Juno and the Paycock

Juno and the Paycock, Yeatsian Intertextuality, and Materialism by Natalie Prizel Introduction Sean O’Casey was born in 1880 and came of age in the impoverished Dublin he portrays in his realist dramas. An activist in labor movements and the struggle for Irish independence, O’Casey played a prominent role in the Irish Citizen Army, a group… Continue Reading Juno and the Paycock

Night Café (Café de Nuit)

by Pericles Lewis Vincent van Gogh’s “Night Café” (“Le café de nuit,” 1888) challenges perspectivalism and divides the space of the café into planes of bright color (the red wall, the green ceiling, the brown floor). Van Gogh said of the painting, “I have tried to express the terrible passions of humanity by means of… Continue Reading Night Café (Café de Nuit)

Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction

by Pericles Lewis Wallace Stevens’ long poem, Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction” (1942) lists three criteria for that ultimate poetic creation: “It must be abstract,” “It must change,” and “It must give pleasure.” The title of this major poem suggests that Stevens shared in the modernist fascination with ultimate answers even when those answers, not… Continue Reading Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction

An Ordinary Evening in New Haven

by Pericles Lewis In “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven” (1950), Wallace Stevens writes of the possibility of a kind of poem that would avoid the vagaries of representation. describes the ideal of a language that could express reality as it is: The poem of pure reality, untouched By trope or deviation, straight to the… Continue Reading An Ordinary Evening in New Haven

Poetry (Marianne Moore)

In “Poetry” (1919), Marianne Moore engages directly in a debate with Tolstoy and William Butler Yeats, quoting Tolstoy’s dislike of “business documents and / school-books” and Yeats’s condemnation of “literalists of / the imagination,” before defending the roots of poetry in the literal, businesslike raw material of everyday life, her equivalent of Eliot’s “variety and… Continue Reading Poetry (Marianne Moore)

Paris: A Poem

by Ruth Gilligan Born in 1887 in Kent and raised in Scotland and South Africa, Hope Mirrlees attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before going to Newnham College, Cambridge, to study Greek. One of her tutors there, prolific classicist Jane Ellen Harrison, soon became Mirlees’s close friend and later collaborator as the two lived… Continue Reading Paris: A Poem

The Egoist

by Elyse Graham The final issue of The Egoist, modernism’s archetypal little magazine, appeared in December 1919. It had run for five years, during which time it had seen circulation fall from 2,000 to 1,500 to 1,000 to, at last, 400 copies.1 During the war it downsized from weekly to monthly distribution. Even with these… Continue Reading The Egoist

The Craft of Fiction

by Michaela Bronstein Percy Lubbock’s 1921 volume was one of the first major works of literary criticism to focus on the novel as a form. Literary criticism itself was in its infancy, but more importantly the novel seemed a less notable subject for criticism at the time than poetry and drama. Lubbock’s book is not… Continue Reading The Craft of Fiction