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Rebecca West, the Forgotten Vorticist?

Rebecca West, the Forgotten Vorticist? The inclusion of Rebecca West's short story ‘Indissoluble Matrimony’ in the first issue of BLAST (1914) has much to tell us about the intellectual debts the Vorticist movement owed to West and to the feminist periodical culture with which she was associated. West composed her story in 1912–13, years when she was highly active as both contributor to and literary editor of Dora Marsden's The Freewoman (1911–12) and The New Freewoman (1913). In this article, I examine how the ‘energy’ promoted across BLAST aligned with feminist political conceptions of energy in Marsden's journals, and how these ideas were also shaped by early twentieth-century understandings of the universe, including theories of vortex motion, the ether, electromagnetism and thermodynamics. By paying close attention to the theme and metaphor of energy in ‘Indissoluble Matrimony’, this article traces patterns of influence between West, Marsden, Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis that reveal intersections between avant-guerre feminism and the Vorticist avant-garde. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Rebecca West, the Forgotten Vorticist?

Modernist Cultures , Volume 14 (4): 29 – Nov 1, 2019

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2019.0268
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The inclusion of Rebecca West's short story ‘Indissoluble Matrimony’ in the first issue of BLAST (1914) has much to tell us about the intellectual debts the Vorticist movement owed to West and to the feminist periodical culture with which she was associated. West composed her story in 1912–13, years when she was highly active as both contributor to and literary editor of Dora Marsden's The Freewoman (1911–12) and The New Freewoman (1913). In this article, I examine how the ‘energy’ promoted across BLAST aligned with feminist political conceptions of energy in Marsden's journals, and how these ideas were also shaped by early twentieth-century understandings of the universe, including theories of vortex motion, the ether, electromagnetism and thermodynamics. By paying close attention to the theme and metaphor of energy in ‘Indissoluble Matrimony’, this article traces patterns of influence between West, Marsden, Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis that reveal intersections between avant-guerre feminism and the Vorticist avant-garde.

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2019

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