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The Edinburgh Dictionary of Modernism

Edited by Vassiliki Kolocotroni, Olga Taxidou

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An interdisciplinary reference source of the critical, cultural and political practices associated with modernism

Much of the literary and cultural theory developed throughout the twentieth century relied on modernist texts and artefacts as both example and paradigm. This Dictionary collects, categorises and intersects literary, aesthetic, political and cultural terms that in one way or another came into being through the debates, conflicts, co-operations, experiments – individual and collective – that characterised modernism. In concise entries from international experts, it presents the terms, categories, concepts, tropes, movements, forged through the modernist upheavals (at once aesthetic and political), highlighting their genealogy, their modernist ‘newness’, and their historical longevity.

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About the Author

Vassiliki Kolocotroni is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. She is an expert in international modernism and the avant-garde, with special interests in theory, surrealism, film, travel writing and the modernist reception of classical and modern Greece.

Olga Taxidou is Professor of Drama at the University of Edinburgh. She is author of The Mask: A Periodical Performance by Edward Gordon Craig (Routledge, 1998) and of Tragedy, Modernity and Mourning (Edinburgh University Press, 2004) and co-editor of Modernism: An Anthology of Sources and Documents (Edinburgh University Press, 1998) and of Post-War Cinema and Modernism: A Film Reader (Edinburgh University Press, 2000).


Dandy rubs elbows with dasein; Kino-Eye jostles kitsch; Négritude and Neo-pagans are nearest neighbors. Its entries elegantly conceived, beautifully written, and boundlessly informative, this is not only an irreplaceable but also a profoundly enjoyable work of reference for anyone, novice or expert, interested in modernism from abstraction to zaum.

- Douglas Mao, Johns Hopkins University
"The book coheres beautifully and highlights the paradox of modernism’s opposition to and reliance on past traditions."
- A. C. Stout, CHOICE

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