CFC: The Invention of Politics in European Modernism
VOLUME TITLE: The Invention of Politics in European Modernism
The ties between European modernist literature and have been the focal point of numerous studies in recent decades. Studies of how modernism represents the political, the self, and power, often refer to Claude Lefort’s thesis that modern democracy is substantially "empty" or "devoid of any markers of
certainty". This leaves the question in what ways modernist literature (might have) played a role in shaping inter-war democracy. Today, however, analyses focussing on the actual interaction between modernism and the state of political affairs in various local and national European contexts are rather scarce. Studies most often are restricted to "rapports de faits" of extreme cases. The present volume sets out to map the array of imagined (and experienced) communities present in modernist literature. It also calls for a thorough historicization of the links between modernism and the concrete shape of in European regions and states between 1909 and 1940.
To do so, the volume will be divided into three sections. The first section will chart a number of ways in which modernist authorial personae create selves, communities and authority or power. Papers are welcomed on major modernist and historical avant-garde writers or texts. In the second section, attention will be given to modernist performing the role of rituals or language games within small-scale literary communities (from the solitary Valéryan writing practice to the collaborative écriture automatique.) The third and final section of the volume investigates the incorporation of aspects of modernism into political discourses present in inter-war democratic constellations, both formally (rhetorical or textual) as well as substantially or thematically. Rather than departing from pre-given political ideologies, a "bottom to top" approach is invited.
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