Author Introduction: Mina Loy 1882–1966
Visual Artist and Poet
Although Mina Loy was born in England,
she did much of her work in Paris,
Florence, and New York City, where her
beauty and outlandish behavior shone at
the center of multiple avant-garde circles.
The unconventional vocabulary and syntax
of Loy’s poems and their scornful
treatment of love and other subjects can
puzzle and offend, but no reader can
question the work’s originality nor the
poet’s fierce intelligence.
Neglect of Loy's poetry has lent qualified support to revisionist claims that
leading male modernists like T. S. Eliot, Pound, and Joyce defined modernism
so as to marginalize writers whose poetics and politics threatened their own
largely conservative stance.
However, Eliot and Pound praised Loy's work. High modernist champions of
technical innovation and intellectual rigor could not accuse Loy of formal
conservatism or sentimentality.
Literary historians may have marginalized Loy by making her a modernist icon,
woman-as-Dada, while relegating her writing to avant-garde obscurity; but
equally relevant is Loy's lessened attention to her poetry in later life.
Renewed interest in her poetry belongs to the recovery of the neglected,
multiple aspects of early modernism. In The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
(1933) Stein, whom Loy praised as "Curie / of the laboratory / of vocabulary,"
offers a definitive tribute to Loy's artistic vision. Recalling Loy's first husband's
plea that she punctuate the long sentences without commas in The Making of
Americans (1925), Stein notes that "Mina Loy . . . was able to understand
without the commas. She has always been able to understand."
You have the entire period
to take the exam
Please read the questions
Please answer the
Bring your test paper to the
front when you finish.
Read: Mina Loy 295-96
Post #16: Answer one of the following
1. QHQ on the “Parturition”
2. Discuss “Parturition” in conjunction with
3. Discuss “Parturition” in conjunction with
one critical theory
4. Discuss “Parturition” in conjunction with