Wasteland Modernism - The Disenchantment of Myth
Rebeca Gualberto Valverde
Publisher: Publicacions de la Universitat de València
This book proposes a renewed myth-critical approach to the so-called 'wasteland modernism' of the 1920s to reassess certain key texts of the American modernist canon from a critical prism that offers new perspectives of analysis and interpretation. Myth-criticism and, more specifically, the critical survey of myth as an aesthetic and ideological strategy fundamental for the comprehension of modernist literature, leads to an engaging discussion about the disenchantment of myth in modernist literary texts. This process of mythical disenchantment, inextricable from the cultural and historical circumstances that define the modernist zeitgeist, offers a possibility for revising from a contemporary standpoint a set of classic texts that are crucial to our understanding of the modern literary tradition in the United States. This study carries out an exhaustive and updated myth-critical examination of works by T.S. Eliot, John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and Djuna Barnes to broaden the scope of familiar themes and archetypes, enclosing the textual analysis of these works in a wider exploration about the purpose and functioning of myth in literature, particularly in times of crisis and transformation.