This study introduces a genuine, provocative religious vocabulary into the discourse on Modernist art and literature. Mulman looks at key texts and figures of the Modern period, including Henry Roth, Amedeo Modigliani, James Joyce, and Art Spiegelman, revealing a significant engagement with the rituals of Jewish observance and the structure of Talmudic interpretation. While critics often view the formal experimentation of High Modernism as a radical departure from conventional beliefs, this book shows that these aspects of Modernist art are deeply entwined with, and indebted to, the very traditions that they claim to be writing against. As such, the book offers a unique and truly multidisciplinary approach to Modernist studies and a cogent analysis of the ways in which spirituality informs artistic production.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Liberating Captivity, The Sacred Language of the Secular 1. A Pious Translation: Call it Sleep and Henry Roth’s Single Sin 2. Converting Books into Bodies: Unorthodox Women and the Vanity of Art 3. An Inward Eye: Modigliani and the Burden of Moses 4. A Tale of Two Mice: The Graphic Escape of the Text Conclusion: Trajectories of Exile
Lisa Mulman is Assistant Professor of English Literature at Salem State College.