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Modernism and the Culture of Market Society
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  • Page extent: 300 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.61 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 820.9/112
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PR478.M6 C665 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • English literature--20th century--History and criticism
    • Modernism (Literature)--English-speaking countries
    • Capitalism and literature--English-speaking countries--History--20th century
    • American literature--20th century--History and criticism
    • Avant-garde (Aesthetics)--English-speaking countries

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521834865 | ISBN-10: 0521834864)

Many critics argue that the modernist avant-garde were always in opposition to the commercial values of market-driven society. For John Xiros Cooper, the avant-garde bears a more complex relation to capitalist culture than previously acknowledged. He argues that in their personal relationships, gender roles and sexual contacts, the modernist avant-garde epitomised the impact of capitalism on everyday life. Cooper shows how the new social, cultural and economic practices aimed to defend cultural values in a commercial age, but, in this task, modernism became the subject of a profound historical irony. Its own characterising techniques, styles and experiments, deployed to resist the new nihilism of the capitalist market, eventually became the preferred cultural style of the very market culture which the first modernists opposed. In this broad-ranging 2004 study John Xiros Cooper explores this provocative theme across a wide range of Modernist authors, including Joyce, Eliot, Stein and Barnes.

• Original account of the relation of modernist literature to market society • Sheds light on the social and economic significance of work by James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Gertrude Stein and Djuna Barnes • Written in lucid prose


Acknowledgements; Introduction: The modernist avant-garde and the culture of market society; Part I. The Posthuman Scene: 1. Approaching modernism; 2. Ideology; 3. Permanent revolution; 4. Epistemology of the market; Part II. The Regime of Unrest: Four Precursors: 5. Bloody face; 6. A variegated daguerreotype; 7. The unnameable; 8. Childhood as resistance; Part III. The Margin is the Mainstream: 9. Artisanal production, Ulysses and the circulation of goods; 10. History and the post-psychological self in The Waste Land; 11. La bohème: Lewis, Stein, Barnes; 12. Bloomsbury nation; Notes; Bibliography; Index.


Review of the hardback: '… I would urge anyone working on modernism to go away and read. … John Xiros Cooper's passionately argued Modernism and the Culture of Market Society … his is a brilliant polemic. This is an unremittingly materialist analysis … that situates modernism in relation to the complex process of economic, technological, social and political modernization that created it.' Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

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