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‘Transocean’: transition 's anachronistic zeitgeists

‘Transocean’: transition 's anachronistic zeitgeists <jats:p> Transition was among the largest of the ‘little’ magazines. Editors Maria and Eugene Jolas translated a wealth of European texts into English, housed Joyce's ‘Work in Progress’, and staged their ‘Revolution of the Word’. Claiming nothing less than a total overhaul of the standardized forms of American journalese, they embraced what they saw as a mystical, transformative power in experimental writing. Such a mission is easily mocked. Critics have long derided transition as delusional, apolitical, and – significantly – anachronistic. Jolas frequently published old material as part of his vision, which reached American readers as new. He also deployed journalistic techniques, baited critics, and orchestrated transition's eventual ossification as a bibliophile's treasure. Rather than judge the project against its more ‘authentic’ counterparts, this essay takes these editorial contradictions as a point of departure, framing a central ‘anachronistic zeitgeist’ as an interpretive strategy with which we might better understand its transatlantic, ‘transoceanic’ history. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

‘Transocean’: transition 's anachronistic zeitgeists

Modernist Cultures , Volume 11 (1): 65 – Mar 1, 2016

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2016
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2016.0126
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> Transition was among the largest of the ‘little’ magazines. Editors Maria and Eugene Jolas translated a wealth of European texts into English, housed Joyce's ‘Work in Progress’, and staged their ‘Revolution of the Word’. Claiming nothing less than a total overhaul of the standardized forms of American journalese, they embraced what they saw as a mystical, transformative power in experimental writing. Such a mission is easily mocked. Critics have long derided transition as delusional, apolitical, and – significantly – anachronistic. Jolas frequently published old material as part of his vision, which reached American readers as new. He also deployed journalistic techniques, baited critics, and orchestrated transition's eventual ossification as a bibliophile's treasure. Rather than judge the project against its more ‘authentic’ counterparts, this essay takes these editorial contradictions as a point of departure, framing a central ‘anachronistic zeitgeist’ as an interpretive strategy with which we might better understand its transatlantic, ‘transoceanic’ history. </jats:p>

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2016

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