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Exiles in Print: Modernism and Little Magazines in Paris 1921-1939

The research project is funded by the Swedish Research Council 2008-2011.

Researchers: Celia Aijmer-Rydsjö (GU), AnnKatrin Jonsson (GU).

The post-doctoral project “Exiles in Print” is a study of modernism and Anglo-American ‘little magazines’ published in Europe 1921-1939. These reviews provided a unique forum for experimental literature, criticism and discussions of publishing, politics, reading practices and cultural institutions between the wars. The generous publishing policies associated with these magazines also contributed to the process of legitimizing and canonizing modernist and avant-garde texts. Many now iconic modernist writers, for example Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway, appeared regularly in these publications.

Academic interest in the little magazines is now on the rise, which has resulted in the republication of some of the material and a number of studies on individual reviews. However, there is still no comprehensive study of the Anglo-American magazines published in Europe between the wars. This project will attempt to fill the gap by providing an in-depth study of the contents of the reviews, their relationship to other publications, and their role within modernism. The limited number of exile reviews allows for a good overview of the genre, while also providing a deeper understanding of the cultural expressions of modernism at large. In particular, the study will look at the reviews as a specific cosmopolitan and multidisciplinary genre and examine the critical issues raised by their provenance. The contested term ‘exile’ will be central, as the study re-examines the roles of internationalism and nationalism in the development of high modernism. The main argument is that practical networking across national borders has played a larger role in the development of high modernism than is usually acknowledged.

While studies of modernism in general have focused on well-known writers, literary works or artists and art works, the project ‘Exiles in Print’ has the aim of giving a complementary view of modernism by drawing attention to patrons, editors, writers, journalists, readers, advertisers, and illustrators. By means of this interdisciplinary approach, the project intends to cover a neglected area of literary studies, namely the ‘infrastructure’ of modernism—its institutions and networks, its aesthetic and social structures and its ‘genealogies’ on a detailed level. In this way, modernism will be shown to be of a more practical nature, linked to a range of activities, rather than to an established canon of art.

Sidansvarig: Fredrik Fällman|Sidan uppdaterades: 2012-05-22

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