2017-10-11Berichte und sonstige Texte DOI: 10.18452/18452
1924, Introducing "Modernism"
The Deep Archive in the Age of WWWisibility
The paper’s focus is the archival recovery of one of modernist studies’ (unknown) beginnings, reforging the multifacetedness of the history of modernism and of the early history of the study of modernism. The paper introduces the earliest comprehensive and movement-defining study of modernism. This study is unknown to scholars of modernisms and is thus apt to contribute a new perspective on the beginnings of the concept of modernism’s formation. The study in question is an unpublished PhD thesis written (in English) at the University of Washington and submitted in 1924 – thus preceding Laura Riding and Robert Graves’s A Survey of Modernist Poetry and Edmund Wilson’s Axel’s Castle, which are considered to be the first movement-defining studies of modernism. The paper outlines this unpublished und unknown study and puts it into context by considering it in the light of the earlier critical discussions of modernist painting among other things. Furthermore it investigates the technological aspect of the study’s precarious status of being archived but being unpublished and unknown at the same time. By inquiring more generally into how the status of such texts is influenced by the technological developments of the internet age, the paper reflects on the technological conditions of academic discourse today. Arnesen’s study is the paradigmatic instance of what the paper refers to as the issue of the deep archive.
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