Representing Modernist Texts seeks to expose, and then to bridge, the gap between contemporary textual scholarship and the critical and theoretical study of modernist texts. Modernist critics and scholars have for too long consigned textual problems to work from earlier periods and largely ignored them in creating successive waves of avantgarde critical theory designed first to champion, and more recently to challenge, modernist literature itself. And yet, as the controversy around Hans Walter Gabler’s edition of Ulysses has made clear, twentieth-century texts are deeply problematic at the physical as well as the interpretive level.
In Representing Modernist Texts, thirteen internationally known scholars provide major explorations of the topic in the work of particular writers. The issues they raise include the construction of a writer’s canon and the effect of newly available “uncanonical” manuscript materials on existing works and orderings; the replacement of the older idea of a fixed, stable text by a more contemporary notion of the text as process; and the interrogation by advanced textual theory of many of the same notions of “author,” “intention,” and “stability of the text” questioned by advanced literary theory.