By Laura Winkiel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2008
Online Publication Date:September 2009
Subjects: English literature 1900-1945
The modernist avant-garde used manifestos to outline their ideas, cultural programs and political agendas. Yet the manifesto, as a document of revolutionary change and a formative genre of modernism, has heretofore received little critical attention. This 2007 study reappraises the central role of manifestos in shaping the modernist movement by investigating twentieth-century manifestos from Europe and the Black Atlantic. Manifestos by writers from the imperial metropolis and the colonial 'periphery' drew very different emphases in their recasting of histories and experiences of modernity. Laura Winkiel examines archival materials as well as canonical texts to analyse how Sylvia Pankhurst, Virginia Woolf, Mina Loy, Wyndham Lewis, Nancy Cunard, C. L. R. James, W. E. B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Aimé Césaire and others presented their modernist projects. This focus on manifestos in their geographical and historical context allows for a revision of modernism that emphasizes its cross-cultural aspects.