The café in modernist literature: Wyndham Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Rhys

Betsworth, Leon (2013) The café in modernist literature: Wyndham Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Rhys. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This study explores the representation of the café in literary modernism. As its primary works range from the early 1900s to 1939, I have restricted my choice of exemplary writers in an effort to pay attention to issues of subject, style, and technique in greater detail than a survey would allow. Following a brief history of the literary café, three principal chapters focus upon the following authors in this order: Wyndham Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, and Jean Rhys. Contextualised by the café’s fundamental role in the
lives of artists, the creation of art, and the great art movements throughout history, the thesis traces the ways in which the novelists engage imaginatively with this important social and cultural space. The study is underpinned by the spatial theory of Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, and Michel Foucault. From this theoretical platform I assemble a conceptual framework and a spatial vocabulary that facilitates the critical engagement with the literary representation of the café.
Methodologically, the café essentially functions as a lens through which I analyse modernist writers, their texts, and their aesthetic preoccupations. Each chapter can be read as a discrete study that contributes fresh analyses, new insights, and re-evaluations of familiar texts and existing scholarship. However, as a whole, the thesis offers an
entirely novel way of reading literary modernism, championing the use of the café as a serious heuristic device.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing (former - to 2011)
Depositing User: Users 2593 not found.
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2014 16:44
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2014 16:44

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