Making Love Modern: The Intimate Public Worlds of New York's Literary Women

By Nina Miller | Go to book overview
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In some cases, this image seems to bring out a will to pathologize (or otherwise diminish), rather than celebrate. I am thinking in particular of The Moderns, whose characters range from historical caricature (of Stein and Hemingway) to anachronistically noirish triviality.
The critical revision of literary modernism has been dramatic, with feminist scholars leading the charge. See Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar massive three- volume study, No Man's Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987- 1994); Shari Benstock, Women of the Left Bank: Paris 1900-1940 ( Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986); Gillian Hanscombe and Virginia L. Smyers, Writing for Their Lives: The Modernist Women, 1920-1940 ( Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1987); Gloria T. Hull, Color, Sex, and Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987); Hazel V. Carby, "The Quicksands of Representation: Re- thinking Black Cultural Politics" in Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1987); Suzanne Clark , Sentimental Modernism: Women Writers and the Revolution of the Word ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991); Ann duCille, The Coupling Convention: Sex, Text, and Tradition in Black Women's Fiction ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1993); Deborah McDowell, "Undercover: Passing and Other Disguises" in The Changing Same: Black Women's Literature, Criticism, and Theory ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995) 61-97; Cheryl A. Wall, Women of the Harlem Renaissance ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987); Michael North, The Dialect of Modernism: Race, Language and Twentieth Century Literature ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1994); and Wayne Koestenbaum, Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration ( New York: Routledge, 1989).
The Gender of Modernity ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995) 13.
Williams echoes Rita Felski on this point: "It is impossible to develop a modern cultural sociology unless we can find ways of discussing such formations which both acknowledge the terms in which they saw themselves and would wish to be presented, and at the same time enable us to analyze these terms and their general social


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Making Love Modern: The Intimate Public Worlds of New York's Literary Women


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