American Culture in the 1910s (Twentieth-Century American by Mark Whalan

By Mark Whalan

With the e-book of this quantity, Edinburgh college Press closes out its super winning tradition historical past sequence, which writes the tale of the 20th century in the course of the cultural and highbrow routine of every decade. The 1910s have been in most cases ruled via the horrors of the 1st smooth battle, however it additionally witnessed the flowering of modernism, the delivery of Hollywood, and the increase of innovative interpretations of tradition and society. Mark Whalan investigates this decade via achievements in fiction and poetry; artwork and images; movie and vaudeville; and tune, theater, and dance. He contains specified observation and directed case experiences of influential texts and occasions and comprises chronologies and bibliographies. He considers Tarzan of the Apes, The beginning of a country, the unconventional modernism of Gertrude Stein, the Provincetown gamers, and jazz music's earliest recordings. A concluding bankruptcy explores the effect of the 1st global struggle on cultural understandings of nationalism, citizenship, and propaganda.

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This positioned culture’s role as both informative and associative, fostering a sense of identification within, and responsibility towards, a social collective. Progressive cultural products from the 1910s form many of its most distinctive achievements: the child labour photographs of Lewis Hine; the utopian feminist manifesto Herland (1915) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; Upton Sinclair’s exposés of the American coal and newspaper industries in King Coal (1917) and The Brass Check (1919) respectively; Mary Antin’s best-selling immigrant autobiography, The Promised Land (1912); The Crisis – the magazine of the newly constituted National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and The New Republic magazine, launched in 1914 by two of the decade’s most influential journalists and intellectuals, Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann.

New ‘Little Magazines’ with small circulations, such as Poetry, The Little Review, Others, The Glebe, The Soil and The Seven Arts, printed innovative new poetry and fiction, and disseminated the ideas of modernism’s key intellectual figures. And salons – orchestrated 24 American Culture in the 1910s by figures such as Walter and Louise Arensberg and Mabel Dodge in New York, and Margery Currey and Floyd Dell in Chicago – were carefully constructed social gatherings designed to facilitate stimulation (of all kinds), contradiction, debate, brilliance, and productivity.

Certain modernists were celebrated for their skills in conversation, which became as valued a form of intellectual production as paintings or novels: Gertrude Stein, Jane Heap and Stieglitz were particularly venerated for their ability to converse. 92 Frequently, such modernists decided to position themselves at the fringe of – or above – the social scene, rather than engage with the political machinery of reforming it. Ezra Pound, for example, instructed his own books both to ‘ruffle the skirts of prudes’, but most of all to ‘go to practical people .

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