The recent enthusiasm for things postmodern has often produced a caricature of Modernism as monolithic and reactionary. Peter Nicholls argues instead that the distinctive feature of Modernism is its diversity. Through a lively analysis of each of Modernism's main literary movements, he explores the connections between the new stylistic developments and the shifting politics of gender and authority.
Nicholls introduces a wealth of literary experimentation, beginning with Baudelaire and Mallarmé and moving forward to the first avant-gardes. Close readings of key texts monitor the explosive histories of Futurism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism, histories that allow Anglo-American Modernism to be seen in a strikingly different light. In revealing Modernism's broad and varied terrain, Nicholls evokes the richness of a cultural moment that continues to shape our own.