Politics as a Vocation

by Brad Rathe In the late teens of the twentieth century, Max Weber, a sociologist and highly respected intellectual, gave a series of two lectures by invitation at the University of Munich.[1] These lectures cover the topics of, first “Science as a Vocation” (in November 1917) and then “Politics as a Vocation” (in January 1919).[2]… Continue Reading Politics as a Vocation

The Chapbook

by Sam Alexander The Chapbook (called The Monthly Chapbook in its first two installments), was the third journal edited by Harold Munro, founder of the Poetry Bookshop, and ran from 1919 until 1925. Munro had previously edited The Poetry Review (the organ of the conservative Poetry Society) and the influential but short-lived Poetry and Drama… Continue Reading The Chapbook


by Pericles Lewis In 1919, the same year in which T.S. Eliot wrote “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” the dadaist Marcel Duchamp presented a less reverent way of relating to past artistic tradition. Duchamp exhibited one of his “assisted ready-mades,” which consisted of a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” on which he drew… Continue Reading L.H.O.O.Q.

Night and Day

Although Virginia Woolf‘s first novel, The Voyage Out (1915) had tentatively embraced modernist techniques, her second, Night and Day (1919), returned to many Victorian conventions. The young modernist writer Katherine Mansfield thought that Night and Day contained “a lie in the soul” because it failed to refer to the war or recognize what it had… Continue Reading Night and Day

Heartbreak House

George Bernard Shaw‘s Heartbreak House (1919), though first produced after the first world war, is set before it, in a vague Edwardian never-land. Subtitled a “fantasia in the Russian manner on English themes,” it (alone among Shaw’s plays) betrays the influence of Anton Chekhov. The guests at Shaw’s country estate, however, have an allegorical character,… Continue Reading Heartbreak House

The Tunnel

by Sam Alexander The Tunnel (1919) is the fourth volume of Dorothy Richardson’s multi-volume novel, Pilgrimage (1915-1935). The Novel In each of the three sections of Pilgrimage preceding The Tunnel, the heroine, Miriam Henderson, takes a “pilgrimage” from her home in the English countryside. In Pointed Roofs (modeled loosely on Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, and also… Continue Reading The Tunnel

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

By Elyse Graham In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919) tells a story of separation and emergence. The first half enacts the shifting perspectives of social initiation. The narrator, resuming his portrayal of his younger self at a point several years past the conclusion of the previous volume, dissects the cold sociability and… Continue Reading In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

Quia Pauper Amavi

by Edgar Garcia “An epic,” writes Ezra Pound in the ABC of Reading, “is a poem including history.”[1] History is the story of peoples through time. But Pound’s bare definition of epic according to its historical aspect fails to identify who the given history includes. Elsewhere, Pound identifies a historical subject with a phrase borrowed… Continue Reading Quia Pauper Amavi

“Tradition and the Individual Talent”

by Pericles Lewis T. S. Eliot expressed a typically ambivalent view of the past when he wrote in his essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1919). The essay gives voice to the fact that modernist experiments seldom simply destroyed or rejected traditional methods of representation or traditional literary forms; rather, the modernists sought to enter… Continue Reading “Tradition and the Individual Talent”