Ways of being modern: tradition and innovation in the poetry of six women poets 1910s-1930s

Weina Fan

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated] This thesis studies six women poets of the period 1910s-1930s. In literary history, this period has been examined and re-examined almost entirely through the lens of Modernism, so that non-Modernist poets, especially non-Modernist women poets, have been considerably marginalized. Contemporary Modernism-oriented scholars have successfully created the impression that Modernism was the dominant force of the period and the only poetics that mattered so that non-Modernist poets have become footnotes in the evolution of Modernism. The hegemony of Modernism in literary studies can find its origin in New Criticism which, during the period 1940s-1960s, dominated literary criticism in academies and canonised Modernism in the English-speaking world. However, the Modernist version of literary history of the period is far from being the historical fact. As far as the reading public was concerned, it is non-Modernist poetry, rather than Modernist poetry, that was the dominant writing mode. Accordingly, poets such as Thomas Hardy, W. B. Yeats, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost and Edna St. Vincent Millay, rather than T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Williams Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore, were the dominant figures of the period.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015

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