Performances Of Authorship In The Modernist Salon
Literary salons were a vital part of modernist culture. Although scholars have called attention to the ways in which salon conversations shaped subsequent works of literature, they have ignored the extent to which modernist writers conceived of conversation as a form of literary practice in itself. Performances of Authorship in the Modernist Salon argues that within the modernist salon, conversation first came to be treated as a medium that could be circulated, and even "saved," like the printed page and the sound recordings that were just becoming available. What had been a metaphor became a material practice: for Gertrude Stein, writing was like "talking and listening," but for lesser-known American salon organizers, talking and listening were forms of writing. "Salon writing," as practiced by Natalie Barney, Muriel Draper, Margaret Anderson, and Jean Toomer, challenges presumptions about the irretrievability of modernist sociability. The blank pages, unpublished memoirs, transcribed conversations, broadcasts, and performance skits that compose the archives of these writers are not mere supplements to literary and historical analysis; these artifacts are themselves the literature of the modernist salon.
salons; conversation; modernism; perfomance studies; archives; american studies
Braddock, Jeremy; Culler, Jonathan Dwight; Crawford, Margo
English Language & Literature
Ph.D. of English Language & Literature
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis