The 17 essays of Unsettling Presences investigate writers and texts chiefly stretching from 1890 to 1939, from both within and outside of the Modernist canon. They explore tensions, convergences, and differences between the dominant Modernists and lesser-known figures. Not only do they examine the alternative vision of populist writers such as Wells and Bennett, but also discuss figures who flirt both with cultural elitism and realism, such as E. M. Forster. More importantly, they showcase the work of obscure authors on the cultural fringe and/or of popular culture for the first time (e.g. Lord Dunsany and Margery Allingham, etc). The chapters cover cases on revising and recasting the tradition (Romanticism, Victorian Realism, and Aestheticism), cultural dialogues and comparisons. The genres and forms discussed include Realist fiction, lyric poetry, Symbolist drama, critical essay, heroic fantasy, popular and detective fiction, epistolary writing, parody, detective fiction, and painting. The chapters come to life and indeed cohere into a formidable whole with high-brow literary Modernism serving as the golden standard or point of reference against which the voices/texts being discussed are measured.
Introduction: Reflections on Alternativeness
From Joyce to Rushdie, Modernism to Food Writing, Routledge Studies in Twentieth Century Literature looks at both the literature and culture of the 20th century. This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering literature alongside religion, popular culture, race, gender, ecology, travel, class, space, and other subjects, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.