Fifty years ago one of the truisms of academic studies of literary modernism was an emphasis on how modern aesthetics disrupted progressive teleologies of time, thwarting a bourgeois, melioristic sense that things were always improving. The more liberal strand of these analyses made analogies to post-Einsteinian physics and, as Paul Giles mentions, to books like J. W. Dunne’s 1927 Experiment with Time, which, in its day, provoked “wide popular interest” (182). The more conservative strand—or, as in the case of John W. Harrison’s Reactionaries (1966), the strand more concerned about conservatism—noted how the antiprogressive temporalities of figures such as T. E. Hulme, Wyndham Lewis, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound fed their sympathies with right-wing, restorationist, or downright fascist political projects.

These visions of a disruptive modernism have faded in the twenty-first century. Not just an itself increasingly residual postmodernism but...

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