Modernist Poetics and New Age Political Philosophy: A. R. Orage, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
This dissertation argues that the political, philosophical, and aesthetic theories developed in The New Age, edited by A. R. Orage, provided a crucial foundation for modernist poetry. By situating the modernist aesthetics of Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, and T. S. Eliot in tenris of the complex scene of 19 10s and early 1920s London radicalism, this study develops historically local theoretical terms to read modernist poetry and also suggests the continued relevance of modernist political questions when viewed frorri this perspective. The first chapter analyzes Orage's early political and theosophical writings, demonstrating how these sources informed the journal's interconnected concerns with print culture, radical politics and literature. The second chapter analyzes Ezra Pound's entr6e into the NeIv Age scene in late 1911, situating the criticism and poetry of I Gather the Limbs of Osiris as an important ideological contribution to The New Age's Guild Socialism movement. The third chapter argues that Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound's Vorticist movement was organized as a radical mode of production along New Age lines and that Vorticism's aesthetic products are politically positioned against capitalist production. The fourth and fifth chapters trace The New Age's engagement with orthodox economic theory and Pound and Eliot's interest in radical economics, particularly as they connected to epistemology, money and representation, value, corporate organization, consumption and scarcity. In the final chapter, this analysis of Social Credit is used to arguet.h at the developmento f The Cawos and The WasteL aiid are fundamentally connected to the New Age's radical economic epistemology. As a whole, this dissertationa rguest hat the idiosyncratic political theory of T11eN ew Age shaped the production and consumption of crucial modernist poetic strategies.
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