Aging and Inheritance in Modernist Literature: October 6-9 2011 Buffalo NY
David Rosen, in Power, Plain English, and the Rise of Modern Poetry, proclaims that "Modern poetry was never young." Can any similar claims be made for the Modernist novel? Is Modernism, conscious of the long cultural past that it draws on, symbolically "old"? This panel will explore the way that modernist authors take up the position of maturity or old age in order to confront their cultural inheritance. How does the older subject, steeped in the past herself, deal with the metaphorical and literal inheritances that connect the Modernist period with what came before? Is the mature subject in Modernist works world-weary, marked by conservatism and the renunciation of new possibilities? Or is he or she capable of drawing on a long life to assist her in the creative, critical, and dynamic re-interpretation of the even longer historical past that Modernists must negotiate? Papers that address issues of aging and gender are especially welcome.
Please send a 300-400 word abstract and a bio of 2-3 sentences by April 13 to email@example.com