considerations, this section insists on the significance of attending to the everyday not only as content, where those things written about are identified as everyday, but also as a formal and temporal quality which informs the style and structure of modernist texts in their attempts to defamiliarise and make new the everyday in modernity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Randall, Dr Bryony
Authors: Randall, B.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Literature Compass

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