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. 45, No. 3, Fall

Haunting Transcendence: The Strategy of Ghosts in Bataille and Breton
An examination of the trope of the ghost in Andre Breton's Nadja (1928) and Georges Bataille's Histoire de l'ceil (1928) [1] enables one to characterize both the political urgency of the authors' aesthetic projects in the late 1920s and 1930s and the...
Investing in Conrad, Investing in the Orient: Margaret Drabble's the Gates of Ivory
The days of heroic travel are gone; unless, of course, in the newspaper sense, in which heroism like everything else in the world becomes as common if not as nourishing as our daily bread. Conrad, preface xviii I began to feel I was surrounded...
Jim Burden's Lost Worlds: Exile in My Antonia
Milan Kundera, one of this century's notable exiles, suggests that the "struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting" (3). My Antonia, Willa Cather's great novel of exile and longing, recounts just such a struggle in the...
Return to the Breast: The Body, the Masculine Subject, and Philip Roth
When Philip Roth published The Breast in 1972, the novella met with a flurry of notice. Some readers picked it up hoping to find Portnoy-like sexual outrageousness, and they weren't disappointed; others, predisposed to be offended, were, and they were...
Satanic Choices: Poetry and Prophecy in Rushdie's Novel
That such an episode could actually have been mentioned and treated by ancient Muslim authors whose authority is not doubted merely proves that at the heart of the foundation of Islam, what we have here called the textual question, that of divine-human...
The Crime of the Sign: Dashiell Hammett's Detective Fiction
Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley. Raymond Chandler 234 In 1941 Howard Haycraft wrote a literary history called Murder for Pleasure: The Life and Times of the Detective Story. In it he celebrated what...
Trapping the Fox You Are(n't) with a Riddle: The Autobiographical Crisis of Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses
Scholarship about Joyce has, from the start, envisioned autobiographical implications in Ulysses. In 1924, Herbert Gorman tells us that in the Stephen Dedalus of the first three episodes of the novel, "Joyce draws a portrait (obviously autobiographical)...
Window/Picture: L'assassin Menace and Artist Descending a Staircase
It is only when the imagination is dragged away from what the eye sees that a picture becomes interesting. Tom Stoppard, Artist Descending a Staircase 39 It is a commonplace of Stoppard criticism that Tom Stoppard writes by engaging in what Susan...