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Volume 2, Issue 1 (Summer 2006)


EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION, PP. 1-5

Scott McCracken

Scott McCracken (guest editor) is Professor of English at Keele University.


MODERNIST FICTION AND "THE ACCUMULATION OF UNRECORDED LIFE", PP. 6-20

Ella Ophir

Offering a thoughtful consideration of the everyday in modernist literature and art, Ella Ophir (University of Toronto) situates modernist literature in a ‘long and broad aesthetic trend’ beginning with the Romantic glorification of the commonplace. Suggesting that everyday objects, exchanges and actions function beyond the concept of ‘defamiliarization’, Ophir reframes modernism’s engagement with the quotidian to include ‘the reclamation of undistinguished life, the constitution of character and the representation of consciousness and temporality’.


PRODUCT PLACEMENT: LITERARY MODERNISM AND 'CRISCO', PP. 21-30

Gail McDonald

In a highly original contribution, Gail McDonald (Southampton University) demonstrates the connection between modernist literature and marketing by discussing the fortunes of Crisco, a hydrogenated cooking fat advertised during the early decades of the twentieth century. Exploring the concepts of branding, tradition, use and value, McDonald points towards the negotiations between the intellectual and commercial and between the real and the ‘other-worldly’ in modernist literature, whilst also considering the limits of such an enterprise.


BECKETT, BOURDIEU AND THE RESISTANCE TO CONSUMPTION, PP. 31-41

Liz Barry

In bringing the work of Pierre Bordieu to bear on the body of Samuel Beckett’s plays and novels, Liz Barry (University of Warwick)sheds light on aspects of Beckett’s oeuvre hitherto unnoticed by commentators. Focussing on the physical habits and material forces, Barry draws attention to the ‘mechanisms of discipline’ in operation in capitalist society and to the robust challenge made by Beckett’s characters to those mechanisms, largely through their very physicality.


OVER-EATING: "PILGRIMAGE"'S FOOD MANIA AND THE FLANERIE OF PUBLIC FORAGING, PP. 42-57

Lois Cucullu

Reading Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage through its protagonist’s bodily rhythms (specifically hunger), Lois Cucullu (University of Minnesota) suggests that eating is, in one sense, the most democratic of corporeal drives. Maintaining that Miriam Henderson is as much a “conscripted New Woman … compelled into the workforce as a teenager”, Cucullu focuses on ‘alimentary protocols’ (after Girard) as a vector of Henderson’s sinusoidal integration with and resistance of the modern urban landscape.


'JUST LOOKING' AT THE EVERYDAY: MARIANNE MOORE’S EXOTIC MODERNISM, PP. 58-69

Victoria Bazin

Victoria Bazin (Northumbria University) argues that Marianne Moore was a connoisseur of modern clutter, drawing on the historical residues of “antiques, rare art objects and ancient artefacts”, but also the disorder of the information age: the disaggregated fragments thrown up by contemporary journalism. Moore takes the discursive production of China in the "Illustrated News" and creates a constellation, after Benjamin, that goes further than the confirmation of the West as “a superior site of knowledge” to gesture to something beyond a technocratic modernity.


HOPSCOTCH MODERNISM: ON EVERYDAY LIFE AND THE BLURRING OF ART AND SOCIAL SCIENCE, PP. 70-79

Ben Highmore

From a remarkably innovative point of departure, Ben Highmore (University of Sussex) suggests that modernist literature and art were not the only cultural practices concerned with reclaiming the everyday and imbuing it with significance. At the same time, Roger Caillois was studying the spontaneous interactions involved in games such as hopscotch, while other small scale institutions such as the Pioneer Health Centre in Peckham, London attempted to reconcile systematic study and knowledge with the non-systematic exchanges in games and play. Highmore suggests that such experiments comprise a less-often recognised ‘modernist heritage’, and argues powerfully for their importance within early-twentieth century anthropology and the newly-emerged field of cultural studies.