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Modernism and the Ordinary

Liesl Olson

  • Argues for a new understanding of literary modernism-one that emphasizes duration rather than moments, repetition rather than singularity, and satisfaction rather than affective intensity. Charts the interconnections among writers on both sides of the Atlantic to show that modernism's Bibliographyn with ordinary experience is not limited to a few cases, but constitutes a modernist zeitgeist across genres and national borders. Offers a new theory of the ordinary that accounts for the political dangers of modernist "epiphany," probing the relationship between habit and politics and the role of the quotidian during times of war and tumult.
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