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The Gun and the PenHemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and the Fiction of Mobilization$
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Keith Gandal

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195338911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195338911.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 December 2019

Methodology and the Study of Modernist Fiction

Methodology and the Study of Modernist Fiction

Chapter:
(p.45) 2 Methodology and the Study of Modernist Fiction
Source:
The Gun and the Pen
Author(s):

Keith Gandal (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195338911.003.0002

This chapter discusses methodology and places the book in the context of related scholarship on the subject. In particular, it takes issue with literary scholarship whose approach is based on a history of ideas or discourses and thus eschews attention to authors' biographies, or experiences of authors — and thus ultimately ignores historical experiences.(It addresses Walter Michaels' Our America, which is an influential example of such scholarship that addresses modernist novels and their relationship to 1920s nativism.) The chapter also argues with studies of the relationship between modernist style and politics that give attention to stylistics per se, apart from plot and character. It discusses the common plot that unifies the 1920s novels at issue, discusses why critics have missed this plot, and offers an alternative argument about modernist style in the context of modernist plots and characters, as well as the historical context of the mobilization. In so doing, it traces the deconstruction of the sentimental novel of seduction by Progressive Era realist writers and the rise of the modernist, racist promiscuity plot, which the three 1920s novels at issue here share with each other, and with Djuna Barnes' Nightwood and Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust.

Keywords:   historiography, Walter Michaels, modernist style, plot, history of discourses, sentimentalism, seduction plot, promiscuity, Progressive Era, irony

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