By John Carlos Rowe
In occasions of liberal depression it is helping to have a person like John Carlos Rowe placed issues into point of view, consequently, with a suite of essays that asks the query, “Must we throw out liberalism’s successes with the neoliberal bathwater?” Rowe first lays out a family tree of early twentieth-century modernists, corresponding to Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and Ralph Ellison, with a watch towards stressing their transnationally engaged liberalism and their efforts to introduce into the literary avant-garde the troubles of politically marginalized teams, no matter if outlined by way of race, category, or gender. the second one a part of the amount contains essays at the works of Harper Lee, Thomas Berger, Louise Erdrich, and Philip Roth, emphasizing the continuity of efforts to symbolize family political and social issues. whereas severe of the more and more conservative tone of the neoliberalism of the previous quarter-century, Rowe rescues the price of liberalism’s sympathetic and socially engaged purpose, while he criticizes smooth liberalism’s lack of ability to paintings transnationally.
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Extra info for Afterlives of Modernism: Liberalism, Transnationalism, and Political Critique (Re-Mapping the Transnational: A Dartmouth Series in American Studies)
Viii. , 1949). William Wordsworth, “Preface to the Second Edition of Lyrical Ballads,” in Crit ical Theory since Plato, rev. , ed. Hazard Adams (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992), p. 441. John Keats, Letter to George and Thomas Keats (Dec. 21, 1817), in Critical Theory since Plato, p. 494; Lionel Trilling, introduction to Selected Letters of John Keats, ed. , 1951). F. W. Dupee, Henry James: His Life and Writings, 2nd ed. , 1956), pp. ” Dupee first published this book in 1951, one year after Trilling’s Liberal Imagination.
Roth’s productivity and popularity in this period are symptomatic of why liberal culture should not be dismissed; its appeal to a wide reading audience, even in an age when traditional literary forms are slowly dying, is greater than ever before. The problem of challenging the “American lit- Introduction [ 21 ] erary canon”—the “canon debate” was a skirmish in the Culture Wars of the late 1980s and early 1990s—is today far more difficult than scholars once imagined. Today the literary canon is defended vigorously not simply by reactionary scholars, whose works have little public circulation, but by highly visible authors like Roth, who employ their status as public intellectuals both to bolster their claims to inclusion in the American canon and thus to defend cultural canons in general.
Certainly she was somewhat of a radical in her public declaration of her lesbian sexual identity, but she was hardly a political radical and by no means even a fellow traveler with international Communists. Living comfortably with her brother, Leo, on an allowance from the family trust, managed ably by their brother, Michael, Stein could buy paintings, indulge her interests in haute cuisine, and otherwise appreciate the “civilized” pleasures of pre–World War I Paris. S. centered, despite her lifelong residence in France, including the period of the Nazi Occupation and the Vichy Government.