Eugene Jolas: Critical Writings, 1924-1951

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Northwestern University Press, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 598 pages
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Dividing his youth between the United States and the bilingual Alsace-Lorraine, Eugene Jolas (1894-1952) flourished in three languages. As an editor and poet, he came to know the major writers and artists of his time and enjoyed a pivotal position between the Anglo-American and Continental avant-garde. His editorship of transition, the leading avant-garde journal of Paris in the twenties and early thirties, provided a major impetus to writers from James Joyce (whose Finnegans Wake was serialized in transition) to Gertrude Stein, and Samuel Beckett, with first translations of André Breton, and Franz Kafka, among others. Jolas's critical work, collected in this volume, includes introductions to anthologies, manifestoes like the famous Vertical, essays, some published here for the first time, on writers as various as Novalis, Trakl, the major Surrealists, Heidegger, and other philosophers. An acute observer of the literary scene as well as of the roiling politics of the time, Jolas emerges here in his role at the very center of avant-garde activity between the wars. Accordingly, this book is of signal importance to anyone with an interest in modernism, avant-garde, multilingualism, and the culture of Western Europe in the first half of the twentieth century.

 

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Contents

Introduction
5
June 8 1924
7
June 15 1924
14
June 22 1924
20
June 29 1924
26
July 13 1924
32
August 24 1924
40
September 7 1924
46
Preface to Transition Stories 1929
254
NightMind and DayMind March 1932
264
Twilight of the Horizontal Age February 1933
274
Vertigral June 1936
288
The Quest and the Myth 1941
294
Introduction
303
Novalis the Mystic Visionary undated
309
Novalis or the White Romanticism January 15 1951
315

October 19 1924
52
November 16 1924
58
November 23 1924
65
December 21 1924
71
January 11 1925
77
February 8 1925
82
March 22 1925
88
May31 1925
95
June 14 1925
99
July 5 1925
102
Introduction
109
Preface to the New Transition March 1932
115
An Occidental Workshop 19271938 1949
121
Introduction
129
The Language ofNight 1932
135
A New Symbolical Language March 1932
162
Race and Language June 1936
173
Logos June 1929
179
Introduction
203
PanRomanticism in the Atomic Age 1949
211
Homage to G Th Fechner Romantic Savant
219
Surrealism and Romanticism undated
227
Crisis of Man and LanguageVerticalistVertigralist
239
Notes on Reality November 1929
248
Was He a Heroic Figure or Merely a Philistine?
329
Franz Kafkas Stories and Ascending Romanticism 1941
343
Georg Trakl Poetry June 15 1951
349
Gottfried Benn August 1927
355
Ernst Jünger and the Twilight of Nihilism November 1951
361
André Bretons Surrealism in 1950 June 1950
371
The Revolution of Language and James Joyce February 1928
377
Marginalia to James Joyces Work in Progress February 1933
383
My Friend James Joyce MarchApril 1941
393
Explication of Finnegans Wake
405
Introduction
423
Goodbye to Yesterday October 1940
431
Toward a Metaphysical Renascence? October 1940March 1941
437
A Report from Frankfurt July 4 1948
451
Introduction
465
Reemergence of Heidegger November 1949
471
Origin and Aim of History November 15 1949
480
A German Nationalist December 6 1949
485
FrancoGerman Cultural Exchanges March 21 1950
502
Notes
515
Selected Bibliography
555
Index
583
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

EUGENE JOLAS (1894-1927) was born in Union City, New Jersey, in 1894 but was raised by his Franco-German parents in Lorraine. In 1927 Jolas, along with his wife Maria Mcdonald and Elliot Paul, founded the influential Parisian literary magazine transition. In Paris he met James Joyce and played a major part in encouraging and defending Joyce's "Work-in-Progress," later to become Finnegans Wake, a work Jolas viewed as the perfect embodiment of his manifesto. Jolas's life and career are described vividly in his autobiography, Man from Babel.

KLAUS H. KIEFER is a fellow at the center for the Humanities at Northwestern University and has published widely on European literature from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

RAINER RUMOLD is a professor of German at Northwestern University. He has published numerous books, editions, and articles on European modernism, avant-garde, and expressionism.

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