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The Modernist Party

Edited by Kate McLoughlin

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Leading international scholars illuminate the party’s significance in Modernism

In 12 chapters internationally distinguished scholars explore the party both as a literary device and as a forum for developing modernist creative values, opening up new perspectives on materiality, the everyday and concepts of space, place and time. There are chapters on Conrad and domestic parties, T S Eliot’s ‘Prufrock’, the party vector in Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ and Finnegans Wake, Katherine Mansfield’s party stories, Virginia Woolf’s idea of a party, the textual parties of Proust, Ford Madox Ford and Aldous Huxley and the real-life parties of Sylvia Beach, Adrienne Monnier, Natalie Barney and Gertrude Stein, the black ‘after-party’ of the Harlem Renaissance and the parties in extremis in D H Lawrence’s Women in Love.

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A Note of Thanks
The Guest-List
Introduction: A Welcome from the Host, Kate McLoughlin
‘It was indeed a quiet dinner’: Domestic Parties in the Work of Joseph Conrad, Susan Jones
Prufrock, Party-Goer: Tongue-Tied at Tea, Kate McLoughlin
Party Joyce: from the ‘Dead’ to when we ‘Wake’, Jean-Michel Rabaté
‘Looking at the party with you’: Pivotal Moments in Katherine Mansfield’s Party Stories, Angela Smith
Virginia Woolf’s Idea of a Party, Bryony Randall
Proustian Peristalsis: Parties Before, During and After, David R. Ellison
‘Ezra through the open door’: The Parties of Natalie Barney, Adrienne Monnier and Sylvia Beach as Lesbian Modernist Cultural Production, Joanne Winning
‘Indeed everybody did come’: Parties, Publicity and Intimacy in Gertrude Stein’s Plays, Alex Goody
The Interracial Party of Modernist Primitivism and the Black ‘After-Party’, Margo Natalie Crawford
The Party In Extremis in D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, Margot Norris
Bohemian Retrospects: Ford Madox Ford, Post-War Memory and the Cabaret Theatre Club, Nathan Waddell
‘Pleasure too often repeated’: Aldous Huxley’s Modernity, Morag Shiach

About the Author

Kate McLoughlin is an Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Authoring War: The Literary Representation of War from the Iliad to Iraq (2011) and Martha Gellhorn: The War Writer in the Field and in the Text (2007) and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to War Writing (2009).


We read [the] text with the conviction that the writer or editor has a tale to tell, and a reason to tell this tale, which lends each text in turn a zestiness and a reason to read on. And in a critical space that is already crowded with texts tussling for our attention, this is a welcome surprise.

- Tara Stubbs, University of Oxford, Journal of American Studies / Volume 49 / Issue 03
This is terrific scholarship; it is stimulating, productive, and fun; and it suggests opportunities for many new and engaging approaches.
- Victoria Kuttainen, James Joyce Quarterly, Volume 51, Number 1

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