In The Medieval Presence in the Modernist Aesthetic: Unattended Moments, editors Simone Celine Marshall and Carole M. Cusack have brought together essays on literary Modernism that uncover medieval themes and tropes that have previously been “unattended”, that is, neglected or ignored. A historical span of a century is covered, from musical modernist Richard Wagner’s final opera Parsifal (1882) to Russell Hoban’s speculative fiction Riddley Walker (1980), and themes of Arthurian literature, scholastic philosophy, Irish legends, classical philology, dream theory, Orthodox theology and textual exegesis are brought into conversation with key Modernist writers, including T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Samuel Beckett, Marcel Proust, W. B. Yeats, Evelyn Waugh and Eugene Ionesco. These scholarly investigations are original, illuminating, and often delightful.
Simone Celine Marshall, PhD (2005), University of Sydney, is Senior Lecturer in English and Linguistics at the University of Otago. She recently published ‘Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and the Medieval Mystical Tradition of Pseudo-Dionysius,’ Literature & Aesthetics 27.1 (2017), 153-170.
Carole M. Cusack, PhD (1996), University of Sydney, is Professor of Religious Studies at that university. She has published monographs including Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith (2010) and The Sacred Tree: Ancient and Medieval Manifestations (2011).
"Cusack and Marshall’s collection is a very useful one that will help provide scholarly discussion on the topic of modernism by reinforcing the idea that modernist aesthetics reach just as much into the ancient past as they do into the future." - Kristen Marangoni, Tulsa Community College, in: Literature & Aesthetics 19 (1), 2019
Notes on Contributors
Simone Celine Marshall and Carole M. Cusack
Wagner's Parsifal: Christianity, Celibacy, and Medieval Brotherhood as Ideal in Modernity
Carole M. Cusack
Fergus Mac Róich: Yeats' Damaged Mystic
Joseph A. Mendes
Ezra Pound's Medieval Classicism: The Spirit of Romance and the Debt to Philology
Marcel Proust on Erotic Dreams and Oneiric Knowledge
Gro Bjørnerud Mo
The Aristotelian Crescent: Medieval Arabic Philosophy in the Poetics of Ezra Pound
Between the "Machinery of Transcendence" and the "Machinery of War": The Unattended Moments of Eugene Ionesco
"Melancholy Matters": Robert Burton and Samuel Beckett
Whoroscope: Samuel Beckett's Medieval Machine
Lancelot and Guinevere in the Inter-War Period: The Medievalisms of Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust and Ezra Pound's Cantovi
Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker: The Eusa Story and Other Blipful Figgers
All interested in literary Modernism, Medieval Studies, and the reception of the Middle Ages in modernity or Medievalism, and in the relations of literature and culture more broadly.