Twentieth Century Literature

A quarterly journal of scholarly literary criticism publishing refereed papers on all aspects of twentieth-century literature, including English-language essays on literature in other languages.

Articles from Vol. 44, No. 2, Summer

A "Dangerous Game of Change": Images of Desire in the Love Poems of May Swenson
What do we make of a self-identified lesbian's poetry that is often drenched by tropes of heterosexual desire? A poetry that swims in a myriad of possible pleasures while consistently marking the narrow terms of normative sexuality? The difficulty...
Fictions of "Going Over": Henry Green and the New Realism
Finally, in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour, the process of dissolution going on within the ruling class... assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the...
H.D. and "The Contest": Archaeology of a Sapphic Gaze
What need - yet to sing love, love must first shatter us. - H.D., "Fragment Forty" (Collected Poems [CP] 175) Scholars have long documented the relationships between Sappho and her poetic successors.(1) More recently, a few critics have unearthed...
"Postmodern Blackness": Toni Morrison's 'Beloved' and the End of History
When they asserted that our postmodern society has reached the "end of history," theorists Fredric Jameson, Jean Baudrillard, and Francis Fukuyama launched a compelling debate that has persisted for over a decade. They argue that we no longer believe...
Rabbit Stew and Blowing Dorothy's Bridges: Love, Aggression, and Fetishism in 'For Whom the Bell Tolls.'
"Then you and me are the same," Maria said. She put her hand on his arm and looked in his face. He looked at her brown face and at the eyes that, since he had seen them, had never been as young as the rest of her face but that now were suddenly hungry...
Reports of Looting and Insane Buggery Behind Altars: John Ashbery's Queer Politics
Among critics there is no disagreement about John Ashbery's sexuality. Perhaps that is because Ashbery is actually a registered homosexual. He came out to the draft board and was exempted from military service during the Korean War (Shoptaw 5). On...