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From: "Daniel Fusch" <dfusch@hotmail.com>
Subject: (urth) more on modernism (fair warning!)
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 16:26:35 PDT


Thanks for clarifying that. You're right; "Ulysses" and "The Sound and the 
Fury" are the most frequently taught works of modernist fiction, although we 
should probably add "Light in August" and make it a threesome.

"It is certainly possible to be a Modernist and a science fiction writer, 
and because of these concerns it is where Wolfe is probably best 
categorized. But, for purposes of analysis, I actually think that how little 
he uses the tools commonly associated with modernism is interesting."

I'll keep on insisting that the tools that one can use in modernism are as 
variable as the individual authors are--and that the most often seen 
examples (Ulysses and The Sound and the Fury) are simply the most extreme 
examples of modernist experimentation. Faulkner has been known to write 
books with normal sentence structure. And, of course, there are the plethora 
of other modernist writers whose sentences are normal but whose styles of 
narration are not. So to speak of how little Wolfe uses the tools commonly 
associated with modernism is only to speak of how Wolfe does not sound like 
Joyce or Faulkner. But Joyce and Faulkner are not the only modernist 

Therefore, a modernist criticism of Wolfe can still be very insightful. Or 
at least a criticism of the metafiction; I just find it hopelessly 
interesting to examine Wolfe's investigation of the art of storytelling.

But having said all that, I realize I am probably arguing a moot point. 
After all, I don't seem to be trying to convince anyone of anything other 
than the fact that a modernist perspective on Wolfe's work can be 
particularly interesting. But that is subjective; it may that a modernist 
perspective is not particularly interesting to everyone else.

So...my apologies for torturing everyone with this long-winded discussion of 
modernism. And my apologies (to echo alga) if I seem pompous.

As for Borges...I will seek out his work at once!

Now...what's this about racism?


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