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What was left out

Lawrence Rainey: Eliot’s Missing Letters, 3 December 2009

The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Vol. I: 1898-1922 
edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton.
Faber, 871 pp., £35, November 2009, 978 0 571 23509 4
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... The final letter in the first edition of the first volume of T.S. Eliot’s letters, edited by Valerie Eliot, the poet’s second wife, and published in 1988, appeared on page 618; the same letter in the new edition concludes on page 816. Yet those figures may understate the extent of the transformation achieved by the new edition. The earlier edition contained 509 letters by T ...

Good Things: Pederasty and Jazz and Opium and Research

Lawrence Rainey: Mary Butts, 16 July 1998

Mary Butts: Scenes from the Life 
by Nathalie Blondel.
McPherson, 539 pp., £22.50, February 1998, 0 929701 55 0
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The Taverner Novels: ‘Armed with Madness’, ‘Death of Felicity Taverner’ 
by Mary Butts.
McPherson, 374 pp., £10, March 1998, 0 929701 18 6
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The Classical Novels: ‘The Macedonian’, ‘Scenes from the Life of Cleopatra’ 
by Mary Butts.
McPherson, 384 pp., £10, March 1998, 0 929701 42 9
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‘Ashe of Rings’ and Other Writings 
by Mary Butts.
McPherson, 374 pp., £18.50, March 1998, 0 929701 53 4
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... For the first time since Mary Butts died more than sixty years ago, all her major work is available in Britain, together with a first, full-length biography by Nathalie Blondel. Their appearance promises an occasion to assay the limits of the canon, for Butts’s second novel, Armed with Madness, first published in 1928, is, I would say, a masterpiece of Modernist prose ...

In a Dark Mode

Lawrence Rainey: Grim Modernism, 20 January 2000

Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism 
by T.J. Clark.
Yale, 451 pp., £30, April 1999, 0 300 07532 4
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... The grainy photograph shows the doorway of a house, the double door itself scarcely visible, obscured by a row of three huge paintings, all four to five feet in height, which have been carefully posed on the doorstep. Each boasts an almost illegible array of shaded polygons. On top of the central painting a fourth is stacked, and flanking that, two more, both oval in shape, suspended either side of the doorway ...

How Molly Bloom Got Her Apostrophes

Lawrence Rainey, 19 June 1997

Ulysses 
by James Joyce, edited by Danis Rose.
Picador, 739 pp., £20, June 1997, 0 330 35229 6
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... On the morning of 16 June, in city after city throughout the world, small groups of people will gather to engage in curious rituals. In New York, some fifty people will each pay $25 to breakfast on mutton kidneys and slightly burnt toast. Optional courses will include ‘nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs’ and ‘fried hen-cod’s roe ...

Making History

Lawrence Rainey: Fascism and the March in Rome, 1 January 1998

Otto Milioni di Cartoline per il Duce 
by Enrico Sturani.
Centro Scientifico, 330 pp., lire 60,000, January 1995, 88 7640 276 4
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... Newspapers and magazines of the day published countless photographs chronicling the March on Rome. The images are all in black and white, often coarse and grainy. Groups of men, many of them smiling for the benefit of the camera in front of the barricades that have been erected to block the streets, or the railway cars that have brought them to Rome, or open automobiles brimming with rifles and boxes of cartridges ...

Between Mussolini and Me

Lawrence Rainey: Pound’s Fascism, 18 March 1999

... Ezra Pound’s support for Italian Fascism has long been a contentious subject in modern literature. For some, it is merely a vivid instance of the uncritical acclaim that surrounded Mussolini well into the mid-Thirties. Others see it as evidence of a private pathology, a grotesque outgrowth of the virile posing that Pound sometimes indulged in. Still others have urged that it ‘arose from the great contempt he felt for the masses’, an avant-garde disdain that turned into a massive political delusion ...

Hyacinth Boy

Mark Ford: T.S. Eliot, 21 September 2006

T.S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet 
by James E. Miller.
Pennsylvania State, 468 pp., £29.95, August 2005, 0 271 02681 2
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The Annotated ‘Waste Land’ with Eliot’s Contemporary Prose 
by T.S. Eliot, edited by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 270 pp., $35, April 2005, 0 300 09743 3
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Revisiting ‘The Waste Land’ 
by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 203 pp., £22.50, May 2005, 0 300 10707 2
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... no happiness … to me, it brought the state of mind out of which came The Waste Land.’ In 1991 Lawrence Rainey published an excellent account of the complex negotiations that took place between Pound and Eliot and the first American publishers of the poem that Pound proudly described as ‘the justification of “the movement”, of our modern ...

Will to Literature

David Trotter: Modernism plc, 13 May 1999

Institutions of Modernism: Literary Elites and Public Culture 
by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 227 pp., £16.95, January 1999, 0 300 07050 0
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Modernism, Technology and the Body: A Cultural Study 
by Tim Armstrong.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £14.95, March 1998, 0 521 59997 0
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Body Ascendant: Modernism and the Physical Imperative 
by Harold Segel.
Johns Hopkins, 282 pp., £30, September 1998, 0 8018 5821 6
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Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production 
by Douglas Mao.
Princeton, 308 pp., £32.50, November 1998, 0 691 05926 8
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... with patriarchy and Fascism. Now, as the emphasis shifts once more – to institutions, in Lawrence Rainey’s study of Modernism’s patrons and publishers, and to the body, in Tim Armstrong’s study of Modernism’s absorbing interest in glands, healthfood and electrotherapy – the world Kenner delineated has come back into ...

Six hands at an open door

David Trotter, 21 March 1991

Intertextual Dynamics within the Literary Group: Joyce, Lewis, Pound and Eliot 
by Dennis Brown.
Macmillan, 230 pp., £35, November 1990, 9780333516461
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An Immodest Violet: The Life of Violet Hunt 
by Joan Hardwick.
Deutsch, 205 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 233 98639 1
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... a generation of American scholars – Ron Bush, Reed Dasenbrock, Michael Groden, James Longenbach, Lawrence Rainey – set those limits by mapping in great detail the relations between the various literary Modernists and examining the genesis of their major writings. Mutual influence is by no means the sole topic of such enquiries, but it certainly ...

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