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AGENDA• Modern Manifestos o Pound o Cather o Williams o Hughes• Literary and Artistic Modernism o Trends in movements
Ezra Pound was an American expatriate living in Europe. HePound was hugely influential in the circle of other expatriate writers and artists not only for his own work as a poet but also for the advice that he offered to other writers. ‚A Retrospect‛ is Pound’s manifesto on Imagism, a school of poetry that argued for the central—if not defining— place of the image in modern poetry.
• An “Image” is that which Is Ezra Pound offering a presents an intellectual radical new vision of and emotional complex poetry, or are his in an instant of time. comments simply good• It is better to present one advice for writers of any Image in a lifetime than kind? to produce voluminous works. What do you find• Use no superfluous word, radical in Pound’s no adjective which does approach as laid out in not reveal something. ‚A Retrospect‛? — from “A Retrospect”
In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.One of Pound’s most famous Imagist poems is ‚In a Station ofthe Metro.‛ Does he practice what he preaches in ‚ARetrospect‛ in this poem?After reading this poem, are you inclined to think differentlyabout the advice Pound offers in ‚A Retrospect‛?After reading an Imagist poem, do you think that ‚ARetrospect‛ is offering something more than just generaladvice for writers?
Willa Cather Willa Cather was born in the Midwest but spent most of her career as a novelist in cosmopolitan cities such as London and New York. In ‚The Novel Démeublé,‛ Cather implicitly asks what nineteenth-century novelists can teach twentieth-century writers. In so doing, she rejects realist novels as mere ‚amusement‛ and looks to ‚American romances‛ such as Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter for inspiration.
There are hopeful signs that The realist literature of ansome of the younger writers earlier tradition wasare trying to break awayfrom mere verisimilitude, committed to theand, following the ‚verisimilitude‛ that Catherdevelopment of modern here rejects. What is Catherpainting, to interpret offering in the place ofimaginatively the materialand social investiture of verisimilitude?their characters; to presenttheir scene by suggestion What does it mean ‚torather than byenumeration. interpret imaginatively‛ and —from ‚to present . . . by suggestion “The Novel Démeublé” rather than by enumeration‛?
William Carlos Williams So far, all of the manifestos that we have read are serious invectives. Yet, here we encounter the playfulness in Williams’s Spring and All. Given the playful, ironic, and humorous tone of Williams’s manifesto, it may be difficult to tell how deadly serious he is about his vision for modern poetry.
It is spring! but miracle ofmiracles a miraculousmiracle has gradually taken The language from Springplace during these and All invokes both theseemingly wasted eons. creation story in the book ofThrough the orderly Genesis and the theory ofsequences of evolution.unmentionable timeEVOLUTION HAS REPEATED Why does Williams do this?ITSELF FROM THE BEGINNING. And how does he make both —from Spring and All religion and science serve ‚the meaning of ‘art’‛?
Langston Hughes Many modernist writers supported the idea that artists and writers should be fiercely committed to their personal vision regardless of what the market, critics, or other writers said. In ‚The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,‛ Langston Hughes argues that an artist’s racial identity complicates this commitment to personal vision in ways that white writers had not fully appreciated.
There’s a tension in the statementI am ashamed for the between individual choice (‚An artistblack poet who says, “I must be free to choose what hewant to be a poet, not does‛) and a manifesto-likea Negro poet,” as prescription of what African-though his own racialworld were not as American poets must do (‚I aminteresting as any other ashamed for the black poet who saysworld . . . An artist must . . .‛).be free to choosewhat he does, How does Hughes encourage blackcertainly, but he must writers to embrace their heritagealso never be afraid to without telling the that they mustdo what he might write in a certain way to bechoose. considered successful writers? —from “The Negro In what way is this essay not about Artist and the Racial art at all, but about racism and the Mountain” self-hatred that it breeds in an oppressed population?
Literary and Artistic Modernism• “Modernism” refers to artistic works that o represent the transformation of traditional society under the pressures of modernity o break down traditional literary forms o depict the modern world not as a triumph of human civilization but as an experience of loss o call into question the religious, political, social, and artistic conventions of the past o interpret the world as disparate fragments rather than an integrated whole
This list of the features of modern art andliterature is not exhaustive, but it is a good placeto start differentiating between the modernistliterature of the twentieth century and therealism/naturalism of the late-nineteenth century.Not every work of modernist art or literaturedisplays all of these qualities, and some workemphasizes one aspect more than the others. Theworks of art featured in the following slidesprovide a starting point for discussing the natureof modernism.
Georges Braque’s Still Life With Guitar (ca. 1918–19)Where is the guitar in this still life? Why does Braque opt to ‚takeapart‛ a guitar and represent its scattered fragments rather thandepict it as a unified whole? How does it force us to think about theguitar differently by viewing it in fragments?
Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting Weeping Woman How has Picasso broken down the image of the woman into various fragments from different perspectives and then reassembled those fragments. Why does Picasso do this? How is he forcing us to see this woman anew? How does this new vision of a typical subject—a portrait of a woman—reflect the concerns of modernism described on the earlier slide?
Wassily Kandinsky’s In Blue (1925)In his effort to breakdown the world intofragments, hasKandinsky completelyremoved all reference tothe natural world?Can you identify any recognizable images, or is it all a massof shapes? What is Kandinsky trying to achieve with thisradical conception of the world as (nonrepresentational?)fragmentary shapes?
Homework• Post #4: Pass• Read My Antonia (1918) Book I Introduction Chapters 1-10