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Modernism, Feminism, and Jewishness


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 (ISBN-13: 9780511364112)

Modernism, Feminism, and Jewishness explores the aesthetic and political roles performed by Jewish characters in women's fiction between the World Wars. Focusing mainly on British modernism, it argues that female authors enlist a multifaceted vision of Jewishness to help them shape fictions that are thematically daring and formally experimental. Maren Linett analyzes the meanings and motifs that Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Dorothy Richardson, and Djuna Barnes associate with Jewishness. The writers' simultaneous identification with and distancing from Jews produced complex portrayals in which Jews serve at times as models for the authors' art, and at times as foils against which their writing is defined. By examining the political and literary power of Semitic discourse for these key women authors, Linett fills a significant gap in the account of the cultural and literary forces that shaped modernism.

• A fascinating argument about the role representations of Jewishness played in the works of female modernists • Thoughtful treatment of important novelists such as Virginia Woolf • An important study within the fields of modernism, feminism and Jewish studies


Introduction: Imagined Jews and the shape of feminist modernism; 1. 'Strip each statement of its money motive': Jews and the ideal of disinterested art in Warner, Rhys, and Woolf; 2. Transformations of supersessionism in Woolf and Richardson; 3. Adding bathrooms, fomenting revolutions: modernity and Jewishness in Woolf and Warner; 4. The race must go on: gender, Jewishness, and racial continuity in Richardson and Barnes; 5. The 'No time region': time, trauma, and Jewishness in Barnes and Rhys; 6. Metatextual Jewishness: shaping feminist modernism; Bibliography.


'… Modernism, Feminism, and Jewishness will have a significant impact on literary and cultural studies. Its innovative readings of the novels, impressive archival work, and often breathtaking connections are sure to attract a broad academic readership and to contribute to the rapidly expanding field of Jewish literary studies.' Allosemitic Modernism

'[Linett] has looked with a clear, analytic, and unjaundiced eye at the works of these major figures of the Modernist movement. Her analyses cannot be ignored by readers who engage the ethics and values of any of these five feminist authors, the development of feminist thinking between the wars, or literary modernism.' Project Muse

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