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By Matthew Hart

Modernism is sometimes linked to novelty and urbanity. So what occurs while poets establish small groups and native languages with the spirit of transnational modernity? Are vernacular poetries inherently provincial or implicitly xenophobic? How did modernist poets use vernacular language to re-imagine the relatives among humans, their languages, and the groups within which they live?

Nations of not anything yet Poetry solutions those questions via case stories of British, Caribbean, and American poetries from the Nineteen Twenties in the course of the Nineteen Nineties. With a mixture of clean insights and attentive shut readings, Matthew Hart provides a brand new thought of a "synthetic vernacular"-writing that explores the classy and ideological tensions inside modernism's twin commitments to the neighborhood and the worldwide. the result's an invigorating contribution to the sector of transnational modernist stories. Chapters specialise in a mix of canonical and non-canonical writers, combining new literary histories--such because the tale of ways Melvin B. Tolson, whereas a resident of Oklahoma, was once appointed Poet Laureate of Liberia--with analyses of poems by way of Gertrude Stein, W. H. Auden, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot.

More extensively, the e-book unearths how the language of modernist poetry used to be formed via the incompletely globalized nature of a global during which the geographical region endured to be a prime mediator of cultural and political id, whilst its authority used to be challenged as by no means prior to. via deft juxtaposition, Hart develops a brand new interpretation of modernist poetry in English-one that disrupts the severe competition among nationalism and the transnational, paving the way in which for a political historical past of modernist cosmopolitanism.

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Extra info for Nations of nothing but poetry : modernism, transnationalism, and synthetic vernacular writing

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The creation of imagined communities also depends upon the “piracy” of nation-state constitutional forms from one context to another. This is the part of Imagined Communities that tends to get short shrift in the discipline of literary studies, in which Anderson’s interest in novels and newspapers plays into an understandable VERNACULAR DISCOURSE FROM MAJOR TO MINOR 35 investment in the historical significance of the language arts. 29 In the imagined community, then, one sees not the victory of culture over politics, but a mixing of linguistic and political sovereignty that enables subsequent declarations of literary independence.

The third line of the play, in which Trudy describes an ambush, combines quasi-antique grammatical inflection with an elision of articles and pronouns that is reminiscent of Yorkshire dialect: “In Kettledale above Colefangs road passes where high banks overhang dangerous from ambush. To Colefangs had to go, would speak with Layard, Jerry and Hunter with him only. They must have stolen news, for Red Shaw waited with ten, so Jerry said, till for last time unconscious” (EA 1–2). The result is both dramatic and disorienting, with the play’s language unhinged at the level of geography and temporality.

I argue, instead, that the significance of Loy’s expatriate life and cross-cultural poetics would be betrayed by repatriating her to Britain, just as it has been by her absorption into multicultural Americanness. I therefore conclude with a reading of “Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose” (1923–25) as a document of adversarial cosmopolitanism, forged between a patriotism it would abjure and the impossibility of a location-less poetry. In this way, Nations of Nothing But Poetry ends as it began—by considering how twentieth-century literary history gets torn between bondage and abandon, how poems enact a freedom their writers do not always get to share, and how all of this is legible in the socially and aesthetically contradictory discourses of the vernacular.

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