Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr John Marx


I begin with this literary critical parable because I am interested in arguments about and attempts to define what modernism was. I situate the following project after the fall of the modernist canon, in a literary critical context in which it remains doubtful that modernisms could be modernism again. As a response to that situation, I propose a way of defining modernism that may do justice to the complexity and variety of modernist texts, while seeking also to recognize that which they had in common. Although what follows might be called an analysis of literary form, it is not a return to the formalism of modernist literary critical history. Rather, it borrows from the recent scholarship of Franco Moretti and from his attempt to rethink the literary history of form.