Sanford Schwartz situates Modernist poetics in the intellectual ferment of the early twentieth century, which witnessed major developments in philosophy, science, and the arts. Beginning with the works of various philosophers--Bergson, James, Bradley, Nietzsche, and Husserl, among others--he establishes a matrix that brings together not only the principal characteristics of Modernist/New Critical poetics but also the affiliations between the Continental and the Anglo-American critical traditions.
Originally published in 1985.
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"Schwartz explores several oppositions that underlie the thinking of the early modernists, and uses them as a frame for original analysis of individual essays and poems. The result is that many cliches of early literary modernism--Pound's ideogrammic method, Eliot's objective correlative--are refreshed by being placed in a larger context. One of this book's great virtues is that it uncovers the philosophical assumptions behind the new poetry without turning the poetry into philosophy."--A. Walton Litz, Times Literary Supplement
"This book makes a strong case for a radical revision of current views of the philosophy of modernism and also of the relation of that philosophy to the post-phenomenological fashions of the present time. . . . I am very impressed."--Frank Kermode