“Broken Continuity”: Cubist Interpretation from Mary Butts’s Letters in the Archive

The past year’s global pandemic may be remembered as a time of boundaries: six foot or two-meter personal bubbles, restricted entry to and movement within public spaces, and the once-steady stream of international travellers reduced to a trickle. In many ways, this new reality further emphasized the concentrically fortified position occupied by the Special Collections archives housed in the University of Victoria’s McPherson Library.

Miss Lowell Regrets

Amy Lowell is tired. “This is a work, this poetry,” she writes Harriet Monroe in March of 1922, finalizing the poems she’ll have included in the 1922 version of Monroe and Alice Corbin Henderson’s The New Poetry anthology. Lowell had published her eighth and ninth books the previous year, and would publish her tenth in ten years later that fall. She has pulled back on the rigorous lecturing schedule which has kept her away from her home in Brookline, Massachusetts and has had her crisscrossing the country the past several years.

“Adjusting the Ash Heaps”: Extinction and the Modernist Archive

One of the saddest features of civilisation is the disappearance of so many beautiful and curious creatures from this world of ours. From all parts of the earth the same story comes; and we now seem to be within measurable distance of a time when wrecks and remnants of once compact and indigenous assemblages of organisms will be all that remain to us, and such a thing as a complete fauna will be unknown.

—Charles Dixon, Lost and Vanishing Birds, 1898

Copyright and the Modernist Archive: James Joyce’s Correspondence at Antwerp

This blog post is about an institution of modernism that is quite different from the ones that Lawrence Rainey examined in his groundbreaking book, Institutions of Modernism: Literary Elites and Public Culture.

Race in the Modernism/modernity Archives: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond

We are pleased to be able to share here a selection of articles on race and modernism from past print issues of Modernism/modernity. Reflecting the history of the journal, many of these focus on the Harlem Renaissance, but we’ve also included articles on the Caribbean and Brazil as well as a more broadly comparative treatment of race...

On Seeing Ghosts

When I first saw this image on the National Gallery of Australia’s website, I wasn’t quite sure who, or what, I was seeing (fig. 1). What is the shadowy form lurking in the bottom-left-hand-corner of the image? Is it a person emerging out of the basement, a playful photographic superimposition, or something more banal: just another painting propped in the corner?

Give, Sympathize, Control: T. S. Eliot and Emily Hale

On January 2, 2020, T. S. Eliot announced from the grave that he and Emily Hale never had sex and that marrying her would have killed the poet in him.[1] At the New York Times, the arts and culture piece on Eliot scheduled for January 9 was bumped up to breaking news.[2] Always the canny publicist, Eliot controlled the narrative of the day on which his 1, 131 letters to Hale were opened to view at the Princeton Library.

Oppositions in the Modernist Archive

In the opening days of 2020 modernists may have rejoiced over two significant events. On January 1, works published in 1924 entered the public domain. On January 2, Princeton University opened to the public the recently uncrated 1,131 letters from T. S. Eliot to Emily Hale.

The “eBay Archive”: Recovering Early Women Type Designers

Southern Vancouver Island’s 100-kilometer-long BC-14 Highway slides predominantly east to west along British Columbia coastline through traditional Coast Salish territory. Beneath the old-growth trees that are the marrow of this lush ecosystem is the small, unincorporated community of Shirley, and the Cook Kettle Press (fig.1). Though small, the press is a regional hotbed of letterpress activity. As a print shop, it provides opportunities for artists to use its space and equipment.