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    A study of modernist poetry and fashion: on Stéphane Mallarmé, Gertrude Stein, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven & Mina Loy

    Barnard, Saskia (2023) A study of modernist poetry and fashion: on Stéphane Mallarmé, Gertrude Stein, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven & Mina Loy. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation examines the relationship between modernist poetry and fashion across English and French. It assesses the work of four poets who have not been studied as a group before—Stéphane Mallarmé, Gertrude Stein, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, and Mina Loy—in order to identify a sustained creative and critical engagement with fashion between nineteenth-century French poetics and Anglo-American modernism. Fashion is understood by this dissertation, as it was by the poets examined within, as a dual material and temporal phenomenon: its thesis is that fashion, thus understood, provided these poets with material and conceptual resources for animating, questioning, and shaping the terms of their own practices. The dissertation is divided into four chapters, which proceed chronologically. Chapter One takes Stéphane Mallarmé’s fashion magazine, La Dernière mode (1874), as an optic for examining the relationship between modernist poetry and fashion, situating this discussion within the context of Mallarmé’s wider œuvre. Chapter Two establishes the significance of fashion and dress to Stein’s engagement with the question of identity, focussing on her early ‘portraits’ and poems, including Tender Buttons (1914). Chapter Three proposes to read Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s poetry and sartorial work as interdependent practices, demonstrating the ways in which these practices were both galvanised by and critical of the early twentieth-century fashion industry. Chapter Four offers a reappraisal of Mina Loy’s œuvre by demonstrating several connections between her poetry and material designs, specifically through an investigation into her multiple uses of the word ‘brilliancy’ across these artistic contexts. The dissertation concludes by considering the implications of studying poetry in relation to fashion for the study of modernism more broadly.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2023 16:50
    Last Modified: 27 Nov 2023 19:26
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/52557
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.18743/PUB.00052557

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