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    Dorothy Richardson and the politics of friendship

    Winning, Joanne (2009) Dorothy Richardson and the politics of friendship. Pilgrimages: The Journal of Dorothy Richardson Studies 2 , pp. 91-121. ISSN 2050-9502.

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    This paper will consider the politics of lesbian modernist friendship. In The Politics of Modernism, Raymond Williams has famously argued for the concept of ‘community’ as a structuring principle within modernism and the avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century: ‘the artists and writers of this phase found the only community available to them: a community of the medium; of their own practice’.1 Here, of course, Williams refers to aesthetic and artistic practice, but I want to suggest that, given the deep embedding of lesbian sexuality and identity within the modernist milieu, we might well augment Williams’ meaning by talking in terms of sexual and emotional practice. Whilst the major urban centres of modernity are crucial physical and material sites in which the lesbian modernist group becomes possible and identifiable, I want to argue here that the lesbian modernist group functions most powerfully as a cultural site or space, which is created through the complex network of friendship and affective bonds and relationships. Out of the consideration of lesbian modernist friendship, I want to speculate on the importance of friendship to Richardson, both textually - and here my focus will be on March Moonlight - and in terms of her life and cultural production. Such a model of friendship requires redefinition against prevailing notions of friendship, incorporating intimate issues of affect and desire, as well requiring us to think more broadly about the terms of the sexual and cultural politics which might be embedded in friendship practice.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Jo Winning
    Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 11:22
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:32


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