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The Modernist Corpse


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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Modernist Body Count
1. Inhuman Remains: The Production and Decomposition of the Human in William Faulkner's South
2. Autopsy-Optics: Jean Toomer's Cane through the Photographic Lens
3. Sutures and Grooves: Mina Loy, Baroness Elsa, and the Corpus of Early-Twentieth-Century Media
4. Love and Corpses: Djuna Barnes's Queer Posthumanism
Coda. In Kind Cuts: Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons and the Nonhuman Corpse

About the Author

Erin E. Edwards is associate professor of English at Miami University in Ohio.


"The Modernist Corpse is a far-reaching and original study of the complexity of the cultural categories that organize representations of human life and death in modernist writing and art. Erin E. Edwards brings together an impressive range of writers, genres, and media, reflecting that increasingly expansive sense, among literary historians, of modernism's archive."-David Sherman, author of In a Strange Room: Modernism's Corpses and Mortal Obligation"The Modernist Corpse combines historically informed close readings of early twentieth-century works with an insistence on cultural and theoretical concerns that were barely visible at the time these works were made, but that loom large today, in retrospect. Erin E. Edwards shows us that American writers of a century ago-Faulkner, Toomer, Barnes, and Stein-were already struggling with the dilemmas of what we see today as the posthuman condition."-Steven Shaviro, author of The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism"The Modernist Corpse is a brilliant study of the costly differentiation between human and non-human as a legacy of the Cartesian separation of mind and body, such a division responsible for categorical boundaries warranting epistemological and ontological assumptions that organize western social hierarchies, including those of gender, race, and class. Erin Edwards' readings of Faulkner, Toomer, Djuna Barnes, and numerous others are extraordinarily original in their demonstration of how modern literature is intent on imagining a `posthuman humanness.' The Modernist Corpse is a splendid book-intellectually tense, stylish, and relentlessly provocative."-John T. Matthews, Boston University

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