The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English

By Brian McHale; Randall Stevenson | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
1922, Paris, New York, London:
The Modernist as International
Hero

Michael North

One of the very first literary events of 1922 was an unusual dinner party in Paris, at which Ezra Pound played host to T. S. Eliot, James Joyce and the American publisher Horace Liveright (Dardis 1995: 86–92; Rainey 1998: 82). Eliot, on his way back from a rest-cure in Lausanne, was in possession of a manuscript not yet entitled The Waste Land, and Joyce had just scrambled his way through the final revisions to Ulysses, which was to appear a month later. Liveright, who had been turning his firm into one of the major American outlets for daring and experimental writing, was prowling Europe in search of authors just like Eliot and Joyce. It must have seemed, even at the time, like a millennial conjunction of literary planets, since all the participants were aware that these still unpublished works would make 1922 the first year in an entirely new literary calendar.

In the end, only Eliot actually published any major work with Liveright, who issued The Waste Land in December 1922. In later years the three writers themselves became more distant and estranged, as Pound, who at one-time had both The Waste Land and Ulysses passing through his hands, came to find Joyce’s new work too radical and Eliot’s too conservative. Even though it did not yield the results Pound apparently had in mind, however, this extraordinary social occasion does reveal a great deal about the modern movement that was to make its public mark so auspiciously in 1922. It might seem, in fact, to expose modernism as an artistic cartel, with Pound its chief monopolist. In this light, the celebrated difficulty of works like The Waste Land and Ulysses seems part of an elaborate sales job, as if they were never meant to be read but just admired from a distance.

What this argument suggests, in short, is that literary modernism enters the world of commerce only to secure itself all the more completely from competition. But the very site of this meeting tells a different story. Three Americans and an Irishman meet in Paris to discuss the future of English literature because that future was to be made by travellers such as themselves, moving through cities like Paris in a process of constant cultural exchange. Americans of this era were drawn to Paris because, in addition to legal alcohol and low rents, it offered culture, but that culture was to a surprising extent based on American materials. The French avant-garde was fascinated by American skyscrapers, American cars, even American plumbing. As Edmund Wilson marvelled in Vanity Fair, ‘Young Americans going lately to Paris in the hope of drinking culture at its source have been startled to find young Frenchmen looking longingly toward America’ (Wilson 1922: 49). In Paris, international modernism self-reflexively celebrated its own internationalism and the

-48-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 296

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.