Strange Bedfellows: The First American Avant-Garde (Penn State Series in German)

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9780896599345: Strange Bedfellows: The First American Avant-Garde (Penn State Series in German)
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This book tells the story of the first American avant-garde in art, poetry and the theatre. The people discussed in this book include Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Marcel Duchamp and the Stettheimer sisters. The author suggests that this exchange of ideas transformed modern culture. Quotations from letters, diaries and interviews enliven this history. The development of the avant-garde depended as much on social intercourse, whether sexual, suppressed or platonic, as on aesthetics. By the time of the 1913 Armory Show, bohemia had made a home for itself in New York's Greenwich Village.

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From Library Journal:

This book chronicles the rise of American modernism through a "group portrait of a small band of cultural renegades" who comprised avant-garde circles from 1913 to 1917 in New York, Cambridge, Chicago, London, Paris, and Florence. The result is an excellent, concise, highly readable overview of the literary alliances, social networks, and unconventional lifestyles that characterized the era when artists, poets, writers, and intellectuals were "struggling to develop an American voice." Watson effectively conveys the bohemian spirit of the age and does much to make this period comprehensible for today's reader. A unique feature of the book is its "Cast of Characters," an annotated alphabetical index of key figures including Gertrude and Leo Stein, the Arensbergs, Alfred Stieglitz, Ezra Pound, Eugene O'Neill, Amy Lowell, John Reed, and others featured in the book. Also noteworthy is the 44-page "Modern Chronology" of significant events, professional and social. Recommended for general collections in the humanities.
- Lesley Jorbin, Cleveland State Univ. Lib.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

This sweeping cultural history is a marvelous group portrait of a band of cultural renegades who, from 1913 to 1917, pioneered free verse, imagist poetry, cubism and abstract art, and brought modernism to music, drama and fiction. Hopping around geographically from New York City's Greenwich Village to Chicago's bohemia to Gertrude Stein's flat in Paris, Watson devises a framework encompassing such disparate figures as Ezra Pound, Vachel Lindsay, Harriet Monroe, Man Ray, Alfred Stieglitz, the Provincetown Players, Wallace Stevens, Marsden Hartley and Marcel Duchamp. His intimate chronicle tracks the avant-garde's evolution from rebellion to commercial co-optation as a new elite. Included are some 200 photographs and art reproductions (20 in color), memorabilia and charts mapping the interconnections of the principals. Watson, a Manhattan psychologist, organized a traveling exhibition relating to the book.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Publisher: Abbeville Press, 1993
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