Rhythmic Modernism: Mimesis and the Short Story (Paperback)
Contrary to the common view that cultural modernism is a broadly anti-mimetic movement, one which turned away from traditional artistic goals of representing the world, Rhythmic Modernism argues that rhythm and mimesis are central to modernist aesthetics. Through detailed close readings of non-fiction and short stories, Helen Rydstrand shows that textual rhythms comprised the substance of modernist mimesis. Rhythmic Modernism demonstrates how many modernist writers, such as D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf, were profoundly invested in mimicking a substratum of existence that was conceived as rhythmic, each displaying a fascination with rhythm, both as a formal device and as a vital, protean concept that helped to make sense of the complex modern world.
Helen Rydstrand is Adjunct Associate Lecturer in the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales, Australia.