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Personal Modernisms

Anarchist Networks and the Later Avant-Gardes

James Gifford


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Gifford's invigorating work of metacriticism and literary history recovers the significance of the lost generation of writers of the 1930s and 1940s. He examines how the Personalism of anarcho-anti-authoritarian contemporaries such as Alex Comfort, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Durrell, J.F. Hendry, Henry Miller, Elizabeth Smart, Dylan Thomas, and Henry Treece forges a missing link between Late Modernist and postmodernist literature. He concludes by applying his recontextualization to four familiar texts by Miller, Durrell, Smart, and Duncan, and encourages readers to re-engage the lost generation using this new critical lens. Scholars and students of literary modernism, twentieth-century Canadian literature, and anarchism will find a productive vision of this neglected period within Personal Modernisms.

University of Alberta Press, 9781772120011, 320pp.

Publication Date: September 24, 2014

About the Author

James Gifford is Professor of English and the director of the university core at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Vancouver.