The Professor’s House

by Jack Skeffington In the introduction to Not Under Forty, Willa Cather’s 1936 collection of essays, she (in)famously writes that “the world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts,” an opinion that, if nothing else, has fairly successfully separated her from the ranks of artists and authors we have come to call modernists.[1] The judgment,… Continue Reading The Professor’s House

The Making of Americans

by Pericles Lewis Gertrude Stein’s mammoth Making of Americans (1925) is the story of “the old people in a new world, the new people made out of the old.” Like much of her pre-war work, The Making of Americans makes use of patterns of repetition and variation at the sentence level. Stein here uses a… Continue Reading The Making of Americans

Disorder and Early Sorrow

by Meaghan Rubsam “Disorder and Early Sorrow,” a novella by Thomas Mann, was written in 1925, with characters that were structured after members of Mann’s own family.  This short story examines the life of the Cornelius family through the eyes of Abel Cornelius, a professor at the local university, whose once respected position has become… Continue Reading Disorder and Early Sorrow

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

by Elyse Graham When James Joyce was nearly blind and working on the first draft of Finnegans Wake, the book he permitted himself during his daily reading window was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a best-selling satire by Anita Loos. 1 The book has the interest of biographical color rather than any usefulness for explaining the Wake.… Continue Reading Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

The Russian Point of View

by Anthony Domestico Written in 1925 for The Common Reader, “The Russian Point of View” is Virginia Woolf’s most compelling piece of critical writing on the ethos of Russian literature. In it, she gathers together the threads of two previous essays, “The Russian View” and “Tchehov’s Questions,” as well as her thoughts on Tolstoy and… Continue Reading The Russian Point of View

Mrs. Dalloway

by Pericles Lewis In Virginia Woolf‘s novel  Mrs. Dalloway (1925), the trauma of the war plays an even more explicit role than in Jacob’s Room (1922), as one of its two protagonists, Septimus Smith, is a veteran suffering severe bouts of mental illness (which Woolf modeled on her own experiences). He has visions of his… Continue Reading Mrs. Dalloway