Chapter

Introduction

Sara Haslam

in Fragmenting Modernism

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719060557
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700099 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719060557.003.0001
Introduction

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Isaiah Berlin writes in Four Essays on Liberty that ‘historians of ideas cannot avoid perceiving their material in terms of some kind of pattern’. Where modernism is credited with a pattern, and it usually is, it is more than likely that the concept of fragmentation is prominent in it. This book puts novelist, poet, editor and critic Ford Madox Ford in context, placing him in the context of literary modernism, in which, as editor of the English Review, author of The Good Soldier and transformer of Ezra Pound's verse, he performed a vital part. Indeed, in his magisterial biography of Ford, Max Saunders writes that ‘the period of literary modernism is “the Ford era” as much as it is Pound's, or T. S. Eliot's, or James Joyce's’; Ford was ‘at the centre of the three most innovative groups of writers this century’. In addition, the language of decline, collapse and fragmentation is commonly applied by historical analysts to events and developments of the early twentieth century.

Keywords: Ford Madox Ford; modernism; Ezra Pound; fragmentation; English Review; Good Soldier; T. S. Eliot; James Joyce

Chapter.  7906 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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