American Modernism's Expatriate Scene: The Labour of by Daniel Katz

By Daniel Katz

This learn takes as its element of departure an important premise: that the frequent phenomenon of expatriation in American modernism is much less a flight from the place of birth than a dialectical go back to it, yet one that renders uncanny all tropes of familiarity and immediacy which 'fatherlands' and 'mother tongues' are often visible as delivering. during this framework, equally totalizing notions of cultural authenticity are noticeable to manipulate either exoticist mystification and 'nativist' obsessions with the purity of the 'mother tongue.' while, cosmopolitanism, translation, and multilingualism turn into usually eroticized tropes of violation of this version, and as a result, at the same time courted and abhorred, in a flow which, if crystallized in expatriate modernism, persevered to make its presence felt beyond.Beginning with the overdue paintings of Henry James, this publication is going directly to research at size Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, to finish with the uncanny regionalism of mid-century San Francisco Renaissance poet Jack Spicer, and the deterritorialized aesthetic of Spicer's peer, John Ashbery. via an emphasis on modernism as an area of generalized interference, the perform and trope of translation emerges as important to the entire writers involved, whereas the ebook continues to be in consistent discussion with key fresh works on transnationalism, transatlanticism, and modernism.

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Extra info for American Modernism's Expatriate Scene: The Labour of Translation (Edinburgh Studies in Transatlantic Literatures)

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But as James makes clear, the challenge of the alien is precisely to admit that which is utterly other into what is most intimate: “. . this affirmed claim of M856 KATZ TEXT M/UP 14/6/07 10:10 am Page 33 Native Well Being [ 33 the alien, however immeasurably alien, to share in one’s supreme relation was everywhere the fixed element, the reminder not to be dodged” (67). Despite his disorientation, James never disputes this claim. Of course, James’ designation of some sort of “patriotism” as his “supreme relation” may seem somewhat disingenuous, and not only because of his profoundly “cosmopolite” outlook.

Strether’s desire for Paris, for Europe, for the raw visual material the Lambinet has built itself out of, is an American desire, a New England desire—it is, like the unmentionable, vulgar product that has enriched the Newsome M856 KATZ TEXT M/UP 38 ] 14/6/07 10:10 am Page 38 American Modernism’s Expatriate Scene family, made in Woollett. 4 Indeed, The Ambassadors is very largely the story of Strether’s poignant desire to remain inside the frame of his desire for Europe, (a desire no less framed than Waymarsh’s symmetrical antipathy to “Europe”) even as the novel simultaneously refuses to imagine an “unframed” encounter with the continent.

The word “concentrated” clearly signals the danger besetting the “cosmopolite,” which is that of subjective dispersal,18 for the cosmopolite loses the “sense of the absoluteness and the sanctity” of the “habits” and customs of her or his own “fellow patriots”: You [the cosmopolite] have seen that there are a great many patriae in the world, and that each of these is filled with excellent people for whom the local idiosyncrasies are the only thing that is not rather barbarous. There comes a time when one set of customs, wherever it may be found, grows to seem to you about as provincial as another; and then I suppose it may be said of you that you have become a cosmopolite.

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