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Blasphemous ModernismThe 20th-Century Word Made Flesh$
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Steve Pinkerton

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190627560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190627560.001.0001

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Blasphemy and the New Woman

Blasphemy and the New Woman

Mina Loy’s Profane Communions

(p.51) 2. Blasphemy and the New Woman
Blasphemous Modernism

Steve Pinkerton

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Mina Loy’s poetics of profanation, which persistently integrates religion, text, and the erotic body to highly blasphemous effect. In poems such as “Parturition” (1914) and Songs to Joannes (1917), she refigures Father and Son as a pro-creative mother and a crucified female Christ; throughout her work, she persistently unites sexuality and sacrament in profane communion. Subscribing to an idiosyncratic version of Christian Science, Loy held carnal desire and its consummation to be sacred above all else; their betrayal at the hands of repressive institutions and ideologies, both ecclesiastical and otherwise, were for her desecrations of the true spirit of Christianity. Accordingly, her poems and prose works use the rhetoric of blasphemy to profane those institutions and ideologies in turn.

Keywords:   Christian Science, the body, sexuality, empire, Hélène Cixous, Songs to Joannes, Lunar Baedeker, Parturition, Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose, History of Religion and Eros

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