Popular Modernism and Its Legacies reconfigures modernist studies to investigate how modernist concepts, figures, and aesthetics continue to play essential--though often undetected--roles across an array of contemporary works, genres, and mediums. Featuring both established and emerging scholars, each of the book's three sections offers a distinct perspective on popular modernism. The first section considers popular modernism in periods historically associated with the movement, discovering hidden connections between traditional forms of modernist literature and popular culture. The second section traces modernist genealogies from the past to the contemporary era, ultimately revealing that immensely popular contemporary works, artists, and genres continue to engage and thereby renew modernist aesthetics and values. The final section moves into the 21st century, discovering how popular works invoke modernist techniques, texts, and artists to explore social and existential quandaries in the contemporary world. Concluding with an afterword from noted scholar Faye Hammill, Popular Modernism and Its Legacies reshapes the study of modernism and provides new perspectives on important works at the center of our cultural imagination.
Among the more profound shifts in the general fields of literary, theoretical and cultural studies in the past two decades has been the rethinking of Modernism beyond its narrowest period restrictions, as a between-the-wars phenomenon, say, and into its multiplicity, into Modernisms. Popular Modernism and its Legacy: from Pop Culture to Video Games is a major contribution to that ongoing discourse as it re-examines and re-evaluates what is too often considered an elitist, formalist or technical literature in terms of its broader ramifications, as Popular Modernism. This collection of essays is a major contribution to reshaping that discourse and will be welcomed and embraced not only by students, scholars and teachers of Modernism but by those of Popular Culture as well, as it closes the artificial divide separating high and low cultures, where modernist novels coexist with contemporary comics and where Charlie Chaplin meets Walter Benjamin. * S. E. Gontarski, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English, Florida State University, USA * Popular Modernism and Its Legacies maps with verve and insight crucial sites where modernism and mass culture merged indistinguishably, and demonstrates that the resulting hybrids still have much to teach us about how to understand our recent past and how to inhabit our conflicted present. Ranging over a broad variety of texts and media-from TV series and comic books to popular music, Hollywood films and video games-the essays in this exciting collection combine fine-grained textual analysis, historical awareness, and theoretical sophistication. They cast new light on well-known texts and figures (Chaplin, Josephine Baker), reveal the presence of classic modernist concerns in contemporary media, and chart unheeded formations, such as the experimental radio drama, the modernist operetta, or 'Surf Noir.' Above all, they manage to keep modernism surprising, alive, and unpredictable. * Juan Antonio Suarez, Professor of English, University of Murcia, Spain *